Management of diabetes involves the lifestyle modification along with a medical nutrition therapy (MNT). In other words we can say that a person with diabetes needs comprehensive care practices, and a well balanced diet plan given by a registered dietician or nutrition professional. As you need to look carefully at your caloric intake per meal you need to stay alert about what you eat. However, MNT is not always available everywhere; in under-resourced communities and at under resourced care centres and clinics one might not get therapist as required.
What is MNT?
As described in the guidelines by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), MNT is responsible for the assessment of the person with diabetes, establishment a nutritional plan and then evaluation and modification of that plan as necessary. Characteristics of the individualised MNT plan typically consist of dietary composition recommendations. They have to monitor carbohydrate intake, and develop a weight loss programme for obese people.
A healthy eating plan is extremely important for people who have any kind of diabetes to meet blood glucose targets and avoid complications related to untreated or poorly, managed diabetes. When a person is first, diagnosed with diabetes, nutrition is one of the most significant self-care messages from the healthcare team in any part of the world, and much of what is said in the healthcare setting about nutrition I, it is also commonly appreciated that it can be a challenge to put healthy eating, into practice.
Addition of insulin therapy into the mix, required for people living with type 1 diabetes, and matters become much more complex. Careful coordination of carbohydrate intake with medication, physical activity, and other variables including stress must be prioritized to manage blood glucose levels, and for many, survival.
How can Diet Help with Diabetes?
Nutrition reducing caloric intake is of massive importance for those at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The quality of fats consumed in the diet is more important than the total quantity of dietary fat. For example, the Mediterranean diet, comparatively high, monounsaturated fat content may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
A completely low-caloric healthy eating style, recommended and encouraged to control the risk of rise in blood sugar level. Higher intakes of nuts, berries, yogurt, coffee, and tea are associated with low diabetes risk. Conversely, red meats and sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. For individuals with diabetes, individualized medical nutrition therapy is effective in lowering haemoglobin A1C as much as in case of individuals with prediabetes.
A healthy diet consisting of leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meat, unsweetened yogurt and nuts can help reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and reduce complications in people with diabetes. While type 1 diabetes cannot yet be prevented, a healthy lifestyle can do effective management of the disease.
What is Carbohydrate Counting?
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients in our diet (fat and protein are the others). Carbohydrates provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Generally people without diabetes should get about 40% -60% of total calories from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates (starches) and natural sugars.
Complex carbohydrates provide calories, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Complex carbohydrates include: whole grain breads and cereals, legumes and starchy vegetables like sweet potato. Not all complex carbohydrates are equal in terms of their metabolism and many, absorbed faster than others such as white rice and white bread.
Simple carbohydrates are present in fruit and dairy products but are also found in, refined sugar and, processed foods such as, sweetened cereals, candy, sodas and other snacks such as cookies. Foods that are high in, processed refined simple sugars provide calories, but have small amount of other nutritional values and cause spikes in blood glucose.
Basic involves teaching consistency and helping individuals learn to identify starches and measure portions correctly. The “plate method” is being used in the US with success to help individuals with portion control and balanced eating.
Carbohydrate counting leads to, improved blood glucose results. Building a plate 50% full of fruits and vegetables, drinking water instead of sugary drinks and aiming for less sodium (as common salt) in soups, bread and frozen foods are small such steps towards preventing diabetes.
Carbohydrate counting is a method of calculating the grams of carbohydrate, consumed during mealtime and snacks. Foods that contain carbohydrate have the greatest effect on blood glucose, compared to foods that contain protein or fat. Thus, a simple guide can help you to measure amounts with the use of their fist (=1 cup of rice or pasta) or the size of a tennis ball (= one serving of fruit).
What can be an Ideal Diet Plan?
‘Ideal diet plan for diabetes’ is quite misleading. There is nothing like an ‘ideal diet plan’ which suits all the individuals with diabetes. A dietician helps you prepare a diet plan most suitable for your body type.
The diet plan, prepared depending upon several factors:
your body weight, your body structure (lean, normal or athletic), how much body weight you need to reduce, what are you daily activities, what is your lifestyle (sedentary or active) and what are your eating habits (whether you prefer vegetarian, vegan or non-vegetarian habits). When people with diabetes understand how nutrients affect their blood glucose levels clinical care is much more receptive to strategies, designed to improve their diabetes health. A hands-on approach can
A sample meal plan we are sharing which can help you get an idea what we want to say about the diet plan. This is quite suitable for those diabetics who have less appetite!
Evening snack can be whole grain crackers or low fat dairy product.
This is just a sample. You should monitor your blood glucose frequently and get your diet plan made by, registered dietician as per your diabetic condition.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Have 3 meals per day at regular times and space meals no more than six hours apart. You may benefit from a healthy snack. Eating at regular times helps your body control blood glucose (sugar) levels. Eat more quantity of high-fibre foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, dried beans and peas, lentils, vegetables and fruits. They may help you feel full and may lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Cut down consumption of sweets such as sugar, regular pop, desserts, candies, jam and honey. That’s because higher the quantity of sugar you eat, higher your blood glucose level will be. Limit the amount of high-fat food you eat such as fried foods, chips and pastries. Such foods may cause you to gain weight. A healthy weight helps control blood glucose (sugar) control and is better for your heart. If you are thirsty, drink water.
You can prefer vegetable juice, after consulting your doctor on which vegetables are good for you. Drinking regular fruit juice will raise your blood glucose (sugar). Vegetable juices have less fructose which do not usually raise an alarm for blood sugar level.
Apart from these, add physical activity to your life, as told by your healthcare expert. Regular physical activity and exercises helps improve your blood glucose (sugar) control.
We will be sharing with you some more on tips on diet plans for diabetes very soon.
Follow a healthy lifestyle. It is important to support the person ambitious to self-manage their diabetes rather than taking a restrictive point of view on the dietary intake of a person with diabetes. A “diabetes diet” is a healthy-eating plan rich in nutrients, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Things like carbohydrate counting and learning how to interpret food labels can be the first steps towards learning on how to make better food choices for better health.
Young children who start with junk food stuffs are likely to become overweight and develop diabetes-like condition. Encouraging healthy eating habits in them can be one of the ways to put an end to the rise of this ‘sugary’ epidemic. By ensuring the health of future generations, we take a step toward ensuring sustainable development.