Diabetes and Diet
A healthy diabetes diet starts with a meal plan, which is a guide to how much, and what kinds of food, you can eat at meals and snack times. A good meal plan for a diabetic should fit in with your schedule and eating habits.

Diabetes and Diet

There are many factors which need to be addressed when considering the relationship between diet and diabetes.

On the one hand, anyone with diabetes will need to give their diet a bit more attention in order to help maintain the proper glucose level. Those who don't have diabetes, but who DO have a genetic and/or environmental or lifestyle disposition to develop it...can help prevent the disease in part simply through good dietary choices.

For example, although it has been repeated as fact for decades, it isn't 100% true that eating sugary foods leads to diabetes. The causes of diabetes are complex and still not yet fully understood. What is known is that, when it comes to the causes of diabetes, there is both a genetic aspect as well as many possible environmental factors. Only a relatively small part of that has to do with the amount of sugar ingested.

It is true, however, that those who tend to eat a high sugar diet will tend to be overweight (as measured, in part, by a BMI, body mass index, over 27) and therefore are at greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. This simple fact is particularly true for those who tend to carry all that extra weight around their waist.

That having been said, a diet that is essentially a healthy eating plan for everyone is the same diet that will help stave off diabetes, or, at least, lessen its effects for those who already have the disease.

A diet rich in sugar free foods which also contains the proper amounts of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, such as the Mediterranean diet or a glycemic index diet, as well as good protein sources, is helpful for everyone, including the diabetic. Fat itself does not need to be totally excluded, but should be consumed only in moderation.

Fat gets a bad reputation because:
  • It's over twice as high in calories than other foods (9 calories per gram as opposed to 4)
  • There are certain fats that are less healthy than others (transfats as opposed to healthier unsaturated fats).
A certain amount of fat is essential for good health. Rather than going into that here, I suggest you read Weight Loss News: Fat Serves a Purpose! instead.

A diabetic should be prepared at all times to consume a snack or low glycemic index snack bar in order to help stabilize glucose at the right level. Generally, however, it's best establish an eating routine. That will make it easier to monitor glucose level and to predict fairly closely what it is likely to be when you're not able to watch it. That also helps smooth out the level of glucose in the blood over time. Spikes or dips in blood sugar are to be avoided.

Even those without diabetes will probably benefit from eating a diabetic diet, as blood sugar spikes contribute to weight gain which can also contribute to diabetes. Blood sugar spikes can cause insulin resistance and this can cause a lot of calories to be stored as fat. They can also wreck appetite management and cause overeating.

Diabetic individuals, who also want to reduce weight or body fat, need to take extra care. After consulting a physician to establish a good diabetes diet for their particular circumstances, counting their carbohydrates will need to become a regular routine. Generally, carbohydrates are what the body breaks down to produce glucose. Our carbohydrate choices have a direct effect on the glucose-insulin balance so important for keeping diabetes under control.

While protein and fat do not directly affect the amount of insulin needed for the body, these nutrients also should be consumed in carefully regulated quantities. Excess consumption of calories from any source can make anyone overweight and the diabetic is more negatively affected if that occurs than others.

For diabetics, and the general populuation, when it comes to what you eat, consistency is a key factor. Establish a healthy diet plan which works with your individual circumstances and stick to it, making gradual adjustments as needed. You especially should try to build your diet around sugar free foods Taken over the long term, it will help minimize the problems associated with diabetes.

Diabetes and Diet
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Page Updated 8:14 AM Saturday 9/26/2015