Best Foods for Diabetics: Good and Bad Foods in Diabetes
Best food for diabetes
There isn't "another" best food for diabetes other than the regular food but with slight modifications . Many people don't know the importance of having healthy eating habits, specially in diabetes milletus. Needless to say, there is a very strong bond between diabetes and obesity (I'm talking about type 2 diabetes or NIDDM) that doctors nowadays call it "diabesity".
Symptoms of type 2 diabtes (specially the mild disease and those who discover it early) can be controlled by diet only without the need to drugs. Diet is a basic item in the treatment of diabetes in all persons. Proper eating and tight glycemic control have many benifits and can reduce complications and symptoms to minimal levels. There are some recommended and other foods to be avoided. On the other hand, ignoring the doctors instructions regarding diets and treatment can lead to serious complications that could have been prevented with some patience and compliance.
Benifits of a good diet and foods to avoid in diabetes
Diet alone can control NIDDM in many people (specially overwight people). A good diet helps you maintain ideal body weight and blood sugar levels.
Caloric supply should be kept compatible with insulin and medications. It's recommended that 50% of the calories are obtained from carbohydrates, 20% proteins and not more than 30% from fats. Meals should be spaces and not very large. This can help prevent glucose levels from falling or rising acutely.
It's important to avoid high cholesterol foods and saturated fats as diabetic patients have more risk of developing vascular and coronary heart diseases.
Exchange tables and list are very useful to show the calories contained in each type of food.
Fibers are said to have many benifits as to provide satiety and normalize the bowel movement. It's also important to supply vitamins B & A in diet and to keep regular exercising as to help glucose uptake by cells.
1- Simple sugars (monosaccharides) and candies are to be avoided. The reason is that these produce "spikes" in your blood sugar levels which are not healthy. You want your blood sugar levels to be stable and maintained over longer periods of time rather than to have it suddenly go up or suddenly go down.
Remember when drinking cold or hot beverages including tea, coffee etc to cut down or avoid adding any sugar. Most of what is advertised as "natural juice" will always have added sugars to them so try to make your own juice or choose a low sugar or sugar free version. The same applies to yoghurt, milkshakes, etc.
The number one on the things to avoid list. Alcohol has many calories and it increases the side effects of drugs, such as hypoglycemia (yes alcohol can eventually lead to very low blood sugar) and lactic acidosis (in biguanides medications).
3- Saturated fatty acids:
On the opposite side, unsaturated fats present in vegetable oils such as olive oil are healthier to the body.
4- Smoking. I know it is not a food, but smoking adds to the overall cardiovascular risk and increases the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases as well as strokes and dementia.
So let's summarize the best foods for diabetics and the type of diet for them :
If they avoided the above mentioned foods, diabetic patients can eat the regular food just like everyone but in the right amount that give them enough calories. When eating carbohydrates (carbs), focus on things that are rich in fibers as they get digested over longer periods and keep your sugar levels stable.
The doctor/nutritionist will help you calculate the daily caloric requirement for your body according to your weight, activity and dose of medication. Exchange tables helps you to know how many calories are in each food.
Focus on healthy foods as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, try to have 20-30 grams of fibers daily, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and bran are fiber rich foods. Check the sugar content in fruits by searching by the fruit name + sugar content or "glycemic index". Some fruits have more sugar than you think!
Try to eat multiple small meals instead of 1 or 2 large meals per day, this will help prevent rapid changes in blood glucose levels. It's important to remember avoiding foods with high cholesterol. Alcohol and monosaccharides should be avoided, too.