Diabetes Basics

Diet Facts to Help You Control Diabetes

Diabetes, or high level of sugar in bloodstream, is not an incurable disease. Though it is impossible to eradicate the disease from an individual's body, there are ways in which the ailment can be controlled. One of these ways, in fact the most important of these ways, is a diet plan for diabetes. A diet developed specifically for diabetics can definitely help in controlling it.

The Objectives of Diabetes-centred Diet

The main objective of a diet to control diabetes can be summarised in the following points:

* Bring about weight loss through reducing calorie intake.
* Based upon the type of diabetes preparing a personalised guideline on the intake of carbohydrates.
* Lower down the consumption of harmful compounds such as saturated fats (found in dietary fat).

Diet for Diabetics- Their Types

Diabetes is of two types- Type 1 and Type 2. It is important to recognize this distinction while preparing a diet plan for diabetics. Important points vis-a-vis both types of diabetes are explained below.

Type 1:
In Type 1 diabetes it has been seen that reducing the amount of carbohydrate consumed can help the body manage blood sugar levels (with whatever amount of insulin it produces) quite easily. Additionally, some physical exercise can help bring down blood sugar levels under manageable levels.

Type 2:
It has been seen that in Type 2 diabetes a person tends to gain weight increasingly. Hence, weight loss should be the objective of a diet meant for Type 2 diabetes. In such case, the diet has to be lower than usual on calories and care should be taken to replace carbohydrate and saturated fat content with monosaturated fats.

Further, the size of serving of foods rich in monosaturated fats (such as almonds, peanut, walnuts, and other types of nuts) should be small as they are also high in calories. For Type 2 diabetes, reducing the amount of calories consumed and doing some vigorous exercise can help one attain improved levels of blood sugar.

General Guidelines on Diet for Diabetes

Carbohydrates: Stop focusing on the amount of sugar and start checking out the carbohydrate content of things which you eat. Switch to whole grains and cereals and increase the amount of dietary fibre in your diet.

Fats: Dietary fat and partially hydrogenated fats is something which should be minimized in the diet. In fact, they can be replaced with monosaturated fats which are healthy as well. However, care should be taken that they provide only 7 per cent of the total calories required.

Sugar: Reduce the intake of foods rich in carbohydrate and sugar. If you still crave for a sweet-tooth, start eating fruits.

Protein: Protein should make up 15 to 20 per cent part of your meal. However, eat only those sources of protein which are low in fat. Legumes, low or no-fat dairy products, fish, skinless poultry and lean meats are some options which you can include.