A diabetic person’s body is unable to breakdown sugar. This happens because production of insulin is less or due to insulin insensitivity, which in turn spikes sugar in your blood. Elevated sugar levels damage vital organs like kidneys, heart etc. Your quality of life can be hampered because of poorly managed sugar levels. An ideal way for keeping diabetes under control is by managing the quantity of sugar through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
Nutrition in diabetes
When it comes to nutrition, one thing that diabetics need to be careful about is cutting down on foods that raise blood sugar or glucose. These are called high glycemic index foods. The glycemic index is the ability of food to raise blood sugar in the body.
Note that, ‘bad’ carbs are the highly processed carbohydrates like polished rice, white flours and semolina or sooji with high glycemic index. Whereas, the ‘good or healthy’ carbs are those that contain more nutrients like minerals, vitamins and fibre and low glycemic index and include fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
Be careful about the fats that you eat
Healthcare professionals usually concentrate on blood glucose management. However, these days diabetes management is focused on various other aspects. More people with diabetes are likely to die of heart disease than of diabetes. Hence, diabetes nutrition management today emphasises not only on glycemic control, but also on the management of blood pressure, lipids, and other risk factors that may harm your heart’s health.
Tips for diabetics to optimise nutritional intake:
Begin your day with a good breakfast.
To help your body use insulin better, make sure you eat small frequent meals instead of 3 large meals at regular intervals.
Increase fibre intake in your diet.
Red meats contain saturated fats, so avoid them.
Say no to baked foods and processed snacks as they contain trans-fats.
Take out time to exercise everyday. It helps in managing both your weight and insulin sensitivity.
Go for more of monosaturated fats that are present in avocados, nuts and olives.
Through these ways a diabetic can optimise his or her nutritional intake and avoid various complications associated with poorly managed blood sugar levels.