Additional Diabetes Information:
Diabetes mellitus is the tenth top-most prevalent disease in the world today, with at least 17 million persons with diabetes in 2006. Its prevalence continues to grow, and estimates show that the number of persons with diabetes will double by 2030. Concentration of diabetic patients can be found in the more developed countries due to the trend of lifestyle changes in these countries especially in the nature and composition of the “Western” diet.
Food Plays An Important Role
This is the more compelling factor in explaining the increase of the incidence of diabetes in recent years. The food we eat plays an important role in controlling glucose in the blood. Since diabetes is basically a disorder with the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, a healthy balanced diet, fitted out to the nutritional needs of the patients, will help a person with diabetes to establish a regular routine for eating meals at fixed times every day and to choose the right amounts of the healthiest types of food during each meal. Knowing how each food can affect one’s case of diabetes is at the backbone of every free diabetic diet plan.
In most cases of persons with diabetes, a proper diet is often the most effective way to keep levels of glucose within the right range. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose in the body. This explains the need to keep intake of carbohydrates within moderate levels in order to control blood sugar.
Regular Meal Schedule
Diabetic patients must never skip meals or snacks and must eat at the same fixed schedule every day. Using an exchange list can be helpful in maintaining variety in food intake while ensuring the appropriate mix of carbohydrates, proteins, calories, and other food nutrients. In this way, dieting does not turn into a struggle. By using an exchange list, persons with diabetes will find it easier to make wise choices with their food intake.
There is no standard or fixed diabetic diet plan. All eating plans should be flexible and should consider the lifestyle and the specific health needs of each patient. Aside from keeping glucose levels within moderate range, a diabetic diet is also meant to reduce the risk for the complications that may result from diabetes such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension or renal failure. A good diet can lessen the other risk factors that may further aggravate the diabetic condition such as obesity, hypertension, and bad cholesterol.
Less Fat, More Fruits and Vegetables
Seeking the professional help of a registered dietitian can also be helpful. A dietitian can help a diabetes patient develop a meal plan that would tell what kind of food can be best eaten during meals and the amounts needed to keep body glucose within normal levels. In most diabetic patients, a healthy meal plan consists of 20% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% for protein, and 30% or preferably less from fat.
Generally, at every meal, a diabetic person may have two to five choices of carbohydrates or up to 60 grams, 1 choice of protein, and a small amount of fat. Carbohydrates are best when derived from fruits, vegetables, dairy, and starchy foods. Diabetic patients should also avoid preserved food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are especially good for diabetics.
Poultry and Fish for Protein
On the other hand, protein can be taken from meat, poultry or fish. Poultry and fish should be preferred than red meat like pork or beef. Extra fat and poultry skin should be avoided. Finally, fat can be found in products such as butter, margarine, lard, and oil. It can also be derived from dairy and meat. Diabetics, as much as possible, should avoid fried foods, egg yolks, bacon, and other high-fat products.
Caution should also be observed in consuming processed food products. Before eating any of processed food products, a diabetic patient should look at the “nutrition facts” label on the packaging. In this way, one is able to determine what kind of processed food products are healthy and what are to be avoided.
If a diabetic patient closely follows one’s diet plan – eating the right kind of food, ensuring the right serving sizes, and sticking to the fixed meal schedule – one will be assured of consuming a consistent amount of carbohydrates, calories, proteins, and fats every day. Without a diet plan, it becomes difficult for a diabetic patient to control glucose levels in the blood. Uncontrolled high glucose levels can increase risks of further diabetic complications.
Being creative within the rules of a diabetic diet plan can also help maintain variety in food preferences makes eating as healthy and normal as other people. With good food and a good free diabetic diet plan, even persons with diabetes can look forward to a good and healthy life ahead.