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Living With Diabetes: The Nutritional Aspect

In our lifetime, we all must have come across people suffering from Diabetes- type 1 or type 2- the agony that they have to go through is unfathomable. The rising global epidemic of diabetes has a direct correlation to physical inactivity, improper eating habits and increase in obesity. Around 347 million people worldwide have diabetes and according to the WHO, diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by the year 2030.

Diabetes is a silent killer that can create havoc in your life, if untreated it can lead to irrevocable complications. Don’t make the mistake of treating diabetes casually as you will have to face repercussions. Diabetes can be controlled with medication, proper nutrition, weight loss, stress management, and significant lifestyle changes.

DiabetesRegular monitoring of blood glucose levels and a hemoglobin A1C test may help you avoid major long term complications like stroke, heart disease, eye and foot complications leading to blindness or amputation respectively and kidney disorders. Being diabetic also requires you to receive flu vaccinations  as one becomes more susceptible to these everyday ailments.

Diabetes and Your Diet   

To lose weight, you must eat correctly, in addition to being physically active. What you eat has a great impact on weight loss and is therefore of vital importance. Basically, diabetics should have a balanced meal plan that is nutritious, low in fat, and has a reasonable amount of calories keeping a check on your carbohydrate intake.Processed foods like cakes, soft drinks, chocolate bars etc. have sugars that cause fat accumulation around the abdomen forming the “spare tire”. This kind of fat is directly associated with insulin resistance and hence diabetes.

To keep blood glucose levels at an optimum level, as prescribed by your health practitioner, is of utmost importance to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) or hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). Carbohydrates, the most energy giving foods and high in sugars have a great impact on blood glucose levels, more so than proteins or fats, hence must be closely monitored.

By consuming foods that are high in fiber and have low glycemic index (how quickly a food substance is assimilated and converted into sugar) keeps your blood glucose levels from spiking and also keeps you full longer. Cutting down on juices, beverages, pastas, breads that are high in carbohydrates, and substituting it with healthy options, buying unsweetened products, and avoiding sweets when stressed out can all contribute to maintaining blood glucose levels.

Prevention is better than cure:

  • Proper meal planning- eat regularly, keeping the calorie intake almost the same at each meal
  • Replacing unhealthy fats with healthier options during food preparation can help combat diabetes.
  • Eating several small meals in a day and not missing out on breakfast is also a sensible approach.
  • Maintaining a food diary so that you know what you eat all day so that you can recognize where you are cheating on the calories.

Do you tend to overeat when you are worried or stressed out? Do you need to replace your snacks with something healthier? By being aware of your eating patterns, you can keep your blood glucose levels in control.

Consulting a dietitian/nutritionist to fully understand your individual calorie requirement depending on your age, gender, height and level of physical activity, can help you gain a better insight on dealing with your diabetes.

Zyana Morris is a passionate blogger who loves to write on trending health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a featured author at HealthableUplifting FamiliesInscriber Mag, Hello Mamas and few others. Her favorite quote “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”. You can follow her through Facebook and Twitter.

MFN Contributing Author

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