Diabetes, Nutrition

Healthy Eating Habits with Diabetes

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Planning a diabetes menu plan may be confusing if you recently found out you have Type 2 diabetes. A diabetes diet balances protein, carbohydrates, and fats for your individual needs.

Diabetes is a condition which affects your blood sugar levels. Diabetics can’t produce enough insulin. Insulin helps your body use glucose for energy. Diabetics can often end up with high blood glucose levels. Unchecked blood glucose leads to all sorts of problems. Diabetes can lead to kidney disease, heart conditions, blindness and amputation.

This is why your diet is so important. Balancing nutrients can slow the absorption of glucose into your blood stream. You should limit your protein intake to between 15 and 25 per cent of the total amount of calories you consume. People suffering from diabetic kidney disease should aim for the low end for protein consumption. Higher levels could leave your kidneys stressed. About 25 to 35 per cent of your diet will be made up of fats. You will need to ensure your menu plan includes monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. Focus on products that contain the all-important omega-3 and omega-6 ingredient.

Fat used to be a main focus for people with diabetes. Modern advice includes eating unsaturated fat. Atlantic salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish will offer the Omega 3 fatty acids essential to your health. Omega-6 fats are found in flax and other seeds, nuts, and in many vegetables. Peanuts, cashews, olives and avocados are all good sources of heart protecting monounsaturated fats.

About 40 to 60 per cent of your diet will come from carbohydrates. Soluble fiber is found in beans, oats and fruit. Insoluble fiber is also important, and comes from skins and outer coatings of vegetables, grains, fruit, and legumes. .But it’s important to include as many complex carbohydrates as you can. This slows the release of glucose. This is also known as the glycemic index which measures the effect of foods on blood sugar levels.

Low glycemic foods can help people with pre-diabetes or diabetes. However, you still need to be careful which low and medium glycemic foods you eat. Fat and protein slows glucose absorption. But they aren’t always the healthiest choices. For example, chocolate is on the list of food with a medium glycemic index. So are potato chips and fries. But these are often high in cholesterol. They could heighten the risk weight gain and heart disease.

Some good examples of foods with a low glycemic index include pasta, and multi-grain bread. On the other hand, bagels and white bread have a high glycemic index. Sweet corn is low, while puffed rice cereal is high.

You should adapt your calories to the amount you should consume for your ideal body weight. Excess carbohydrates or fats end up accumulating as fat. But if you eat too much protein, your kidneys break it down and excrete it. High protein levels can make your kidneys work too hard. That can damage small blood vessels in the organ. For each kilogram you weigh, you should have about .55 grams of protein daily.

So how do you make sure you’re eating right? Try adding a serving of beans or lentils to your daily menu. You can have oatmeal for breakfast. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your cereal and into your pancake mix. Add cut up fruit to cereal or as a snack.

You should add fiber to your diet a little at a time. This way you don’t feel gassy. Make sure you are drinking lots of water. It is all about balance. You may find a registered dietician helpful as you try to put together a diabetic diet that works for you. Diet can go a long way toward improve blood sugar levels.

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