Everyone wants to maintain a healthy weight. Having diabetes means your excess weight makes it harder to control your blood sugar, and makes you more prone to complications. Losing weight can be challenging if you’re diabetic.
Following a diet is crucial for people with diabetes. If you choose the wrong diet, it could have dire consequences for your health. Avoid starving yourself and weight-loss pills. Many diets are advantageous for diabetics.
What Diabetics Should Eat
If you have diabetes, you have to focus on eating protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. You should also avoid processed carbs. Go for vegetable-based fats like olive oil, nuts, and avocado.
It’s important that you manage your carb intake. Talk to your doctor about your carb target number. Women should generally aim for 45 grams of carbs per meal, while men, 60.
The ADA has a complete list of foods that are best for diabetics. Some of their recommendations are staying hydrated and choosing noncaloric options like tea and water.
Foods To Avoid
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you should reduce your intake of these foods drastically: white rice, white pasta, fruits with sweeteners, apple sauce, jam, canned fruits, full-fat dairy, foods high in trans fats, and foods made with refined flour.
The Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension
This is also called the DASH plan. It was developed to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. It also reduces the risk of other diseases. It can also help you lose weight. The DASH plans tell people to reduce the portion sizes of their meals, and eat foods that are rich in blood pressure-lowering nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
It tells you to go for food like fish, poultry, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vegetable oils.
The prescribed sodium intake of the DASH plan is 1,500 milligrams a day. The plan also tells you to limit your sweets, beverages, and red meats.
The Mediterranean Diet
These consist of eating food that are found in the Mediterranean. Countries like Italy, Greece, and Morocco follow this diet. It’s successful in lowering glucose levels, reducing body weight, and reducing metabolic disorder.
Foods on this diet are poultry, salmon, fatty fish, eggs, artichokes, cucumbers, beans, seeds, nuts, and olive oil.
Red meat can be eaten once a month. Wine is also okay in moderation. The rule is not to drink on an empty stomach if you’re on insulin.
The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet posits that modern agriculture caused chronic diseases. Our ancient ancestors followed the paleo diet when they hunt and gather.
Foods in a paleo diet are meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as olive oil and coco oil.
The paleo diet is great for people with diabetes as long as they don’t have kidney disease. A paleo diet improves glycemic control for people with type 2 diabetes.
The Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten-free diets are necessary for people with celiac disease so they don’t damage their colon and body. Celiac disease is when your immune system attacks your gut and nervous system. It also leads to inflammation, and eventually, chronic disease.
Gluten can be found in foods like wheat, rye, and barley. According to the ADA, 10 percent of people with type 1 diabetes have celiac disease.
Talk to your doctor to get a blood test for celiac disease. If the test is negative, but you react adversely to gluten, you should still go on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free is not necessarily low carb though. Many foods are gluten-free and high-sugar.
The Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
A lot of diabetics follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. This means no meat is involved in the diet. For vegetarians, they still eat animal products like butter, eggs, and milk. Vegans do not. Including honey, gelatin, and milk.
Foods that are best for vegetarians are beans, soy, leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, fruits, and whole grains.
Vegetarians are in dire need of supplements, because a lot of these they don’t get because they don’t eat meat. Nutrients like calcium iodine, B-12, and zinc must be taken as supplements.
Aside from the right diet, diabetics also need to find the best exercise routine for them. Exercising can lower blood sugar, which helps avoid health complications.
If you see improvement with your health because you exercise, it doesn’t mean you should change your insulin dose without telling your doctor. Changing your insulin plan abruptly can lead to harmful effects on blood sugar, and may cause life-threatening consequences.
If you’re worried about your weight, tell your doctor or nutritionist. They need to help you with your diet and health needs.
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