Basically, there are two types of diabetes, 1 and 2. Type 1 is much less common than Type 2, and occurs before the age of 40.
Type 1 is associated with a lack of insulin, and without enough insulin you cannot maintain a normal blood glucose level. This in turn causes hyperglycemia, or an overabundance of sugar in the blood. This is a dangerous condition.
Type 2 is much more common, and develops later in life, usually when someone is overweight, and with poor diet and physical condition. Heredity plays a big role as well.
In Type 2, the problem is resistance to insulin rather than the lack of insulin. The result is the same however, an elevated blood sugar level
The diets and suggestions below are generally for Type 2 sufferers. There are four basic rules to follow:
Achieving an ideal body weight
Following a diabetic diet
Regular daily exercise
Diabetic medication if needed
Your doctor will know your ideal weight. Ideal weight differs from one’s skeletal and genetic (and racial) factors. Let a doctor give you your ideal weight and then you must work to achieve it.
The diabetic diet (as guidelines) is outlined below.
Daily exercise, especially walking is very good for Type 2 diabetics.
Your doctor will have given you some medication. Take it per the prescription instructions.
People with Type 2 diabetes generally are put on a 1500-1800 calorie diet per day to promote weight loss and then the maintenance of ideal body weight.
This always varies according to the person’s age, sex, activity level, current weight and body type. More obese individuals will need more calories initially until their weight is less.
This is because it takes more calories to maintain a larger body and a 1600 calorie diet for them may promote weight loss that is too fast and will promote complications. Also, people whose activity level is low will have less daily caloric needs.
The diet will generally have about 50% carbohydrates of the daily calories (with an acceptable range from 40 to 60%).
As a general rule the lower the carbohydrate intake the lower the sugar levels in the blood. The benefits of the low calorie diet can be cancelled out by the problems associated with a higher fat diet substituted for the lower amount of carbohydrates. You can counter this by substituting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats.
Count your carbohydrates!
You can figure that each gram of carbohydrate is about 4 calories. A diabetic on a 1600 calorie diet should get 50% of these calories from carbohydrate.
This would be a total of 800 calories or 200 gms of carbohydrate (at 4 calories per gram) spread out over the day. You will need food tables (from diet books and also read those labels in all foods you buy).
There are some foods that you are able to enjoy without counting their food values. A good example is:
Bouillon or broth
Carbonated or mineral water
Coffee or tea
Diet soft drinks
Drink mixes, sugar-free
Tonic water, sugar free
Sugar-free hard candy
Jam or jelly, light or low-sugar, 2 tsp.
Sugar free syrup, 2 tsp.
You can eat foods with some sugar in it, but it will use up both your calories and carbohydrate requirements with poor nutritional value. Go for fruit. People with diabetes can eat any kind of fruit, regardless of the sugar content.
Everyone is encouraged to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Spreading the fruit you eat through the day will avoid a sudden rise in blood glucose levels.
Although some fruits have a lower glycogenic index, which shows how foods affect blood glucose levels, the important thing is to increase the amount of fruit you eat, including a wide variety of different fruits. Eating lots of fruit will also promote good heath and weight loss.
You can also eat as many vegetables as you wish.
None are forbidden except if you classify a potato as a vegetable. It is not. The goal here is to eat only the best quality foods, have 50% of your calories from carbohydrates, and then lose weight till you achieve the ideal.
Along with these diet guidelines and your medication, you can look forward to a healthy and normal life.
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