Diabetes And Diet

For the majority of people, if you don’t feel well, you just go to a doctor and he will make a diagnosis and fix the problem. Isn’t it simple?

However, some diseases can progress silently, without any warning signs to give you an early awareness that you need a help. One of them is diabetes.

There are almost 24 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States, and 25 % of them don’t even notice they have it.

What Is Diabetes?

When you digest the food, it is broken down into the type of sugar called glucose. Glucose gives powers and energy to cells. A hormone created in the pancreas called insulin carries the glucose from the blood stream to the cells. But,if your insulin level is too law or not working there is not enough insulin or the insulin isn’t working appropriately, the glucose is stagnated in the blood and cause rising of  blood sugar levels.

Diabetes can be divided into three major types;  type 1, 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 is caused by the pancreas failure to make insulin and is generally found in young adults, children, and teens. Gestational diabetes can happen towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy and most of the time goes away after the birth of a baby.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common one. People at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes are someone overweight,  not having  enough exercise, having family members with diabetes,  being Asian-American, African-American, Native American,  Pacific Islander or Latino, or woman  who had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a overweight who weighed over nine pounds; having hyperpiesia, having high triglycerides or low HDL level , and having prediabetes.

Why Is Diabetes Dangerous?

Claudia L. Morrison, outpatient diabetes program coordinator at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. explains “When diabetes is poorly controlled, your blood glucose levels go too high or too low, and it makes you feel sick. If diabetes is poorly controlled for a long time, it can end up with complications which affect the whole of your body”. The problems can happen with everything from your eyes, nerves to reproductive systems, kidneys, gums , and blood vessels. But the most dangerous problems are stroke and heart disease.

What Role Does Diet Play In Diabetes?

Elizabeth Ricanati, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 Program in Cleveland explains “What you eat can either help preventing  diabetes or promote it, according to  how it affects your  body to process glucose. You should avoid foods which increase blood sugar level and raise cholesterol, like high in saturated fats food, processed foods, foods with trans fats, and sugar loaded food”.

High fat or sugary food and processed foods can disturb the balance of glucose and insulin, causing inflammation, and it also can cause some of the risk factors like overweight.

You need to watch out the carbs intake as well. Although your body require them to fuel the body, some carbohydrates cause an increase of blood glucose levels. Morrison explains “The glycemic index measures how the food containing carbohydrate raises blood glucose. Foods items are ranked based on how they affect raising blood glucose compared to a key food item like white bread. Legumes and dry beans, non-starchy vegetables, and most of  whole-grain cereals  and bread are all low GI food”.

What Is a Healthy Diet For Diabetes?

What is a healthy diet for diabetes? It is actually  the same as a healthy diet for anybody. Make your portion size in moderate to avoid putting on weight, and include vegetables and fruits, whole grains instead of processed ones, lean meat and  fish, legumes and beans, and healthy oils. Cut down on  saturated fats and avoid high-calorie desserts and snacks such as cake, chips, and ice cream, and ban  trans fats altogether.

Try to exercise for half an hour on most days of the week and lose 5 to 10% of your weight, if you are overweight, it is very important to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Last of all, anyone with problems of frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, extreme thirst or hunger, blurry vision, fatigue or constant infections need to  see a doctor and get a blood test to check for diabetes. If you keep your eyes on carefully and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can keep diabetes under control.

Fiber – The Diet Workhorse

If you are intent on maintaining a diet and finding that it is rather difficult to keep off calories since you find yourself starving most of the time, you may just be lacking fiber. Scientists say that fiber is very useful for those losing weight since it keeps the body feeling full for longer periods of time. You will not get hungry as quickly as you would before and this can be quite vital if when you are trying to cut back on your consumption of calories.
Fiber is a carbohydrate. It, however, is not like any other carbohydrate. This is because it does not get broken down while in your digestive track. Other carbohydrates do not offer the same benefits. It leaves you more satisfied and does not result in the level of blood sugar spiking. It allows the sugar to enter your bloodstream system gradually.
In addition to being a great aid to your diet, fiber has very many health benefits. First of all, it lowers your body’s levels of cholesterol. It also improves digestion. In addition to this, it reduces the risk of contracting diabetes. You contract diabetes if your insulin levels spike. However, with the fiber maintaining the gradual flow of sugar into the bloodstream, it reduces incidences of spikes in insulin thus preventing diabetes.
Fiber helps the body a great deal by reducing constipation. Fiber is very important for the easy and comfortable movement of food through the gut and out. Without fiber in your system, you will find yourself suffering from constipation constantly. It also helps reduce the risk of inflammation of the intestines which is otherwise known as diverticulitis.
It is easily found inedible plant materials. It is also found in healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well. It is classified into two major groups. Some are soluble while the others are not. These two groups react differently in your body while they are being processed. The soluble type can be dissolved in water while the insoluble one canít.
It is most advisable that you get your daily dose of fiber from foods that you consume, rather than from supplements. Getting it in your system is good for your health. This, however, does not mean that you jump on the bandwagon and take in all you can all at once. It requires that you take it gradually and the slowly increase your intake day by day thus preventing side effects such as abdominal pains, gas, bloating and diarrhea.
With the right knowledge about the types of food that are fiber – rich, you can commence looking for ways to work them into your daily meal routine. You can make up your own ways for that to work or you can choose to follow the following tips. Having oatmeal for breakfast if topped with some fresh fruit can make sure that your fiber content is healthy. You may also opt to add vegetables to the dishes that you normally indulge yourself in.
Eating foods with fiber is very filling and one of the healthiest meals you can have. You can come up with countless tasty ways in which you can add fiber to your day. Before long, you will be reaping the health benefits.

Good Fats, Bad Fats

The body processes fats in a very complex way, which means that the classical wisdom that categorizes all fats as bad is not actually true.  Whether trans fat, unsaturated fat or saturated fat, the body needs some of these fats to maintain normal body functions. But considering a healthy body, then only specific types of fats should be consumed while others should be ignored. You might want to ask, which fats are good and which ones are bad?

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Medical experts recommend the use of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats because they are healthy. However, saturated fats are also useful to the body but should be consumed in a moderate way as explained by Alexa Schmitt, RD, a Massachusetts-based Clinical Nutritionist at The Massachusetts General Hospital. Schmitt also emphasized that trans fats should not be consumed because they have a tendency of raising the level of cholesterol in the body.

Certain low-density lipoproteins cholesterol is a major source of heart disease, stroke, and other health complications. Determining which type of fats are good or bad does not need a lab test, Schmitt acclaims that those fats that are solid or semi-liquid such as margarine or butter are not good while those that are liquid at room temperature such as olive oils are good fats.

A clear explanation of opting for better diet with unsaturated fats and low trans fat content is as follows:

Monounsaturated Fat

You can obtain these healthy fats from natural sources such as avocados, olive oils, nuts, canola oil etc.

Tip. When preparing a bagel, spread some avocado instead of cream cheese and also when adding flavors to mashed potatoes, use garlic and olive oil in place of butter.

Polyunsaturated Fat

This is another form of unsaturated healthy fats. They are categorized into two types namely, omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats. You will probably get plenty of omega-6 fats from your daily vegetable oils but omega-3 fats are rare. Schmitt advice people to obtain omega-3 fats from some fish such as tuna or salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Tip. When preparing for your morning cereal or oatmeal, add in a handful of walnuts or if you have flaxseed, then add a tablespoon. In some cases where you bake some cookies or muffins, remember to boost your omega intake by adding ground flaxseed to the recipe.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats include a variety of sources that are common to almost everyone. These includes salami, red meat, dairy products, coconut oil and kernel oil.

Tip. You can take some little steak though you should strive to keep the fat content as low as 10% in your diet.

Trans Fat

Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to oils in order to solidify and hence have a longer shelf life. Any hydrogenated fats are actually trans fats. The major source of trans fat is cookies, processed foods, crackers, etc.

Tip. Governmental regulators such as Food and Drug Administration permits food processors and manufacturers to state that their products do not contain trans fat and if it does contain, the maximum allowable quantity should be 0.5 grams per every serving. When you buy any processed food, you should take some time to observe whether the food is labeled partially hydrogenated or just hydrogenated. If you are tempted to buy one, make sure you donít consume more regularly as they would accumulate with time.

The Bottom Line

When purchasing food, be vigilant and have some useful information about the foods you eat including their hazards. The best place to do a healthy shopping is within the bounds of grocery stores. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and some lean cut meat and you are ready to go.