Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can lead to other health problems like heart disease. For some, it can lead to the development of mental disorders like depression. However, Type II diabetes may be prevented from becoming a full-blown case of diabetes through proper diet.
What is the best diet for people with diabetes?
Whether your goal is to prevent or control diabetes, the nutritional needs are similar, but you have to pay more attention to your food choices, specifically carbs. Regardless if you are following a strict Mediterranean diet or a heart-healthy meal plan, your goal should be to lose excess fat. So, how much should you try to lose? A great goal is to aim to lose approximately 5% to 10% of your total weight. Maintaining your ideal body weight can prevent your blood sugar levels from becoming unbalanced and can help maintain steady blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Every diabetic patient should aim to live a healthier lifestyle, meaning you become more conscious of the food items that you eat and become more active. This is a great way to help symptoms from worsening.
What is the risk among diabetic people?
The risk if you are diagnosed with Type II diabetes is being overweight and having most of the fat accumulate around your core belly area. Fats that surround your abdominal organs and liver are often associated with insulin resistance and that’s why anyone may be at greater risk of having diabetes if your waistline has:
- a waist circumference of 35 inches or more (for women);
- a waist circumference of 40 inches or more (for men).
Among the food products that you must avoid to prevent adding more weight around your belly are sugary beverages (soda, energy drinks, coffee, and sports drinks), processed products (candy, doughnuts, muffins, and even granola bars). Try to cut down the consumption of sugary foods to maintain a slimmer waistline and reduce the risk of diabetes.
What is the acceptable diabetic diet plan?
The diabetic diet plan need not be overly complicated. In fact, a person with diabetes can still enjoy eating his or her favorite foods provided the following practices are observed:
You can still satisfy your sweet cravings – Yes, definitely! Even a person with Type II diabetes can still have sweet treats, but with limitations.
The focus of good carbs – A person with diabetes can still have carbs as long as they are good carbs like whole grains (brown rice and quinoa), legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Avoid bad carbohydrates or anything processed like white bread and white rice because eating them could strip away the beneficial fiber that is vital in digestion.
A high-protein diet is the best – A high-protein diet, particularly animal protein, may lead to insulin resistance which is vital in diabetes. A healthy diet must comprise of protein, good carbs, and fats because these three elements are vital if you want your body to function well.
What food products to include more or less on your diabetic diet?
Eat plenty of:
- Healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, fish oils, avocado, and flax seeds)
- Fruits and veggies (the colorful the fruit or veggie the better; whole fruit instead of juices)
- High-fiber cereals, including whole grain bread
- Fish, organic chicken, or turkey
- Eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt
Eat less of:
- Food products high in trans fats like hydrogenated oils or deep-fried meals
- Fast food, particularly those high in sugar, baked goodies, sweets, and chips
- White bread, sugary cereals, refined rice, or pasta
- Processed foods including red meat
People with diabetes need not deprive themselves of enjoying a tasty meal as long as they aim for a healthy and balanced diet with the three essentials present (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). The bottom line is that you are in control when making your food choices, so make your health a priority.