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Diseases » Diabetes Diet

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is the best effective method to prevent diabetes, manage the existing diabetes and to reduce the development of diabetes complications. Diet plays an important role in diabetic patient. The diabetes diet can be followed in combination with insulin or with oral hypoglycemic drugs. The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association has developed certain diabetic dietary guidelines that help to improve the management of diabetes. The diabetes diet aims to

• Control weight by intake of low calories diet

• Control blood sugar level by regulating carbohydrate intake

• To reduce the intake of saturated fat

Diet plan for type I diabetes:

For type I diabetes the diet plan aims at reducing the total carbohydrate intake. The total carbohydrate intake affects the blood glucose level and insulin need. A balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin and exercise is needed to control the blood sugar level.

Diet plan for type II diabetes:

For type II diabetes the diet plan aims in controlling the weight. Most of the patients with type II diabetes have overweight. The meals taken by patient will be of reduced calories and with carbohydrates being replaced by monounsaturated fats that include peanut or almond butter, almonds, walnuts and other nuts. This will help to maintain the blood glucose level. For children with type II diabetes the meal plans need to be often reviewed according to their requirement due to their growth. 

During special occasions involving sweets additional planning is required. When you consume sugar-containing foods like cakes or candy, the amount of potatoes, pasta or rice you take should be either reduced or eliminated.  This keeps a better balance of blood glucose level.

Diabetes diet recommendations are as follows:

Here are some guidelines to balance the diet with carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Overweight and obesity are the other focused area in the diet since are closely related to diabetes.

Fat: Lower intake of dietary fat is recommended. It is been advised by the current American Diabetes Association that the amount of saturated fats in the diet be less than 7%. The dietary cholesterol should be less 200mg for a day.  This reduction in fat intake will help reduce weight.

Protein: In the total calories the protein intake must be around 15 – 20%. Nonfat diary products are usually recommended. Legumes, skinless poultry, fish and lean meats can also be included in the diet.

Carbohydrates: A diet with carbohydrate from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk is encouraged for diabetes diet. Increased dietary fiber is recommended for all people with diabetes. Carbohydrate affects the weight and blood glucose level. Carbohydrates in the meal can be substituted with sucrose, along with insulin and other glucose-lowering medication. Excess energy intake should always be avoided.

Sugars:  these foods can be substituted for other carbohydrate sources like rice.

Alcohol and drugs consumption: In patient with diabetes moderate consumption of alcohol is advised. In general over consumption of alcohol and drugs needs to be avoided. Alcohol inhibits the glycogenesis in liver and certain drugs inhibit hunger symptoms. This along with impaired judgment, memory and concentration caused by some drugs can lead to hypoglycemia.

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