To understand what type of food a diabetic patient should consume for better health, it is necessary to first understand diabetes and its relationship to food.
Only when a person understands all of the above concepts will they be able to follow a diet plan to improve their health.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is abnormally high. Blood glucose is your primary source of energy and is obtained from the foods you consume. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, aids in the transport of glucose from food into your cells for use as energy.
Sometimes your body does not produce enough—or any—insulin, or it does not use insulin effectively. Glucose then remains in your blood rather than reaching your cells.
There are 3 main types of diabetes. Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes.
Your body does not produce insulin if you have type 1 diabetes. Your immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in your pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day.
Your body does not produce or use insulin well if you have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can strike at any age, including during childhood. This type of diabetes, however, is more common in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is encountered in women when they are pregnant. This type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. If you've had gestational diabetes, you're more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is sometimes type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes may cause serious health complications such as:
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Foot ulcer
• Nerve damage
• Kidney damage
• Liver damage
• Eye damage
• Multiple organ failure
• Cognitive impairment
When a person has diabetes, they may experience symptoms such as
• Increased hunger and thirst
• Sudden weight loss
• Frequent urination
• Vision impairment
• Scores that take more time to heal
When you have diabetes, nutrition and physical activity are crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. Following a healthy meal plan and staying active can help you keep your blood glucose level, within your target range, among other benefits.
To control your blood glucose levels, you must balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and, if necessary, a diabetes medication. What you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important factors in keeping your blood glucose level within the range recommended by your health expert.
Getting more active and changing your eating and drinking habits can be difficult at first. It may be easier, to begin by, small changes and seeking assistance from family, friends, and your health expert.
Eating well and exercising most days of the week can help you
• maintain your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels within your target ranges.
• lose or maintain a healthy weight
• avoid & postponed diabetic problems
• have more energy and feel better
What food to eat if I have diabetes
You may be concerned that having diabetes will force you to give up foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can continue to eat your favourite foods; however, you may need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less frequently. Your health care team will work with you to develop a diabetes meal plan that meets your needs and preferences.
The key to eating well with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups in the amounts recommended by your meal plan.
• non-starchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes.
• starchy: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas.
• includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
• at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains including wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa.
• examples: bread, pasta, cereal, and tortillas
• lean meat
• chicken or turkey without the skin
• nuts and peanuts
• dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas
• meat substitutes, such as tofu
• milk or lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance
Consume foods high in heart-healthy fats, which are mostly found in the following foods:
• Nuts and seeds
• Canola and olive oil.
• Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
Cook with oils instead of butter, cream, shortening, lard, or stick margarine.
What food should I avoid if I have diabetes?
Foods and beverages to avoid include
• Fried foods and other saturated and trans-fat-rich foods
• Foods high in salt
• Sweets like bakery, candy, and ice cream
• Beverages like soda such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Use a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Alcohol can cause your blood glucose level to drop too low if you use insulin or diabetes medications that increase the amount of insulin your body produces. This is particularly true if you haven't eaten in a long time. When drinking alcohol, it is best to consume some food.
Eating the right amount of food will also assist you in controlling your blood glucose levels and weight. Your medical team can advise you on how much food and how many calories you should consume each day.
If you are overweight or obese, consult with health a health expert/nutritionist to develop a weight-loss plan.
The Body Weight Planner can assist you in tailoring your calorie and physical activity plans to achieve and maintain your target weight.
To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories and replace unhealthy foods with those that are lower in calories, fat, and sugar. If you have diabetes and are overweight or obese, you should try to lose any excess weight before becoming pregnant. Learn more about pregnancy planning if you have diabetes.
The plate method and carbohydrate counting, also known as carb counting, are two common methods for determining how much to eat if you have diabetes. Consult a healthcare expert/nutritionist to determine the best method for you.
The plate method allows you to better control your portion sizes. You are not required to count calories. The plate method indicates how much of each food group you should consume. This method is most effective for lunch and dinner.
Make use of a 9-inch plate. Half of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables; one-fourth should be meat or other protein, and the remaining one-fourth should be a grain or other starch.
Starchy vegetables such as corn and peas are examples of starches. You may also consume a small bowl of fruit or a piece of fruit and a small glass of milk as part of your meal plan.
To determine the size of a portion, use everyday objects or your hand.
• 1 serving of meat or poultry is approximately the size of your palm or a deck of cards.
• 1 3-ounce serving of fish is equivalent to a chequebook.
• Six dice of cheese equal one serving
• A rounded handful or a tennis ball of cooked rice or pasta equals 1/2 cup.
• 1 serving of pancakes or waffles equals 1 DVD
• A ping-pong ball is 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of how many carbohydrates you consume each day. Carbohydrates affect your blood glucose level more than other foods because they convert to glucose in your body. Carbohydrate counting can assist you in controlling your blood glucose levels. If you use insulin, counting carbohydrates can help you figure out how much to take.
Carbohydrate counting is a meal planning tool for diabetics who use insulin, but not all diabetics must count carbohydrates. Your health care team can assist you in developing a personalised eating plan that will best meet your needs.
Carbohydrate content in foods is measured in grams. To count carbohydrate grams in what you eat, you’ll need to:
• explore which foods contain carbohydrates.
• read the Nutrition Facts label on food or learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrates in foods you eat.
• add the carbohydrate grammes from each food you eat to get your total for the day and each meal.
Starches, fruits, milk, and sweets contain the majority of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate sources with added sugars or refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, should be avoided. Instead, eat carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk
What should I avoid eating if I have diabetes?
Avoid eating pasta, white bread, and rice because they spike blood sugar levels quickly. Additionally, avoid eating any processed foods or candies.
What percentage of diabetes is reversible?
You can control your blood sugar levels by avoiding carbs and sweets. However, you will never be completely free of diabetes. Furthermore, if you develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life. To live a healthy life, you must maintain your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. Maintain your health by following a healthy diet plan, improving your lifestyle, and working out regularly.
Is a high protein diet good for a diabetic?
A high-protein diet reduces the rate at which blood sugar levels rise. However, it cannot be recommended for all diabetic patients. Because a high protein diet may increase the risk of complications in patients with kidney disease, heart disease, or obesity. It is thus advised to consume complex carbohydrates along with some proteins and fats.
Can a diabetic person consume alcohol?
No. High alcohol consumption lowers blood sugar levels, and severe hypoglycaemia is associated with dangerous effects on the body, including seizures, coma, and death. Occasional moderate drinking can have a significant impact on health.
How does exercise helps prevent diabetes?
Exercise aids weight loss, improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood pressure, and reduces insulin resistance, all of which assist diabetic patients in controlling their blood sugar levels.
Is rice good for diabetes?
I would suggest avoiding eating rice regularly. People who eat three to four servings of rice per day were 1.5 times more likely to have diabetes than those who ate the least amount of rice. Furthermore, the risk increased by 10% for each additional large bowl of white rice consumed per day.
Is banana good for diabetes?
Yes, Bananas are high in carbohydrates and fructose, a natural sugar that significantly raises blood sugar levels. In addition, they have a low GI and a high fibre content. So, eating bananas twice or three times a week, along with a variety of nuts and seeds, may help in blood glucose management.
What type of carbohydrate should I include in my diet?
Complex carbohydrates are preferred for diabetes because they are high in fibre and keep you satisfied for a longer period than simple carbohydrates, which digest quickly and have a low fibre content. They help in weight control as well as blood sugar monitoring.
A well-balanced, nutritious diet, combined with lifestyle changes, can help you gain control of your blood sugar levels and manage type 2 diabetes. Follow the Indian diet plan along with some physical activity to see positive results in your health. Implementing these suggestions will help you develop a healthy lifestyle in the long run, as well as act as a preventative measure against type 2 diabetes.
For fast results, it's always better you have proper guidance from health experts and nutritionists. For example, HealthAssure plan not only covers your OPD expenses but provides free doctor consultations and 1:1 wellness sessions with fitness experts and nutritionists. Visit our health plan and gift yourself a better health solution.
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