Diabetes being the widely spread condition that it is, there is constant research going into the field. While new medicines and treatment plans may always be on the horizon, there is an indisputable factor to its effective management – diet.
Unless you are genetically predisposed to it or is diabetic due to hormonal changes, your condition is majorly lifestyle-related. Diet and physical activity are the cornerstones of this and hence making even small changes in your diet can have a major impact on your management outcome.
Keep reading to know more about the dietary implications of diabetes, the change that can occur due to diet change, and your best approach for achieving your dietary goals.
Diabetes And Diet: The Relationship And Dependency
A healthy diet under the guidance of an expert doctor is a powerful tool in managing your diabetes. Diabetes is closely associated with your diet – particularly to your body glucose levels. Owing to this, overconsumption of glucose producing food can affect your diabetes. The blood glucose in the body is usually used for producing energy, and insulin – the hormone production by the pancreas – helps in this. But when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, the blood glucose stays unprocessed.
Having too much glucose in the body for a longer period is diabetes and it can lead to further complications. Eating certain food and avoiding others can help in regulating your diet and ensuring your diabetes continues to be managed well.
What Happens To A Diabetic Body on A Balanced Diet
Following a diabetes-focused diet doesn’t imply eating bland food, or completely giving up on your favourites. Rather, it calls for a balanced diet that involves all major food groups and allowing the body to do its natural process.
Sugar and starchy carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar levels and need to be consumed only in the right portion, as part of a meal plan. Doing so will help in regulating the need for insulin, and reducing the amount of it required by the body. The carbohydrate level needs to be carefully monitored in diabetes patients as the requirement is highly individual and will vary based on a number of factors. Keeping an eye on this, and balancing out each of your meals throughout the day with a mixture of necessary nutrients will help in regulating your blood glucose level and prevent steep changes in its numbers.
Limiting your carbohydrate intake to 1/4th of each meal is a recommended guideline to follow. Some further guidelines include consuming more fruits and vegetables, eating more lean proteins, avoiding bad fats, choosing food with less added sugar and avoiding those that are highly processed.
What To Eat And What To Avoid While Being Diabetic
No matter where you are from, or what diet you follow, there are some indisputable food items to include in a healthy diet. This includes leafy greens that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and healthy plant-based proteins like beans and legumes. The first include spinach, kale, cabbage, and broccoli, which can be added to salads, or to stir-fries to add more flavour and will help you stay fuller for longer.
Replacing your simple sugars with whole grains will also help fill you up, curb your glucose cravings and pack in a nutrient punch. This includes high fibre variants of grains like whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, bulgar and such. Eating fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also a helpful addition to your diabetic diet. These nutrients will also help promote other healthy body functions related to your heart and brain health. Citrus fruits are also considered as a great source of certain bioflavonoids which are antidiabetic in nature. Being diabetic is never any reason to give up on eating wholesome meals.
Work with your disease management team to come up with a nutrition plan which is balanced and includes all the necessary nutrients. This can help in maintaining your calories, meeting your body’s nutrient requirements and keeping your blood glucose stable. Relying on a digital health assistant like Phable to track your calorie intake, and keeping your doctor informed of it is an innovative and effective way to ensure your adherence to the recommended lifestyle changes.
After all, the following are the end goal of a diabetes diet – to stabilize your sugar levels, to provides you with sufficient nutrition and to ensure you keep coming back for more.
Phable is an innovative lifestyle disease management app simplifying life for patients & doctors through health monitoring and doctor intervention.
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