How do you maintain a balanced diet with diabetes?
I have to hand in a biology assignment when I get back to school on diabetes
I’m a type 1 diabetic & avoid baklava and cheesecake. Those 2 deserts really raise my blood sugar. Eating too much Dim Sum can also have that effect but, I still occasionally eat it. Eating too much sugar in a meal can cause a quicker rise in blood sugar which may decrease slowly after that meal.
As far as maintaining a balanced diet & exercise, when a person is first diagnosed with diabetes, their doctor will give them a prescription to see a dietician who will discuss food intake, ect. There are also classes that a person can get a prescription for to help teach them about diabetes. As far as exercise goes, when I was first diagnosed, I wasn’t given good information about how to add it to my diet/medication regime….with the exception of trying your best to maintain a strict exercise regime that is the same every day. This is supposed to maintain your metabolism & muscle mass so that you will experiece a decrease of highs & lows in blood sugar. In my experience, doctors don’t seem to be as concerned or knowledgeable about regulating exercise.
* Fat takes longer to cause a peak in blood sugar. For example, if you eat a lot of fat, your blood sugar may be high 6 hours later or longer.
* Simple sugars are quicker to digest & will cause the blood sugar to peak quicker. If you eat a package of sweet tarts, it may take 15 minutes for the blood sugar to peak. This is because the sugar molecules are in a simple form & the boyd can be brake them down the quickest.
* Complex carbohydrates such as breads (esp whole grain which has fiber), potatoes, ect will cause blood sugar to peak somewherer inbetween the time it takes for fat & simple sugars to peak. Complex carbohydrates are composed of complex molecules that take the body longer to break down.
The goal of diabetes is to maintain a blood sugar level as close to a normal person’s as possible & to avoid a high number of extreme highs & lows. Normal blood sugar varies from person to person but, it’s recomended for diabetes to keep it at about 80-120 before meals and 140-160 2-hours after a meal.
* Exercise tends to lower blood sugar. Usually when I exercise, I eat 15 carbs worth of candy, juice or fruit. before or after to cover: walking for 20 minutes or riding the bike for 10-15 minutes. If I don’t do this, my blood sugar will usually go down soon after or even during exercise.
I mainly restrict carbohydrates. If a Type 2 is dieting, then he or she may limit calories and/or fat, too. For diabetes, though, carbohydrates are really what matter, especially for a non-insulin dependent Type 2.
I avoid most sources of refined sugar. I don’t eat fruit except for a handful of berries sometimes and I enjoy non-starchy vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and asparagus. I do not eat potatoes, corn or carrots. I do not eat grains or rice, as well. Non-starchy vegetables have natural sugars, but the carbohydrate counts are overall very low. I eat full-fat cheese, mayonnaise, and salad dressings because they’re lower in carbohydrates and taste better. I eat whatever meat I want, but keep the portions reasonable because protein does partially turn into glucose in the blood. So, a steak won’t raise blood sugar liked a baked potato, but a steak will raise blood sugar more than a shot glass of olive oil. I also eat a lot of tree nuts, especially almonds, macadamias, and pecans. Legumes, like peanuts, are starchy, so I try to keep myself to maybe a teaspoon of natural peanut butter a day. I either buy the stir kind with no added sugar or no-stir with palm oil (no trans fats). I do not limit saturated fat – my lipid panel is perfect.
In short, I eat a little bit of protein with every meal. I try to eat 2 servings of non-starchy vegetables with at least 2 meals. I snack on 1-2 servings of tree nuts and sometimes peanut butter between meals. I also snack on slices of cheddar and sometimes mozzarella sticks.
Remarkably simple. Avoid man made, processed, refined, enriched, packaged, convenience products. Eat primarily natural foods with their naturally high nutrient level and naturally low glycemic index and carb Calorie content. It’s all about nourishing the cells and reducing fat in order to keep insulin resistance down and the pancreas healthy. Exercise can be as little as a half hour a day of brisk walking. The more, however, the better. Think of it this way: our bodies were optimized to live a certain way after eons of living off the land. Our bodies were not optimized for the Standard American Diet and the sedentary lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to over the past 150 years. Following this simple plan of mostly natural foods and daily walking, I was able to get off all diabetes meds over three years ago.
If you really are interested in knowing more about this, check out “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. He learned the “secret” of why rural Asians were living such long, healthy lives without the chronic diseases the western lifestyle has become famous for.