What is a diabetes diet? Does a diabetic really need a it? How can a healthy diet help a diabetic?
Many people have a wrong concept that diabetics cannot eat sugar or something sweet. It does not usually cause problems for most people with diabetes to eating some sugars, if it is part of a balanced diet. However, they must be careful about how much they eat.
Since blood sugar level is greatly connected with what you eat, a balanced and healthy diet is probably a good control on the diabetes. It also helps to prevent the development of complications.
There is no single diet that can suit all diabetics. In general, the diet should include wide variety of foods including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry and fish. Here are some overall guidelines:
- Spacing the meal throughout the day can avoid extremely high or low blood glucose levels
- Eat plenty of high fiber foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain products
- Avoid food with high cholesterol (e.g. liver, egg yolks) and saturated fats (meat and dairy products)
- Cook with monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil
- Drink more water
- Reduce salt
- Avoid greasy and deep fried foods
It is suggested that people with diabetes should see dietitians. There was a study on people with type 2 diabetes using several diet plans:
- High carbohydrate/high fiber diet
- Low-fat diet
- Weight management diet
After 18 months, all groups showed similar improved glycolated hemoglobin and cholesterol levels. It was concluded that the improvements were not derived from a specific regimens, but because the people in were attentive and focus.
So, any healthy diet works if patients work at it.