Diabetes and food
Diabetes general description
Diabetes or as it’s named by doctors diabetes mellitus – is a group of metabolic diseases which includes high blood glucose because of inadequate insulin production or when body’s cells don’t accept insulin properly.
There are three types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes: people call it insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes because it has a factor of not producing insulin by body. This type of diabetes is not very common and only 10% of people having diabetes are suffering from type 1 of this disease. They would need to take the insulin injections for all their life. Also, they should care about blood-glucose levels and take regular blood tests to check it.
- Type 2 diabetes: the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or body cells don’t react properly to it, what is called insulin resistance. This type of disease is the most common and approximately 90% of all cases are type 2 diabetes. To the group of higher risk belong people with overweight or obesity problems. And the worst thing about this type of diabetes is that it might get worse even if you take care about diet, blood glucose levels and doing exercises. Usually, people having 2 types diabetes have to take insulin in tablet form.
- Gestational diabetes: it affects women during pregnancy if they have a high level of glucose and organism is not able to produce enough insulin in order to take the glucose to body’s cells, so the level of glucose is rising very fast. Gestational diabetes can be controlled by doing exercises and following special diet but in some case blood-glucose-controlling medications may be needed.
The main symptoms of diabetes:
- polydipsia, polyphagia, lethargy, stupor
- weight loss
- smell of acetone
- kussmaul breathing (hyperventilation)
- nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
- polyuria, glycosuria
Diagnosing the diabetes
To identify if the person has diabetes or no, doctors can advice you three different tests: the A1C test, the FPG (fasting plasma glucose) test, the OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test).
Possible complications related to badly controlled diabetes:
- eyes: cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy
- skin: skin infections and disorders
- heart: ischemic heart disease
- foot: neuropathy, ulcers, and gangrene
- mental health: depression, anxiety, mental disorders
- gum disease
- hearing loss
Controlling and treatment of diabetes
Controlling the weight
Diabetes lasts a lifetime and it can’t be cured, however, you might manage some treatment to get rid of symptoms combining exercises, regular diet and weight control.
The most important thing is to keep healthy lifestyles approaches during all your life. First of all, you should think about losing some weight, it doesn’t have to be all extra pounds, it’s enough to lose 5-10% from your general weight and it will make you blood sugar levels much lower as well as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
You are in higher risk for developing diabetes if you have obesity and your weight concentrated around abdomen mostly and not so much if it’s around hips and thighs. Because in first case weight is stored deeply surrounding abdominal organs and liver, when in second one – most of fat is stored close to skin.
Healthy food choices
Living with diabetes often can cause some inconveniences because it’s not easy to decide on food you should eat. But there is no need to feel that anymore as we will tell you how to make your ration healthy and helpful. Of course, it’s true that your food preferences matter a lot and you shouldn’t stint yourself in anything, but just let your simple healthy food list to coordinate you in food choices.
There are some hints for creating this specific list and we are going to share them with you.
Let’s start with bread and other grains products. It is important to note that carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levels and you have to be careful about them. In general, it’s good to limit food with high level of carbohydrates like white bread, rise, pasta, candies, soda etc. Choose instead high-fiber carbs (slow-release carbs) which keep normal blood sugar levels and are digested slowly what helps you stay full for a longer time and saves your body from producing insulin. So the best choice for the diabetic person with high-fiber carbs will be the bread made from the whole-grain flour such as wheat flour and as healthy grain we advise a brown rice. Also, it is very good to consume the food made from corn flour or even popcorn. But it’s better to cross out from your ration the white bread and white rice.
The most important is to have vegetables in your diet list especially fresh one or a bit steamed and include the greens, kale, lettuces, arugula, spinach. It’s not recommended to eat canned vegetables because of sodium or cooked with a big amount of butter, sauce, cheese.
The best way to avoid sodium is to eat fruits and in the same time to provide yourself by vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. And there are no doubts that fruits have more cars than vegetables. The best choices are fresh fruits or canned in fruit juice without sugar inside.
The ones who love meat can surely allow themselves to eat it, but don’t fry it and avoid higher-fat cuts, pork bacon, and poultry with skin.
The fans of milk products should be careful with it and choose low-fat products like yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream but do not go for regular one.
Besides food, it’s important to ingest healthy drinks like unflavoured water, light beer, unsweetened tea, black coffee, hot chocolate, a small amount of wine.
By the way, the experts used to specify some products which can be used in your list like broccoli, blueberries, steel-cut oats, fish, olive oil, cannellini beans, spinach, sweet potatoes, walnuts etc. And there are some who give more radical advice about trying to fight with diabetes via food, so they suggest choosing apples, avocado, barley, beans, beef, carrot, chicken or turkey, eggs, nuts, seeds, peanut butter and so on. Basically, these lists are similar and it’s up to you how to manage yours.
Not less useful is to take care about your glycemic index (GI) – measurement based on carbohydrates containing foods and tells how fast food turns into sugar in your body. High GI food raises your blood sugar levels quickly and the low one has very little effect. Almost all healthcare representations are using a «low», «medium», and «high» system of GI rating. So low GI is 0-55 grams of available carbohydrates, 55-69 is medium GI and 70 or more is high.
Beside this, you should measure the portions that you are going to eat. One of the effective and easy methods to control the amount of food you eat is the Plate Method. Put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side cut it again and you will have three sections. Fill the largest section with vegetables from the list above. Put grains and starchy foods in one of the small sections. In another one put some protein.
Don’t forget that diet will only be effective when you stick to the schedule. You can have a diet diary to follow your schedule, see your progress or any mistakes you should correct in future.
It is important to remember what you are doing this for and what quality of life you will receive after keeping to such kind of diet.
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