Insulin is a hormone which aids the absorption of glucose in the cells so that the body gets the necessary energy to perform various activities. Some common types of diabetes affecting people
Diabetes Can Be Of Three Types:
Type 1 Diabetes– This is caused when the body fails to produce any amount of insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes –This happens when the body produces meagre amounts of insulin, or the insulin that is produced, is not working efficiently.
Gestational Diabetes – When a woman develops diabetes while she is pregnant, it is referred to as Gestational diabetes.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are everlasting. Patients suffering from the former are injected with insulin while people suffering from the latter, are treated mainly with tablets. Both the groups are recommended certain diets and exercise routines.
Women suffering from gestational diabetes, face risks of being exposed to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in later years. Diabetes, if not treated timely, may give rise to complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, retinal damage and various other complications.
Importance Of A Diet Chart For A Diabetic Person
A diabetes diet plan is a very important tool in combating diabetes. An efficient diet chart mentions exactly what food should be consumed in what proportions to control the calorie intake. Constructing a diabetes diet chart is not easy. The process is laborious and complicated which is why it should be done by a doctor or a certified dietician.
Certain parameters such as age, weight, height and gender of the patient, the intensity of the disease and the amount of physical activity done by him, are taken into consideration while formulating a diabetes diet chart. A diet chart is patient-specific as each body is different. It is often seen that two people in the same family follow the same diet as one of them goes to the doctor to get a diet chart made and the other just blindly follows the previous person’s diet.
This is very unwise and must not be done by anyone. The diet chart provided to a diabetic patient, must be followed sincerely. A diabetic must consume limited quantities of food at successive intervals. Fasting or too much of binging should be avoided by diabetic patients.
What To Eat?
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Rice eaters should substitute white rice with brown ones. Drinking plenty of water and unsweetened fruit juices keeps the body hydrated. Most fruits can be eaten by a diabetic person. However, the ones that have high sugar contents, like mangoes and bananas, should be avoided.
Garlic contains zinc and sulphur which constitute insulin. It also contains potassium and helps in regaining potassium that is lost due to urination. Bitter gourd is known to decrease blood sugar. Flaxseed enhances production of insulin. Swallowing fenugreek seeds with water early in the morning on an empty stomach is very helpful for diabetic patients.
Lots of fiber rich food should be incorporated in one’s diet. Kidney beans, soybean, oatmeal and apples contain soluble fibers which help in absorbing proper nutrients and slow digestion. When nutrients are absorbed slowly, glucose will be released slowly and this is beneficial for diabetic patients.
Skim-milk, yoghurt, lean meat, dried beans and whole-grain foods can be eaten by people suffering from diabetes.
What To Avoid?
A diabetic patient must not consume too much of spices and condiments. He should avoid eating oily food and food that contains too much of fat and cholesterol as they might cause heart diseases. Mayonnaise, butter, cheese, oil and ghee should be avoided. Alcohol is low in nutrients and high in calories and so one should cut down its intake.
Sugary food such as cold drinks should be totally avoided as they raise the blood sugar level drastically. One should try to have tea and coffee without adding sugar in them. The bottom-line is that people suffering from diabetes should consume as less sugar as possible. Also, salt intake should be cut down. One should not add excessive amounts of salt while cooking and should stay away from chips, snacks and other forms of fast food.
An Example Of A Diet Plan
Proteins, carbohydrates and fat intakes can be maintained efficiently with a 1200-1600 calorie plan. It is advisable to have 4 to 6 small meals. In an entire day, a person can consume 6 servings of starch, 2 servings of fruit, 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of meat or meat substitute, 2 servings of yoghurt and milk and a maximum of 3 servings of fat.
It is very important for the doctor or dietician to be aware of the tastes and preference of the diabetic patient while constructing a diabetes diet chart. This would help the patient to happily embrace the diet plan and successfully maintain the appropriate glucose level in the blood. A person should eat when instructed and maintain befitting eating habits. A diet chart must fulfil the nutritional needs of the body so that it can perform regular tasks with ease.
D-phenylalanine, Meglitinides and Sulfonylurea’s aid the pancreas in producing more insulin. Biguanides lowers the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Absorption of starches from the food we eat can be made to slow down by Alpha-glycosidase inhibitors. There are also oral diabetes medications available.
A diabetes diet chart makes sure that a person consumes the appropriate levels of carbohydrates, proteins and fat through his meals. These assist in the absorption and release of glucose in the blood. Blood sugar level should always be kept within a safe range of 70 to 120mg/DL before meals and should not exceed 180mg after meals.
It is necessary for a diabetic person to undergo some sort of physical exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling along with maintaining a strict diet. One should never discontinue taking his pills and insulin shots. Regular check-ups for blood pressure and blood sugar levels should be undertaken. All these will help a diabetic live a happy and carefree life.