The Best Diet For Diabetes

The Impact of Diabetes on Your Health

While you’ve heard of diabetes and may even know someone who lives with the condition, chances are that you don’t know how it affects the body. Now that your doctor has informed you that you have developed this disease, learning more is now essential to your wellbeing. By taking the time to understand what diabetes is and how it impacts your overall health, it will be much easier to learn how to manage your condition effectively.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin to support the efficient conversion of carbohydrates into glucose and ultimately into energy. In more serious cases, the pancreas stops producing insulin completely. The result is that those carbohydrates remain in the bloodstream in the form of glucose. It is the glucose that sets the stage for all the health woes that can follow.

Health Risks that Every Diabetic Face

The Best Diet For Diabetes

When the body is no longer able to process glucose efficiently, several health risks emerge. Heavy concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream will impair circulation. That effectively starves parts of the body and causes tissue to die. When this happens, amputating an affected limb is often necessary.
High glucose levels also affect vision. Over time, the quality of vision will fade. In extreme cases, blindness will develop.

Diabetics face a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, and have an increased chance of experiencing strokes or heart attacks. All these tracks back to the higher levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

What Can be Done?

Along with medication and exercise, the right kind of dietary plan will go a long way in controlling diabetes. Learning to build meals around foods that are rich in nutrients but low in simple carbohydrates will make a huge difference in how you feel. Adjust your diet so that you consume complex carbohydrates that take longer to convert to glucose.

You will also need to implement a new way of thinking in terms of portion control and making wise choices with snacks that help to supply you with energy in between meals. Once you begin to explore ways to change your diet and find that it really isn’t as hard as you thought, you will learn to live with diabetes and get on with the business of enjoying your life.

Choosing the Best Dietary Plans for Diabetics

After learning you have diabetes, it’s time to make some changes in your life. You will need to pay more attention to the amount of exercise that you engage in several times a week. Oral medication is likely to become something you take at once or twice a day. Along with these measures, you will also need to look into several options for diabetic dieting. With several popular plans on the market today, there is something that will suit just about everyone.

The Paleo Diet

Sometimes called the caveman diet, this particular approach emphasizes the consumption of foods that are fresh. This means no more packaged foods, not even the frozen variety. When possible, it is recommended to consume the foods raw. In some cases, light cooking for selected cuts of fresh meat, eggs, and similar products is allowed.

This approach does help to encourage the use of plenty of fresh vegetables, especially green leafy ones that contain plenty of nutrients and not much in the way of carbohydrates. Since the range of foods that are allowed is somewhat limited, you may find that this approach is simply too difficult to maintain over the long term.

The Paleo Diet

Sometimes called the caveman diet, this particular approach emphasizes the consumption of foods that are fresh. This means no more packaged foods, not even the frozen variety. When possible, it is recommended to consume the foods raw. In some cases, light cooking for selected cuts of fresh meat, eggs, and similar products is allowed.

This approach does help to encourage the use of plenty of fresh vegetables, especially green leafy ones that contain plenty of nutrients and not much in the way of carbohydrates. Since the range of foods that are allowed is somewhat limited, you may find that this approach is simply too difficult to maintain over the long term.

Bernstein Diet

Developed by a physician who has type 1 diabetes, this approach focuses on eliminating any foods that cause sudden spikes in glucose levels. That includes any simple carbohydrates like processed sugar, bleached flour, and even white potatoes. The focus is on obtaining nutrition from a combination of foods that are carbohydrate free and those that only include complex carbohydrates. This includes many types of beans and peas that can be consumed in reasonable portions and have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels.

One thing to keep in mind is that this approach calls for limiting carbohydrate intake to a very small amount per day. While many doctors will recommend patients to limit carbohydrate intake to under 60 grams per meal, this diet calls for no more than 30 per day. Accomplishing this goal can take some doing.

Keep in mind there are other options for diabetic dieting to explore. One simple approach is to work with a dietician to develop a personalized plan. This is especially important if you have other types of health issues that must also be taken into account.

Dietary Tips for New Diabetics

Diabetes does not mean the end of enjoying your food. While it is true that you will need to limit your consumption of foods that contain simple carbohydrates, this means there is room to explore new foods that you’ve never enjoyed in the past. Along the way, you will also pick up some helpful dietary diet tips that help to ensure you continue to enjoy good health.

Green is the Thing

Green vegetables will be a staple of your new way of eating. Include green beans when possible, since they are very low in carbohydrates. Some beans, such as limas, do have more carbohydrates, so include them sparingly. When it comes to dark green leafy vegetables like collards, kale, or turnip greens that contain no appreciable amount of carbs, feel free to indulge. Along with being low in carbohydrates, these leafy vegetables also contain plenty of fiber and the nutrients you need to fuel your body properly.

Rethink Portions

A good rule of thumb is to use a plate that is designed with a wide outer rim. For a standard meat and three vegetable meal, select a lean meat that is baked or broiled. Add a tablespoon of each of the three vegetables, making sure that the servings do not touch one another, and that they do not come in contact with the rim. Chew slowly, since that gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’ve had enough. Best of all, you will have the energy you need and your blood glucose readings will remain within a healthy range.

Yes, You Can Have Dessert

One thing you must understand is that having your favorite dessert is not completely off the table. You can still have a piece of pie or cake. The thing to remember is that you can only do this once in a great while, and the serving size must be reasonable.

In other words, allow yourself to have a sliver of cake once a week. Eat it slowly and savor every bite. While this will cause an increase in blood glucose, limiting the portion size to a sliver will minimize the effect. The benefit of allowing yourself this occasional treat is that you are less likely to feel deprived, and more likely to stick with your diet the rest of the week.