If you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes or tests show that you are at risk of developing diabetes, it’s time to start working on your diet. Deprivation is not the key to a good diet; you simply need to increase your intake of what’s good for your body and reduce the intake of food that will cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.
Shed excess weight
Most people diagnosed with diabetes have found it easier to adjust to their new lifestyle by losing some of the extra pounds.
Tummy fat tends to surround the liver and other abdominal organs, causing diabetes and insulin resistance. Research shows that diabetics who lost as less as 5-10% of their body weight were able to manage their sugar levels better than others.
Calories from fructose, which is common in soda, energy drinks and caffeinated drinks, and those from processed food like cereal, refined sugar, white flour, candy, doughnuts and granola bars are major contributors to belly fat.
Reduce intake of carbohydrates
While an excessively carbohydrate-rich diet can shoot up your blood sugar levels, a portion of it is still required for your bodily functions. Consider altering your serving sizes and opting for whole grain carbs which are an excellent source of fibre and they also digest slowly, while neutralising your blood sugar levels.
Increase protein intake
Diabetes diets should be well balanced. Increasing your protein intake substantially doesn’t help as excessive animal protein could cause insulin resistance too. Make sure you include all three in your diet – carbohydrates, protein and fat – but in moderation.
Low glycemic diet
This includes opting for non-starchy vegetables, and fruits that are high in water content. Exotic and tropical fruits like papayas, mangoes and bananas are not recommended for diabetics as they have a lot lower glycemic index as opposed to regular desserts and pastries.
When it comes to meat, lean meats like fish and skinless chicken are better for you than red meat. For your body’s fat requirement, opt for healthy fat found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts like almonds, walnut and pecan.
Most diabetes diets call for three meals a day combined with two healthy snacks, starting with your breakfast. The bottom line is that you don’t need a special diet to control or prevent diabetes: the general rule of healthy eating alone applies. Altering your food habits and ensuring daily exercise can keep you from succumbing to the disease, and in many cases, even reversing the prognosis.