Diabetes is a disease characterised by an imbalance in body blood sugar (glucose/carbohydrate) ? high glucose levels. About 8 million Nigerians suffer from diabetes according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) atlas.
Although diabetic patients are usually advised against consuming foods rich in starch, it is possible to consume such foods in the right proportion to balance daily meal. This does not encourage their consumption but selectively choosing the types you eat.
Some of the dietary recommendations by experts for diabetic patients include fruits, vegetables, lean protein, foods with less added sugar, no trans fats; also if possible, avoid processed foods.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the expected values for normal fasting blood glucose concentration are between 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L).
When fasting blood glucose is between 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) changes in lifestyle and monitoring glycemia are recommended.
How to know if you have diabetes
If fasting blood glucose is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, diabetes is diagnosed.
An individual with low fasting blood glucose concentration (hypoglycemia) – below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) – will experience dizziness, sweating, palpitations, blurred vision, and other symptoms that have to be monitored. Increased fasting blood glucose concentration (hyperglycemia) is an indicator of a higher risk to diabetes.
An individual’s fasting blood plasma glucose (FPG) may be in the normal range because the individual is not diabetic or because of effective treatment with glucose-lowering medication in diabetics.
Mean FPG at the national level is used as a proxy for both promotion of healthy diets and behaviours and, treatment of diabetes.
Some foods for diabetic patients include:
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Some foods to avoid/limit
- Energy drinks
- White rice
- Ice cream
- Canned fruits
- Soft drinks
Importance of diet for diabetic patients
Research reports have shown that high carbohydrate and high monounsaturated fat diets improve insulin sensitivity.
Aside from that, several dietary interventional studies recommended nutrition therapy and lifestyle changes as the initial treatment for dyslipidemia.
Dyslipidemia increases the chance of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart attacks, stroke or other circulatory concerns, especially in smokers. In adults, it’s often related to obesity, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
Metabolic control can be considered as the cornerstone in diabetes management and its complications.
Carbohydrate intake has a direct effect on glucose levels in people with diabetes and is the principal macronutrient of worry in glycemic management.
Likewise, an individual’s food choices and energy balance have an effect on body weight, blood pressure, and lipid levels directly.
The content of this article is solely for educational purposes and should not be substituted for medical advice/recommendations. For treatment consult your physician.
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