Every year a sizable population is added to the already alarming number of diabetics in the USA. Diabetes is also responsible for a large number of deaths every year. Therefore, it is necessary for a diabetic to keep diabetes under control if affected. A healthy diabetic diet will ensure proper management of diabetes. Such diets helps in controlling blood sugar levels as also losing weight, which is an important step in reducing the risk factors and avoiding further complications. The diet of a diabetic for losing weight is an important part of keeping glucose levels in check by striking a balance between the carbohydrates, fats, and protein eaten at each meal.
A healthy, balanced diet is an important aspect in maintaining good health and therefore is vital for diabetics. A diet that includes calories from carbohydrates, protein, and from fat can improve the body’s ability to handle glucose and insulin.
The risk of diabetes affecting overweight/obese people is far greater. A healthy diet coupled with losing weight can improve blood glucose control and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Reduction and thereafter maintenance of body weight helps in the treatment of diabetes and also prevention.
To lose weight and thereafter maintain it, it is necessary to make suitable dietary changes in the patient’s lifestyle including reduction in the amount of calories consumed and also start/increase physical activity. For a healthy living, it is necessary that a variety of foods are consumed to ensure supply of all essential nutrients to the body. Choosing foods higher in carbohydrates and fiber and lower in fat, improves blood glucose control and decrease risk of heart and kidney damage.
Losing weight is difficult, and thus many people resort to various so called popular diets like the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets that assures rapid weight loss. In such diets patients resort to consumption of foods high in protein while restricting foods rich in carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. This is not healthy diet for the diabetic in the long run.
For losing weight and management of diabetes, it is necessary that both dietary therapy and physical activity are followed. In the long run, these would not only help in weight control but also prevent weight gain. To reduce insulin resistance, not only the diet, but physical activity also plays an important role.
At first, the patient must set realistic and achievable goals. Information on foods that can be eaten and those that need to be avoided would help in setting targets. Such diet could consist of vegetables and fruits such as, carrots, whole grain foods, beans and lentils, fish, lean meats, skimmed milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese, refined oils for cooking in place of solid fats, restricting quantities of food on the plate, decreasing snacks with high calorie content and desserts containing fats. It is advisable to choose plain water and diet drinks devoid of calories over regular sodas, fruit punch, and other drinks sweetened with sugars.
Since deciding a healthy diet can be confusing, it is advisable to consult a dietician or follow some time tested principles.