Diet For A Diabetic – Tips For Better Blood Sugar Control

diet

When it comes to diabetes, vigilance can sometimes eliminate the need of insulin as well as help you control your diabetes.   Most people with type II diabetes,  are not made aware of the severity of this diagnosis, are not given the tools or the options they have for better educating themselves to take care of it properly, so they will continue to  leave their care and control up to their quarterly office visit to the MD.   I see this time after time, especially with the elderly.  They are threatened with having to use insulin (the DREADED shot) if they do not maintain control, however, they are not told that most of the oral medications are more harmful to them, then insulin.   And it’s been  scare tactic that has worked, not to control their diabetes, but to make them fear the best control technique for them, the shot.

The food we eat and the activity we expend, directly affect our health in all ways.  This include the physical and mental well being.   A balanced and healthy diet control the spikes of blood sugar in the body thus alleviating  symptoms, however, not eliminating diabetes if it is present.  Blood sugar is glucose derived from the carbohydrates we eat. Some of these carbohydrates are broken down into glucose faster than others.  The ones which get broken down to glucose fast, or simple sugars, create a quick release of insulin  into the bloodstream, these  include white bread, polished rice and most of refined foods, pastas and starches.   Good carbohydrates, or complex carbs,  which get broken down slowly include brown rice, brown bread, sweet potatoes and foods with higher fiber content.  This is where the glycemic index is priceless,  to rate the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose in our body.

Foods with high glycaemic index value are bad for not only diabetics but to any one who is aiming for a healthy diet. Eating foods with low glycaemic index will stabilize the blood sugar and because of the fiber content, will make you feel full. This is an added benefit of weight management.  Another aspect of this surge of glucose in body is it creates a surge of insulin to counter it, meaning, from that corrective bolus of insulin, an impending low sugar (hypoglycemic) will result.  With this in mind, another favorite excuse for overweight diabetics to qualify why they ate that Snickers, is usually to alleviate the “low” they felt they were having.  Once they are informed that; 1. all the fat attached to that chocolate bar will slow down the absorption of glucose to help the low, and 2. once all the sugar does reach their bloodstream, their pancreas will release more insulin, creating another reason to have another candy bar.  This known as the “roller coaster” effect.

Almost 90% of those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, which is extremely unhealthy. A good way to reduce weight is by cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates and calories you are consuming, and also in taking more healthy fats to improve your glucose levels. If these steps are followed, you will definitely notice a difference in your weight.

There are others factors though aside from the type of diabetes they have. Some other factors include their sex, age, physical fitness level, height, weight, etc… So clearly, someone who is heavier will most likely need more calories than their counterpart who is lighter. Also, since physical activity burns calories, those with higher level of physical activity will most likely require more calories, and vice versa.  This, being another reason for careful and planned monitoring of your glucose levels, especially before and after activities.

Eat more raw foods including fruits and vegetables – Foods in their rawest and freshest form are the healthiest foods and are an important part of a diet for a diabetic. They are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, and complex carbohydrates all of which are a key part of blood sugar management.

Proteins can be another source of energy, which can be extracted from poultry, eggs, fish, nuts, and cheese. Not only are nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts sources of protein, they are excellent sources of fiber, too. Then, there are the fruits and vegetables, which should form an integral part of any meal, diabetic or not. They constitute the richest source of vitamins and minerals. Some vegetables like potato and sweet potato and fruits like mangoes, bananas, papayas and grapes, which are high in carbohydrate content, should be consumed in limited amounts. But other than these, fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a diabetic diet, and one should make it a point to have at least three servings every day.

Any diabetic diet will also include exercise in it. It’s vital to your health. We’re not talking about joining a health club, or sweating at the local gym. It can be going for brisk walks 4 times a week for 30 minutes.

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