Diabetes, What should a diabetic eat?
If you have Diabetes, what happens in your body is that it does not produce or use insulin properly, leading to an unnatural rise in blood sugar.
It is important, with this condition, to take care of yourself for life, and a healthy diet can help maintain proper blood sugar levels.
The diet for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is almost the most fundamental part of managing the mood of the diabetic sufferer.
Also because blood sugar control prevents complications such as possible blood sugar.
An adequate nutrition plan for a person with diabetes should be supervised by a professional nutritionist.
This is because factors such as weight, the patient’s medication, lifestyle, or any other problem in the patient’s medical history must be taken into account.
However, this article will function as the guide that a diabetic can read to begin to internalize into the world of a healthy diet.
First steps to a healthy diet
- Limit any high-sugar foods.
- Eat throughout the day, small portions.
- Take care of the level of carbohydrates (bread, flour, etc.). Introduce into the body as wide a variety of whole foods as possible, as well as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid added sugar and take advantage of the sugar that comes naturally in food. A great example of this is the apple, which is naturally rich in sugars, important for the energy and vitality of the body.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages, salt, and fatty products should also be limited.
Recommendations to follow in diets for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes
It is an essential part of the treatment of people with type 1 diabetes and types 2 dietary adaptation. This, provided that it is well accompanied by the prescribed pharmacological treatment and the practice of regular physical exercise.
One might think that, if diabetes is caused by high blood sugar, just eliminating the sugar from your life would be enough.
But it turns out that carbohydrates, which contain high levels of glucose, aren’t just found in sugar. They are also present in starches.
Within the sugar we must avoid table sugar, sweeteners with fructose, fruit juices, milk, yogurt, sweets, sugary drinks, chocolate, and any type of pastry product, which has high flour content, therefore carbohydrates.
Starches are found hidden in foods that seem rather healthy, without excess sugars or salts, such as rice, pasta, potatoes, legumes, bread, cereals, and so on.
Recommendations about the level of carbohydrates in diabetes’s diet have changed over time.
This is why associations such as the ADA (American Diabetes Association) currently tell us that, depending on each person, a doctor or nutritionist may indicate both a low-carbohydrate diet and a high-carbohydrate diet.
In other words, carbohydrate needs are not always zero, but are adapted to personal physical characteristics and also to levels of physical activity.
A person who does physical exercise, unlike someone who is more sedentary, is more likely to consider a high intake of carbohydrates.
This happens because with the intensity of your physical activity it requires more energy and replacement of blood sugar.
This is why your nutritionist may increase the number of foods such as bread, rice, pasta, or legumes.
When a patient is being treated continuously with insulin or some type of oral medication, it is advisable to pay special attention to carbohydrate intake.
Pay special attention to keep it similar in each meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as this avoids imbalances that cause hypo or hyperglycemia.
Carbohydrate types and their characteristics
There are two types of carbohydrates, sugars (simple) and starches (complex).
These are grouped according to the size of the molecules that compose them.
There is always a tendency to think that the simple type, both in patients with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, raises the blood glucose level much faster than complex carbohydrates.
It’s not always like this, and it’s important to remember. Any food containing carbohydrates will increase blood glucose levels.
But there are some that do it faster, such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta or potatoes, which contain starch, because they are digested much faster and thus reach the blood faster.
This is different from whole-grain foods, such as rice, bread, or whole grains, which raise blood sugar slowly and progressively.
The latter also occurs, and to a greater extent, in the case of fruits, since they contain sugar naturally, i.e. not added.
This sugar is contained in the form of fructose, which undergoes a series of chemical transformations in the body before becoming glucose. This further slows down the blood sugar arrival process.
For this reason, it is recommended that the daily intake of sugar be made through this type of food and not those with added sugar or directly with table sugar.
As for artificial table-top sweeteners, there is a great deal of controversy about their use.
It is logical to think that, by not having sugar in large quantities and only emulating the sweet taste, a person who cannot ingest sugar can feel satisfied.
In addition, the entry of carbohydrates into the body is reduced immediately and very effectively, thus moderating the blood sugar level.
But beyond this, the artificial composition of table-top sweeteners may have harmful dietary elements for diabetics with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
This is because, in some cases, patients tend to abuse these sweeteners. These come with the indication to use only a few drops and put to their infusions large quantities, thus producing counterproductive effects.
Therefore, they are not officially indicated for patients with diabetes, but they do appear in stores as healthy or light products.
In addition, before eating any food, it is important to consider its components and read its nutritional information. This is because they could contain sugar in the form of fructose, even if it is not indicated on the front label.
This, although it has a slower breakdown in sugar and takes longer to reach the blood, if abused it can cause problems or breakdowns in patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Specifications to take into account in meal planning
First and foremost, consult with your doctor or registered dietitian, as each has their individual needs, and, as we saw before, diets vary. But here are some recommendations to keep in mind when shopping and planning your diabetic diet:
-Read the labels of every food you buy, so you can analyze the nutritional and protein content of everything you eat and make better choices.
-The dish method. It’s a visual guide that helps you choose the right amounts of each food you eat: half of the plate starch-free vegetables, a quarter of the plate starchy foods, and the other quarter of the plate a moderate serving of protein, for example, in meat food.
It is important to eat a wide variety of foods. This means including all food groups in every meal.
Recommended amounts per day
450 to 550 grams per day. Fresh or frozen vegetables, no sauces, no fat, no salt added.
Starch-free vegetables are dark green or deep yellow: cucumber, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, chard.
Those that should generally be avoided are those that contain starch: corn, peas, carrots, and so on. The potato is considered pure starch, as are white bread and white rice.
240 to 3330 grams per day. Dried, frozen, canned (always without added sugar), or dried fruit.
Apples, bananas, berries, cherries, fruit salads without too much orange juice, pears, pineapples, grapes, and so on.
If a patient with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes wants to drink juices, they should be 100% fruit and have no added sweeteners, sugars, or syrups.
150 to 180 grams a day. These are meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, peas, nuts, seeds, and processed soy foods.
It is always best to increase the frequency of fish and poultry, remove the skin from the chicken, and always select lean cuts of meat, always removing all visible fat.
Use olive oil and not corn or sunflower oil.
200 grams per day and always low in fat. Milk and yogurt always have sugar in them.
Finally, always keep in mind, in patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, not to consume more than a few tablespoons of oils or fats during the day.
They are not food groups, but they help the body if used in moderation to stay healthy and balanced.
Instead of regular fats, choose monounsaturated fats, which are found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. They don’t raise blood sugar as fast as starch.