29 Nov Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan
The diabetes diet is one of the best ways to combat this disease. If you suffer from diabetes, following a correct diet is essential to living peacefully with the disease. Without having to endure excessive deprivation. But even if you have high blood sugar. Or are prediabetes, following the right diet is very important.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that involves an increase in blood sugar: knowing how to choose the right foods to keep it at bay will allow you to live a normal life, avoiding the serious consequences that this disease entails. Here are the best tips for your diabetes diet.
First rule: always regular meals
The first fundamental rule is to be regular in meals. This regularity ensures that the related insulin dose stays in the right levels, without “getting high”. Especially if you take insulin before eating, you should never skip a meal, so as to avoid blood sugar spikes.
To prevent post-prandial hyperglycemic peaks (high peaks). And hypoglycemia (low peaks), three main meals are recommended: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
In the interval between meals, it is always necessary to have three snacks (mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and before going to bed). This type of regularity provides a constant supply of carbohydrates throughout the day.
Diet for diabetes: the importance of fiber
Adding fiber to your daily diet is important for everyone: only in this way will you have good intestinal regularity and your intestines will always be healthy. But, if you are diabetic, providing a good daily fiber intake is crucial.
Fiber should be considered as an essential component of any meal. In fact, without fiber, foods with sugars and starches are absorbed faster by the body. Instead, the daily intake of fiber involves a slower absorption of sugars: consequently, blood sugar remains under control.
But what are the foods that contain the most? Fiber is found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, especially water-soluble fibers (fibers that dissolve in water), which are an important weapon against diabetes. Apples, oranges, chicory, artichokes, garlic. And onions are particularly rich in fiber which is useful for those suffering from diabetes. So foods you should never miss during the day.
The role of sugars
When it comes to diabetes, sugars are obviously an important variable, to be carefully managed in meals. Of course, it is good to avoid consuming sugars such as classic white sugar, brown sugar but also the fructose used to sweeten drinks. Also, pay attention to the sugars included in packaged products (even in salty ones): snacks, snacks. But even the most unexpected cereals often have added sugars. Always check the label.
Fruit naturally contains sugar (fructose) and should not be eliminated. The important thing is to respect the quantities indicated in the diet. And limit the consumption of the most sugary fruits such as grapes, bananas, figs, persimmons, mandarins.
The situation is different when it comes to fruits that contain little sugar and a lot of fiber, like oranges, apples, pears, strawberries, and peaches. These fruits can also be eaten as a snack.
The carbohydrates are increasing the concentration of sugar in the blood. But eliminate them all together would be a mistake. How can you solve the problem? Just choose slow-release carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, and cereals, all whole grain, but also oats and quinoa, which are “naturally” slow release. These, in fact, provide you with a good source of energy and, at the same time, keep blood glucose at a more stable level.
In general, the number of carbohydrates to be included in the diet of a person with diabetes can vary according to individual metabolic characteristics. It is therefore always better to talk to your doctor before making any changes.
Water, herbal teas, and tea
Let’s not forget about water: it is absolutely essential and should never be limited, as is sometimes mistakenly believed.
There are no restrictions even for herbal teas, tea, and coffee, which when unsweetened do not add calories. All other drinks provide calories both in the form of sugar. And in the form of alcohol, so they should be limited or, better yet, eliminated entirely.
Absolutely to eliminate all those sweetened drinks, including aperitifs and the so-called “bitters”.
Diabetes diet: a few tricks
To live peacefully even with diabetes, it is also essential to always respect the balance between carbohydrates, proteins, and calories. For example, alternating foods rich in sugar is the best way to live without too many restrictions at the table, eating a bit of everything even if you are diabetic.
Given the importance of diet for diabetes. It is also useful to use some little tricks to keep blood sugar under control.
It is useful to eat vegetables before a meal, not (only) as a side dish. Because in this way they lower the glycemic index, especially if they precede rice or pasta. The asparagus for example, but also the artichokes and chicory. All rich in fiber and important for the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes.
Always check the glycemic index of the products you eat. Knowing the glycemic index of foods is especially important for people with diabetes. For example, rice and pasta contain more or less the same sugars, but the starches of the rice grains are more easily absorbed, and the glycemic index rises. In whole grains, on the other hand, the glycemic index is always lower than that of refined grains.
Some specific cheeses can also be useful. “According to some studies”, explains Dr. Piretta, “some dairy products seem to be very useful in improving blood sugar, thanks to the high content of so-called conjugated fatty acids. In particular, we are talking about goat cheeses or cheeses coming from mountain pasture ruminants (such as fontine or asiago). The latter are still preliminary data on humans, also because we must be cautious given the high caloric value of these products “.
Diet for diabetes: the best foods for prevention and treatment
For blood glucose control and maintaining good metabolic health, choosing the right foods is key. Eat more often certain foods that have a low glycemic index, it can help both to prevent than to fight diabetes. Whether you are in a phase of insulin resistance, prediabetic or you already have a diagnosis of diabetes, here are the foods to prefer to improve your condition.
Oranges and citrus fruits
Oranges are rich in soluble fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, all of which are great for keeping blood sugar – and therefore diabetes – under control. In general, all citrus fruits can represent a valid ally for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Artichokes are capable of reducing total cholesterol and, in particular, bad cholesterol (LDL), with positive consequences on metabolism. This beneficial effect is due to the fiber contained in artichokes, which reduces the glycemic peak.
Onions are food with excellent content of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium, and have the ability to counteract blood sugars and keep cholesterol under control. According to a study by the University of Southern Queensland, it would be rutin, a substance contained in some vegetables such as onions, to help reduce weight and ward off the risk of diabetes.
Thanks to the remarkable soluble fiber content of apples, such as pectin, these fruits have the ability to reduce the glycemic response resulting from the meal. The presence of polyphenols also contributes to reducing the risk of diabetes: they are nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to various studies, among the many varieties, the Annurca apple is the most effective in this sense.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are low in calories but are packed with key nutrients, such as vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, and K. Vitamin A, in particular, helps fight diabetes, contributing to skin health and of the eyes and fighting infections. For example, according to research from the University of Leicester published in the British Medical Journal, a pound of spinach or other green leafy vegetables taken every day would help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14%.
Consuming almonds regularly can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, in subjects suffering from prediabetes, they can limit the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, according to a study by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, almonds are able to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol”, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
There are many beneficial effects of Parmigiano Reggiano, including the prevention of certain diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and osteoporosis. According to nutritionist Luca Piretta, “there are still several things to understand, but many proteins are modified in the aging process of Parmigiano Reggiano. The cause is the action of bacteria that partially digest them. Thus peptides are formed, which have biological functions, such as lowering blood pressure, benefits on diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Recent studies have shown that asparagus seems to be excellent allies in fighting type 2 diabetes.
The motivation lies in their ability to keep blood sugar levels under control. At the same time, if consumed on a regular basis, they have the ability to increase the production of insulin, essential for the absorption of glucose.