The Dietary Management of Diabetes

Diet and Diabetes

With yesterday being World Diabetes Day, there was a big hype on my Facebook feed about diabetes and what it means to live well with Diabetes. Helping people with Diabetes to find their way forward and to rediscover their hope and zest for life, has always been a passion of mine. With continued support and encouragement, living well with Diabetes doesn't have to be a daunting task.


We all have sugar in our blood in the form of glucose. The sugar in our blood comes mainly from the food we eat. When we eat, our food is digested and released into the blood as simple sugars, amino acids and fatty acids. Glucose is the most common form of sugar that is released into our blood
and is responsible for raising our blood sugar levels. It is normal for our blood sugar to rise after eating, but in diabetes it rises higher than is considered normal. In response to this rise in blood sugar, insulin is released from the pancreas. The job of the insulin is to move the sugar out of the blood and into the cells so that it can be used for energy. When someone has diabetes there is either not enough insulin being produced or the cells are not able to use it. This results in the blood sugar levels rising higher than ideal.


In order to combat this it is important to follow a healthy eating plan. There is no such thing as a “diabetic diet”, it is simply a healthy, balanced diet that helps to maintain your blood sugar levels within the normal range. If you are overweight, it is important to lose weight and achieve a healthy BMI. Abdominal fat inhibits the action of insulin and therefore contributes to raised blood sugar levels.

A healthy diet should include foods from all of the food groups i.e. Energy foods (carbohydrates and fats), Protective foods (fruit and vegetables) and Body building foods (Protein). The ideal ratio varies from one person to another.

Starches
  • Carbohydrates: Since carbohydrates are the primary source of blood sugar, the intake of starchy foods needs to be carefully controlled. It is important to focus on low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates that help to maintain your blood sugar levels within the normal range. These include low GI bread, sweet potatoes, and long-grain rice. High GI foods tend to push blood sugar levels too high. These include refined carbohydrate products and sugar.

  • Fats: The intake of fatty foods should include mainly good fats or essential fatty acids i.e. omega 3 and 6 fats. Try to include plenty of dark oily fish in your diet as well as nuts, avos, olives and olive and canola oils. Limit all saturated fats i.e. fat on meat, skin on chicken, full cream dairy products and cheese.
eat plenty of fresh-2

  • Fruit: Eat at 2 to 3 portions of fruit per day - spread throughout the day.
  • Vegetables: Aim to eat 4 to 5 servings of veggies per day. Veggies are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

  • Protein: Should be eaten with every meal to slow down the release of sugar into the blood and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

Remember to avoid all sweetened foods i.e. sweets, chocolates, cool drinks, cakes, biscuits etc

If you have diabetes and are struggling with blood sugar control, contact me for more information and a personalised eating plan.

Diabetes Program
Diabetes can be well managed. You can live a long healthy life with diabetes if your blood sugar levels are well controlled through lifestyle changes and medication.

To the sweet life!


Wendy Signature

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