Diabetes is a group of diseases that results in high blood glucose( sugar) level, put simple it means too much sugar in the blood.

TYPES:

There is type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, pre diabetes and gestational diabetes. The most prevalent diabetes is diabetes mellitus which is caused by the deficiency or inactivity of the insulin hormone leading to hyperglycemia. The blood glucose is high but cannot be utilized to provide energy due to the inefficiency of the insulin hormone.

A host of problems comes with diabetes. There is increase in weight, loss of energy, and can even be followed by hypertension.

Lifestyle modifications have to be done to manage diabetes  which includes

1)diet and nutrition

2)exercise

3)medications and supplements

4)injections as and when necessary.

DIET

1)ENERGY:

The energy needs for a diabetic patient is like a normal healthy person .

2)CARBOHYDRATES:

We need to reduce the consumption of simple carbohydrates like refined cereals , sugar, honey and sweetners and include a lot of fibre in the diet which promotes satiety apart from helping good bowel movement.

3)PROTEIN:

In the absence of carbohydrates to provide energy to the body, protein is broken down to provide energy. Protein requires more time to be broken down and hence effect of protein on blood glucose can be seen between few hours and several hours after consumption. If one has a largely protein based meal, one needs to bear in mind its effect on blood glucose and take adequate quantities accordingly. Normally animal protein is difficult to digest plus it has a lot of sodium which causes water retention so plant protein is preferred to animal protein for diabetics.

4)VITAMINS and MINERALS:

Vitamins have an antioxidant nature and hence should be included in sufficient quantities. Adding coloured vegetables to the diet gives a good supply of antioxidants and fiber both. Fruits are not preferred for diabetics because they are rich in fructose which can cause a high rise in blood glucose levels.

MINERALS : diabetics need adequate minerals like iron and calcium in their diet.

IRON:  anemia( caused due to iron deficiency) is a potential risk for people with diabetes. Food like legumes, leafy greens and enriched whole grains should constitute the meals of a person suffering from diabetes.

Calcium: calcium and vitamin D deficiency has been suspected to as having a major contributor to the developing of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Since vitamin D is essential for the absorbtion of calcium, supplements containing adequate quantity of calcium and vitamin D has been proven to reduce insulin sensitivity and even prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Iron and calcium are antagonistic in nature and hence should not be included in the same meal.

LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX FOOD:

Low glycemic index foods are those foods that cause a slow rise in blood glucose level. Since insulin hormone is malfunctional in diabetics, such food take a major share of the meal of a diabetic person. Low GI food causes a slow rise in blood glucose level and prevents heavy fluctuations and avoids undue complications.

STRESS: A stress free life should be advocated because stress causes an extreme rise in blood glucose level.

GOOD FOOD FOR DIABETICS

1)barley (GI 31)

2)fenugreek  leaves

3)oats

4)low fat dairy

BAD FOOD FOR DIABETICS:

1)white bread

2)sweet and overripe fruits and vegetables

3)starchy vegetables like potato, arbi, yam, carrots etc.

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