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What You Need to Know About a Diabetic Diet
Today many people are afflicted with the chronic and lifelong disease called Diabetes. Diabetes is a health condition marked by fluctuating sugar levels. People suffering from this health condition need to alter their diet besides taking the prescribed medication.
A diabetic diet is basically a balanced diet which ensures that the person receives the requisite amount of fiber, proteins, minerals and vitamins while avoiding excessive amounts of carbohydrates to maintain optimum health.
A diabetic diet basically comprises of several small and healthy meals – consumed over the day – to prevent fluctuating sugar levels which can lead to health complications, coma or even death.
Diabetes can be broadly divided into gestational, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. A diabetic diet may vary depending on the type of diabetes the person is suffering from. In gestational diabetes, which often afflicts women during pregnancy, a diet regime which provides enough energy to the pregnant woman and her growing fetus should be followed.
In Insulin dependent or Type 1 diabetes a diet that controls the blood sugar levels should be charted. For Type 2 or Insulin resistant diabetes a diet which controls the carbohydrate intake while ensuring that the person fulfills his energy requirements and maintains a normal weight should be adhered to.
Diabetics need to increase their intake of green leafy vegetables. The dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, collards, turnip greens and kale are especially effective in controlling the burgeoning sugar levels.
These vegetables are a good source of vital nutrients and are a rich source of fiber. Whole grain food and low fat food items should also be incorporated into the diabetic diet. Lean meat like chicken and fish should also be consumed as part of this diet
A diabetic diet ensures the consumption of simple carbohydrates which contain single sugars found in food items like milk and fruits and double sugars found in certain vegetables and dairy are controlled. This diet also avoids the inclusion of starchy foods or complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, refined foods – biscuits, white bread – and candy among others.
This diet helps in reducing the instances of allied complications like heart disease, kidney problems, and eye and nerve problems. Strictly following a diabetic diet with the inclusion of exercise can also help in maintaining an appropriate body weight which is vital for managing this disease.