Easy tips on eating for diabetes

October 9, 2015

Your diet can prevent and control diabetes. These easy tips will help you eat for best health.

Easy tips on eating for diabetes

Diabetes basics

Diabetes, characterized by high levels of glucose - a simple sugar that all cells require for energy - in the blood, is the result of an impairment in the secretion and/or the action of insulin. This is the hormone required to utilize glucose.

Types of diabetes

There are two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 is the more prevalent form of diabetes and is responsible for about 90 percent of cases. As opposed to Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, Type 2 diabetes generally afflicts adults; hence, it is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops gradually and usually affects people over the age of 40 who tend to be obese.


Signs of diabetes mellitus (the full name of both types of the disease) include frequent and excessive urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue, and increased hunger, as well as recurring infections, such as urinary tract and vaginal yeast infections. Com­plications associated with either type of diabetes include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, vision loss, and kidney disease.


Genetic factors may play a role in both types of diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, in addition to a genetic component, metabolic di­s­­t­urbances and obesity have both been implicated in its onset. Obesity not only promotes the development of diabetes but it also furthers the progression of heart disease. Pregnant women can develop gestational diabetes, placing them at higher risk for developing diabetes later in life. In the less common form of diabetes, Type 1, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's insulin-producing cells, resulting in insulin deficiency.

How food may help

Before embarking on any type of nutritional plan, people with diabetes need to carefully review any dietary decisions with their health-care provider. Each person's diet needs to be individually tailored to accommodate insulin needs.
Foods high in complex carbohydrates tend to be digested at a rate that allows glucose to be released gradually into the bloodstream, which helps in maintaining normal glucose levels.
Dietary fibre can slow the absorption of glucose and promote feeling full, which is helpful for weight loss. Soluble fibre also helps to decrease serum cholesterol levels, which is important since many people with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing coronary vascular disease.
A low serum magnesium level may possibly be a predictor of Type 2 diabetes. Note that foods rich in magnesium, such as rice and whole grains, tend also to be rich in fibre. Eating heart-healthy foods such as those rich in monounsaturated fat is also helpful, particularly when they replace artery-clogging saturated fats. Because people with diabetes often suffer from vascular problems, a vitamin C-rich diet will help to protect veins and connective tissues. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, which is important because some studies show that free-radical oxidation may play a role in the damage to tissues caused by diabetes.

Recent research

According to research on people with Type 2 diabetes, dietary fibre may help to lower glucose levels.

Test diets showed that a high-fibre diet helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of glucose.

Foods to eat

Beans, potatoes, rice, whole grains, asparagus, lentils, amaranth, brown rice, sunflower seeds, avocados, canola oil, nuts, olive oil, sweet peppers, broccoli, citrus fruit.

Diabetes diet advice

Watch your diet and you'll go a long way to managing your diabetes. These tips will help you to make the most of your cooking for best health.


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