Learn about Diet & Diabetes
Learn about diet tips and suggested dietary changes and selection of natural whole foods that diabetics can add to daily meal planning and eating as a strategy to manage diabetes mellitus.
How should diabetics eat?
Learn About Diabetes
Living with diabetes and managing diabetes is very much like living with, and managing, any health disorder. You must be proactive. If you were diagnosed with diabetes during childhood, likely type 1 diabetes, then you may already be used to getting advice about how to eat.
Although people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood sugar level often and take medications, often insulin injections, managing a healthy diet is very similar to managing diet and eating habits for all people who are interested in maintaining healthy body weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The very same is true of people managing type 2 diabetes. In fact, type 2 diabetes can be preventable like many associated health disorders and illnesses.
In short, many illnesses, diseases, and disorders can be prevented by living a physically active lifestyle and eating well balanced, nutritious foods. If diabetes cannot be managed by eating healthy food and engaging in regular physical activity alone, medications prescribed by your doctor, taken as directed, add to the successful management of diabetes.
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar should fall within a specific range, as suggested by your doctor. If you are monitoring your carbohydrate intake, it’s a good idea to be familiar with different types of carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates break down into sugar very quickly during digestion causing a higher blood concentration of sugar measured in your blood within a short period. These types of carbohydrates are called simple carbohydrates, they are essentially sugar and rank very high on the Glycemic Index. Carbohydrate foods that contain other nutrients including protein and fats, or contain fiber, break down more slowly in a comparable amount of time. This means that your body has time to utilize available nutrients in the bloodstream before additional insulin is produced to lower a higher level of blood sugar concentration. These types of carbohydrate foods rank middle to low on the Glycemic Index. Knowing what your blood sugar concentration or blood glucose range is — is vital to your health. A target blood sugar range for a person living with diabetes would be 70 to 130 before breakfast or your first meal of the day, 70 to 130 before lunch, dinner, or snack, and less than 180 two hours after a meal.
As mentioned in the video above, eating a well-balanced diet means that you eat a variety of foods containing essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber. A major portion, as much as half, or more, of your daily meals, should be in the form of fibrous carbohydrates. These types of carbohydrates are high in fiber. Vegetables, especially very dark leaf vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are very good choices. Beans, squash, avocado, blackberries, red raspberries are excellent fruits that are also valuable foods for their lower glycemic index and fiber contents. Grains including whole-wheat, steel-cut oatmeal and bran flakes are good choices because of their relatively moderate glycerin index, fiber content. and other nutrients content including fat and protein. And, if you eat foods that contain minimal saturated fats and protein or eat fats and oils that are actually healthy for you found in nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and olives, fresh fish such as salmon and sardines, very lean meats, poultry, and eggs you can bet you are consuming a well-balanced diet complete with all the nutrients you need to be healthy.
Now that you have a good sense of foods that contain healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein, building a solid meal plan can be accomplished with much less stress. As suggested by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse knowing what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat can help you to manage diabetes. Follow a specific schedule of eating and taking your medications, as prescribed by your doctor, can mean the difference between feeling good, losing or maintaining your ideal weight, and lowering your risk for heart disease, eye, nerve, and kidney complications, stroke, and other problems caused by diabetes or making your condition worse, risking additional health problems, and even dying prematurely.
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Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
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