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Diabetes Diet: Food for Diabetics


common diabetes myths: diabetes food is a myth
Here I come again with another piece on diabetes. As my research on diabetes and diabetes management continues, I will keep you posted on anything and everything I come up with. Today, I shall discuss importance of a dedicated diabetes diet.

Holistically following your diabetes diet list promises to be the best way to prevent yourself from the chain of complications often associated with this chronic disease. For diabetics, food choices are limited; however, you still need optimal amounts of nutrients and a balanced diet to stay fit and healthy. 

In simple words, you can manage diabetes if you know:

  • what to eat
  • when to eat
  • how much to eat


According to NIDDK, Target Blood Glucose Levels for Diabetes on an empty stomach should be 70 to 130. After 1 to 2 hours post meals, glucose level sould be 180.

You should go for AIC test every 6 months, which will give you a figure of the bloog glucose levels in your body for a period of 3 months.


Why Healthy Eating is Important for Diabetics
Most diabetic patients are of the opinion that if they are able to control their sugar intake, that's it, forgetting the importance of diabetes diet. Diet is crucial for health of diabetics. Undoubtedly controlling sugar intake is the key, but following a diabetic diet is equally essential to keep your blood glucose levels normal, keep yourself from other ailments, such as heart diseases and obesity, and maintain an ideal weight.

For diabetic patients, a proper diet is crucial to maintaining optimal health. Your diet should be a blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat while keeping a quantity check on all these important elements. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a nutritious diabetes diet and can significantly influence blood glucose levels.


Components of Diabetes Diet
For a diabetic patient, it all begins with choosing a proper diabetes diet. It is important to be careful in choosing food that would not raise your blood glucose levels drastically. Though there is no perfect food or diet for diabetes, the American Diabetes Association has come up with the following suggestions of diabetes foods that can help diabetics manage the disease:

1. Green leafy vegetables must form an essential component of a diabetes diet. For diabetics, the ADA recommends green beans, spinach, broccoli, squash, radish, lettuce, tomato, cauliflower, carrot, and cabbage.

2. Fruits, including grapefruit, berries, apples, rose apple, peaches, oranges, pears, strawberries, tangerines, and plum, have a low glycemic index than desserts and thus should form part of a diabetes diet.

3. Cereals, whole grains are considered good for diabetes patients. Harvard School of Public Health researchers suggest that a diet rich in rye, barley, wheat, brown rice, bran, and oats helps minimize the risk of diabetes. 

4. Dairy products, including low fat milk, yogurt, reduced fat sour cream, can be taken by diabetics.  According to a study published in the December 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, whole fat dairy products have certain properties that reduce risk of diabetes. 

5. Protein-rich foods, including fish, tofu, dried beans, nuts, lobster, cod, tuna, shrimp, salmon, should be taken in moderate amounts by diabetic patients.Studies show that too much of protein intake may result in insulin resistance, a key risk factor in diabetes. 



Increase Your Intake of Fiber Foods
Do you know what are the best foods for diabetes?

Well, frankly, there is no specific diabetes food out there. It all comes down to improving your metabolism.

According to American Diabetes Association, an ideal diabetes diet is one that follows a 60:30:10 ratio for carbohydrates, fat, and protein, respectively. 

Carbohydrate foods comprising dietary fiber, such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, are encouraged for diabetics, as these help control diabetes-related risk. Your diabetes diet should comprise a good portion of whole grain carbs, which are a good source of fiber and digested slowly. As a result, blood sugar levels can be controlled. Scientists believe that dietary fiber reduces the body's need for insulin, since it helps maintain blood sugar levels. Besides, it helps with weight loss and lowers risk of colon cancer.

A registered dietician is the best person to suggest you an appropriate nutrition plan for diabetes. There are several myths associated with diabetes diet; however, the best way to stay fit for a diabetic patient is to limit their intake, depending on individual needs. 

Successful diabetes management is about making timely assessment of your blood sugar levels and choosing a diabetes diet accordingly. 

Bottom Line: Importance of Diabetes Diet List
The importance of diabetes diet list lies in the benefits a diabetic derives from it. With no single diabetes diet list benefiting all diabetics equally, the selection of an appropriate diet depends on one's physical needs and sugar levels. A dietitian is the most appropriate person to recommend a diet depending on individual needs of a diabetic.

We will soon be coming up with diabetes recipes here. Keep watching the space.

References:

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