Carbs Can Be Part Of A Healthy Diet
Because the body turns carbohydrates into glucose, eating carbohydrates makes blood sugar levels rise. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid carbohydrates if you have diabetes. Carbohydrates are a healthy and important part of a nutritious diet.
Some carbohydrates have more health benefits than others, though. For example, whole-grain foods and fruits are healthier choices than candy and soda because they provide fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Fiber is important because it helps you feel full and keeps your digestive system working properly. In fact, eating lots of fiber can even help to slow the body’s absorption of sugar when eaten together with sugar in the same food. Everyone needs fiber, and most people don’t get enough. Some experts think that people with diabetes should eat more fiber than people without diabetes to help control blood sugar.
Sugary foods, like soda and candy, don’t usually have fiber and typically contain “empty calories.” That means they have calories but little nutritional value, and eating too many of them might leave little room for healthy foods. Eating too many empty-calorie foods can also make a person more likely to be overweight or obese. These foods can also cause tooth decay.
What Is A Paleo Diet
Paleolithic diets include a moderate amount of protein, and have gained a lot of attention recently. The theory behind this dietary pattern is that our genetic background has not evolved to meet our modern lifestyle of calorically dense convenience foods and limited activity, and that returning to a hunter-gatherer way of eating will work better with human physiology. This has been studied in a few small trials, and it does seem beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
The Paleolithic diet is based on:
- Lean meat
- Any extra addition of salt
The Paleo Diet doesn’t specify macronutrient balance or caloric intake goals.
In reality, when people in a study followed the Paleolithic diet, it turned out the diet was lower in total energy, energy density, carbohydrates, dietary glycemic load, fiber, saturated fatty acids, and calcium but higher in unsaturated fatty acids , dietary cholesterol, and several vitamins and minerals. Research also demonstrates that people with diabetes are less hungry, have more stable blood sugar, and feel better with lower carbohydrate diets.
Diets Used With Caution For People With Diabetes
Extreme diets may put you at risk, depending on which diabetes medications you may be taking or if you have other medical issues in addition to the diabetes, says Dunn.
Here are her suggestions of what to avoid.
1. Low or no-carb diets. Using insulin or taking a sulfonylurea and avoiding carbohydrates can put you at risk for low blood sugar. If you do want to follow this kind of diet, you should definitely check with your physician first.
Depending on how low the carbohydrates are in the diet, your doctor may ordermonthly lab work to rule out low potassium or magnesium or elevated lipids or uric acid levels, says Dunn.
2. Intermittent fasting, extreme calorie reduction or skipping meals. Any diet that promotes fasting for long periods can cause low blood sugar. Even if you arent taking medication for your diabetes, its important to maintain consistent eating patterns for weight management and blood sugar control. Be aware of how much you eat at any one time to avoid spiking your blood sugar.
Any diet that encourages very low caloric intake can also increase the risk of low blood sugar and reduce muscle mass. This diet should also be supervised by a physician.
What You Need To Know About Eating With Diabetes
How much do calories matter? For people with diabetes, the exact number of calories to consume each day is based on the amount and timing of food that assures you can youre your blood sugar levels stable and your weight within a healthy range. That number can change, depending on your age, activity level, frame size, current versus preferred weight, and other factors.
When the goal is a healthy weight and blood sugar control, a good starting point for a woman is 1,400-1,600 calories a day, with main meals containing up to 30 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, and snacks containing 10-20 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, Ms. Zanini advises. For men and more physically active women who are already at a healthy weight, you may start with a 2,000-2,200 calorie meal plan, in which you may increase proportionately your carbs.
Recent research suggests that by eating a big breakfast, and a modest lunch, so you get most of your calories in by 3 pm, you will find it easier to lose weight and achieve better blood sugar control.
You Can Control Your Thinking And Response
A turning point in my frustration level came once I realized that there is one thing I can control in life. That is how I think about and respond to the ups and downs.
For me, managing my mental game is as important as taking medication and practicing healthy habits. Paying attention to my thinking puts me in the drivers seat. Once I make a choice or decision, Im more confident in my outcome.
When I find myself feeling discouraged, frustrated, or even burned out, there are four main things I do to get back on track. You can give them a try and see how they help you.
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Special Considerations For Type 1 Diabetes
Nutrition recommendations for a healthy lifestyle for the general public are also appropriate for persons with type 1 diabetes. What differs for individuals requiring insulin is the integration of an insulin regimen into their lifestyle. With the many insulin options now available, an appropriate insulin regimen can usually be developed to conform to an individuals preferred meal routine and food choices. For persons receiving intensive insulin therapy, the total carbohydrate content of meals is the major determinant of the premeal insulin dose and postprandial glucose response. For persons receiving fixed insulin regimens and not adjusting premeal insulin doses, consistency of carbohydrate intake is recommended.
Improved glycemic control with insulin therapy is often associated with increased body weight. Because of the potential for weight gain to adversely affect glycemia, lipids, blood pressure, and general health, prevention of weight gain is desirable. Although the carbohydrate content of the meal determines the premeal insulin dose, attention should also be paid to total energy intake from protein and fat.
What Is High Blood Cholesterol
High Blood Cholesterol is also known as fatty blood or a disorder of the metabolism of lipids in the blood. This is a condition where the fat components in the blood have exceeded the allowable limit and lead to disorders of lipid metabolism functions in the blood.
The indicators of fat components in the blood such as: Total cholesterol below 5.2 mmol/L, LDL Cholesterol below 3.3 mmol/, Triglycerides below 2.2 mmol/L, HDL Cholesterol above 1.3 mmol/L are normal. When these indicators change higher, it shows that you are showing signs of high cholesterol.
High blood fat, if not treated in time, blood fat deposits in the artery walls, causing atherosclerosis, even cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident
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Examples Of What To Try
- sliced melon or grapefruit topped with unsweetened yogurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast
- mix carrots, peas and green beans into your pasta bake
- add an extra handful of peas to rice, spinach to lamb or onions to chicken
- try mushrooms, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and lettuce for lower carb vegetable options
- try avocados, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, peaches and watermelon for lower carb fruit options
Planning A Diabetes Diet
A diabetic diet doesnt have to be complicated and you dont have to give up all your favorite foods. The first step to making smarter choices is to separate the myths from the facts about eating to prevent or control diabetes.
|Myths and facts about diabetes and diet|
|Myth: You must avoid sugar at all costs.|
Fact: You can enjoy your favorite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesnt have to be off limits, as long as its a part of a healthy meal plan.
|Myth: You have to cut way down on carbs.|
Fact: The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since theyre high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.
|Myth: Youll need special diabetic meals.|
Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the samewhether or not youre diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.
|Myth: A high-protein diet is best.|
Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.
As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.
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What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes
Foods and drinks to limit include
- fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- foods high in salt, also called sodium
- sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.
Sugar Intake And Diabetes
People with diabetes who follow a healthy eating pattern can include a small amount of sugar in their diet. However, the sugar should be eaten as part of a nutritious meal. For example, one teaspoon of honey with plain porridge, tinned fruit in natural juice and some types of high fibre breakfast cereals with dried fruit, such as natural muesli.
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Fat Consumption And Diabetes
All fats are high in energy. Eating too much fat can lead to weight gain, which may make it more difficult to manage your blood glucose levels and can increase blood fats . The type of fat you eat is also important. People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing heart disease, so try to eat less saturated fat and replace with healthier unsaturated fats.
Foods high in saturated fat include meat fat, full-fat dairy foods, cream, solid cooking fats , oils such as palm and coconut, and products that contain these fats .
When you do eat fats, choose mainly unsaturated fats, these include:
- polyunsaturated fats and oils found in, sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed and sesame oils. Also found in oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sardine, salmon and tuna, as well as nuts, seeds and polyunsaturated margarines
- monounsaturated fats and oils found in canola and olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and canola or olive oil margarines.
Dairy Foods And Alternatives
Milk, cheese and yogurt have lots of calcium and protein in great for your bones, teeth and muscles. But some dairy foods are high in fat, particularly saturated fat, so choose lower-fat alternatives.
Check for added sugar in lower-fat versions of dairy foods, like yoghurt. Its better to go for unsweetened yoghurt and add some berries if you want it sweeter. If you prefer a dairy alternative like soya milk, choose one thats unsweetened and calcium-fortified.
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Stay Safe When Blood Glucose Is High
If you have type 1 diabetes, avoid vigorous physical activity when you have ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are chemicals your body might make when your blood glucose level is too high, a condition called hyperglycemia, and your insulin level is too low. If you are physically active when you have ketones in your blood or urine, your blood glucose level may go even higher. Ask your health care team what level of ketones are dangerous for you and how to test for them.Ketones are uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes.
Why Diet Is Important For Diabetics
What you eat has a direct impact on your glucose levels, making diet an incredibly important part of managingor even preventingdiabetes. A healthy diet, which includes what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat, can keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
In fact, studies show that while insulin or oral medications are often required to treat diabetes, good blood glucose level control is unlikely to occur with medicine alone and requires a healthy dietOlabiyi F, Oguntibeju O. The Role of Nutrition in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus Insights and Perspectives. 2013. .
While there are no forbidden foods, certain foods that are high in sugar can clearly raise your blood sugar levels and should be limited, says Ruth S. Horowitz, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Maryland.
Limiting the quantity of foods that have high glycemic content that raise glucose levels quickly, such as pasta, white rice, white potatoes, corn and large amounts of breads, will help keep glucose levels in control, says Dr. Horowitz.
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The Biggest Risk For Diabetes: Belly Fat
Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are:
- A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more
- A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more
Calories obtained from fructose are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lower risk of diabetes.
When Youre Managing Diabetes And Prediabetes Your Eating Plan Is A Powerful Tool
But figuring out what to eat can feel like a hassle, right? Well, it doesn’t have to because there are easy things you can do to add flavor to your daily routineincluding healthy twists on your favorite foods.
One key to feeling your best lies in the food you eat. You can start by working with a registered dietitian nutritionist to make an eating plan that works for you. In it, be sure to include the foods you likeand dont be afraid to try something new.
Most importantly, remember that eating welland adding activity to your daily routine by moving moreare important ways you can manage diabetes. And were here to help you every step of the way.
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Basic Eating Guidelines For Diabetes
If you have diabetes, follow a simple healthy eating plan, which includes:
- Eat regular meals throughout the day.
- Make vegetables the main part of your meal. Aim to fill at least half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables or salad at both lunch and dinner time.
- You may need to reduce the serving size of your meals and snacks, as eating too much can lead to weight gain and make diabetes harder to manage.
- Don’t add salt when you cook or at the table and reduce the use of high-salt foods.
- Use herbs and spices to add flavour to your food.
- Limit alcohol to 2 standard drinks per day, with some alcohol-free days each week.
Which Diet Is Right For Diabetes
Many diets claim health benefits. But newer guidelines for people with type 2 diabetes say that there is not just one diet for diabetes management that a variety of eating styles can work. How do you choose whats right for you?
Before you decide to commit to a particular diet, heres some tried-and-true tips:
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables things like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Raw or cooked vegetables or salads its hard to eat too many of this food group. Eat them at meals and for snacks.
- Minimize added sugars and refined grains. Choose cereals and breads without added sugars or very low in added sugar, and drink water as your main beverage.
- Choose whole foods over highly processed foods as much as possible. Look for whole grains over refined grains. Avoid or eat less from boxed mixes, breaded and deep fried foods, or those with heavy gravies and sauces.
There many diets out there that you can look to for weight loss. But our list highlights a few better diets, two you should approach with caution, and diets to avoid altogether if you have diabetes.
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