Additional Diabetes Information:
Diabetes – Foods to Eat and Avoid
The number of diabetes sufferers has increased over the past few years, even though the disease is very preventable provided proper measures are adopted. Most new cases of diabetes are a result of risky lifestyles characterized by heavy smoking, drinking, poor diet, and a lack of information. Contrary to misconception, you can have a balanced lifestyle without living in deprivation. If you have diabetes, it is crucially important to eat right. But that doesn't mean you should completely cut out your favorite indulgences. The key thing is to regulate.
A diabetic diet is what helps you regulate and balance your food intake for proper diabetes management. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it means your body cannot produce or properly utilize insulin. Thus, at any one time, glucose levels in the blood can shoot up beyond normal (hyperglycemia) leading to complications. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates glucose uptake by the body's cells, supplying energy for various body functions. Following a diabetic diet helps you control blood glucose levels while allowing you to enjoy your sweets once in a while.
When planning a diabetes management program, be sure to consult your doctor and a registered dietitian. A sound diabetic diet is part of a good diabetes management program and accounts for more than just food. It should also take account of medication, exercise regimen, and general lifestyle, among others. Essentially, a diabetic diet aims at regulating the foods you eat, for instance limiting the portions, limiting salt, fat, and alcohol intake, and regulating the frequency of meals.
Note that a diabetic diet is not only recommended for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, but also for those at high risk of developing the disease. Risk factors for diabetes include obesity, genetics (family history), sedentary lifestyle, and age, among others.
Generally, a diabetic diet includes lots of foods high in dietary fiber and slow-release carbohydrates, and limits fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugary foods.
The food you eat greatly affects your blood sugar levels. In particular, carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar compared to other foods, because they increase blood sugar faster. This is not what you want if you have diabetes.
A diabetic diet limits refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, snack foods, soda, and candy, and includes lots of complex carbohydrates rich in fiber, including brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, raisin bran, rolled oats, and sweet potatoes.
Protein sources for diabetics include fish, legumes, lean meats, and chicken. A diabetic diet should have an abundance of vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats eaten with meals. Most healthy fats are from fish and plant sources, and are liquid at room temperature. Fats that are solid at room temperature are a no-go area for diabetes sufferers, especially animal fat. Your dietitian will alter your menu plans accordingly or as the need arises.
Overall, diabetes sufferers respond differently to different foods. Therefore, it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels before and after every meal to establish a pattern concerning the foods you're eating and the subsequent blood glucose levels. This will help your diabetes management program achieve its primary objectives of controlling hyperglycemia and its related complications.