The best diabetic diet is one that can help to treat diabetes. A diabetes diet involves eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and adhering to regular mealtimes. It’s a healthy eating plan packed with nutrients with low fat and calories. Essential foods are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This kind of diet is the ideal eating plan for almost everyone.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus, usually called diabetes, is a group of common endocrine diseases with regular high blood sugar levels. Diabetes happens when the pancreas is not generating enough insulin, or the body’s cells are not responding to the hormone’s effects. Typical symptoms are thirst, polyuria, weight loss, and blurred vision. If left untreated, the disease can result in several health complications, such as cardiovascular system disorders, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Untreated or badly treated diabetes causes 1.5 million deaths yearly.
The primary forms of diabetes are type 1 and type 2, though there are other kinds. Insulin replacement therapy (insulin injections) can treat type 1 diabetes, while anti-diabetic medications like metformin and semaglutide and lifestyle modifications help to manage type 2. Gestational diabetes, a class that occurs during pregnancy in some women, usually resolves shortly after delivery.
As of 2021, approximately 537 million people had diabetes globally, constituting 10.5% of the adult population, with type 2 comprising roughly 90% of all cases. The disease became widespread in low- and middle-income nations. Similar rates occur in women and men, with diabetes being the 7th-leading cause of death worldwide. The global expense of diabetes-related healthcare is roughly US$760 billion annually.
Best Foods To Eat For Diabetes
You may feel that having diabetes will deprive you of the foods you enjoy. Fortunately, you can still enjoy your favorite foods, however, in smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Your healthcare team can create a diabetes meal plan that meets your preferences.
Eating with diabetes means consuming various healthy foods from all food groups based on your meal plan’s required amounts. Increase your calories with nutritious foods. Try healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats.
1. Focus On Healthy Carbohydrates
During digestion, sugars and starches transform into blood glucose. Sugars are also called simple carbohydrates, and starches are called complex carbohydrates. Consider healthy carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), and low-fat dairy products (milk and cheese). Don’t take less healthy carbohydrates, like foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.
2. Consider Fiber-Rich Foods
Dietary fiber involves all components of plant foods your body finds hard to digest or absorb. It regulates how your body digests food and helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods are vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans and peas), and whole grains.
3. Eat Heart-Healthy Fish
Consume heart-healthy fish at least twice weekly. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3s may reduce the risk of heart disease. Don’t eat fried fish and fish, like cod, with high levels of mercury.
4. Try ‘Good’ Fats
Foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce your cholesterol levels. These are avocados, nuts, canola, olive, and peanut oils. However, consume it moderately because all fats have high calories.
Foods That Cause Diabetes
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by boosting the rate of developing clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following deprive you of a heart-healthy diet.
- Saturated fats: Don’t consume high-fat dairy products and animal proteins like butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Reduce intake of coconut and palm kernel oils.
- Trans fats: Don’t take trans fats from processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and stick margarine.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol sources are high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Don’t exceed 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol daily.
- Sodium: Don’t exceed 2,300 mg of sodium daily. Your healthcare provider may recommend considering a smaller amount if you have high blood pressure.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease known for high levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which eventually causes severe damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. A carefully chosen diabetes diet is what you need to treat diabetes and don’t forget to avoid certain foods.