Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations. The goal is to achieve and maintain blood glucose levels in normal range, to prevent or at least slow the rate of development of the chronic complications of diabetes by modifying the lifestyle and nutrient intake. One can create a great difference with healthy lifestyle modifications.
Blood glucose levels after eating are determined by the rate of appearance of glucose from carbohydrate digestion and absorption into the bloodstream and the ability of insulin to clear the glucose from the circulation. A low carbohydrate, fiber rich diet may help in lowering the postprandial blood glucose. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
Protein stimulates the release of insulin and may help in achieving adequate glycemic control. Include high biological value or first class protein in the diet such as chicken, eggs and fatty fish.
If you are overweight, losing a few pounds may help in achieving a good glycemic control. Weight loss can be achieved by following a healthy diet and a strict exercise regime. Exercise also helps to reduce insulin resistance and improves insulin sensitivity which improves the blood glucose levels. Exercises such as walking, bicycling, jogging and swimming should be performed daily for at least 30 minutes.
Do not deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite food. A diabetic can eat all types of food in right amount and proportion. It is not necessary to completely avoid sugar. Diabetics can still enjoy their dessert in small amount and proportion combined with exercise.