Diabetes is a condition that results in the body not being able to properly use blood sugar, leading to high blood glucose levels. Diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise. Managing diabetes requires making sure you eat the right foods, get enough exercise, and keep your blood sugar levels under control with medications and insulin injections.
Understanding diabetes and nutrition
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body uses food, and it’s often accompanied by insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels in your body. When you have diabetes, the cells in your pancreas don’t make enough insulin or don’t respond properly when they do make it for some reason (the cause of this condition varies from person to person).
Because diabetes can be caused by several different factors—including genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices—it’s important for anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition to understand what makes up their unique diet plan. A good place to start? Understanding how carbohydrates play into this equation.
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Eat whole grains instead of refined flour products, like white bread or pasta (pasta made from wheat contains no nutrients).
- Reduce the amount of sugar you consume by eating fewer high-sugar snacks between meals and limiting your intake overall, especially when on medication for diabetes management or treatment purposes; this includes fruit juices such as sodas or fruit drinks (you can get juice made with real fruit instead), candy bars/sweets/cookies, etc., which have been shown to cause high blood glucose levels in people with diabetes who are not using insulin well enough to control their condition.
Meal planning is an important part of managing diabetes. Planning meals can help you reduce your risk of complications and also helps you to avoid overeating, which can lead to diabetes complications.
Planning healthy balanced meals will help control blood sugar levels by keeping insulin levels stable between meals and snacks throughout the day.
When planning healthy balanced meals, it’s important that they include foods with a low glycemic index (GI), such as whole grains or fruits and vegetables; these foods release energy slowly into the bloodstream so they do not raise blood sugar levels quickly but instead cause gradual rises over time. As a result, even though high GI foods may initially spike blood glucose levels compared with lower GI sources such as nuts/seeds/legumes etc., there will be a much less overall impact on overall health since their slower release rate into our system causes less stress on our kidneys over time than other carbohydrates such as white bread & pasta, etc.
The importance of working with a dietitian
A dietitian can help you find the right foods and plan meals that will help you manage your diabetes. They can also teach you about nutrition, exercise, and other health topics.
Dietitians are trained to work with people who have diabetes or pre-diabetes through a variety of different methods such as group meetings or individual consultations. If you don’t want to meet one-on-one every week, there are plenty of options for keeping in touch with your dietitian over the phone or email.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They’re found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. When you eat carbohydrates your body uses them to make glucose (a simple sugar), which is then used for energy by your cells. Glucose is stored in the liver as glycogen or converted into fat and released into the bloodstream when there isn’t enough oxygen available in your bloodstream.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose molecules by enzymes called “amylases” or “glycoside hydrolases.” These enzymes break apart chains of sugar molecules so they can be absorbed more easily into your bloodstream – this process takes around 20 minutes after you eat something high-carbohydrate-containing food like bread or pasta dishes!
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It can be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. Plant-based protein sources include beans, nuts, and seeds.
Proteins are broken down into amino acids that help your body build muscle tissue as well as other important chemicals like enzymes and hormones.
Eating protein with every meal helps control blood sugar levels by keeping you feeling full longer than if you eat carbohydrates only at mealtimes (such as bread). The amount of carbohydrates needed each day depends on your activity level; some people need more than others depending on their activity level or age group (elderly adults may require more calories).
- Eat a balanced diet. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you are eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, as well as whole grains.
- Avoid saturated fats, salt, and trans fats. These can raise your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of diabetes complications like heart disease or stroke.
- Limit sugar intake to no more than 25 grams (about 8 teaspoons) per day if you’re following the American Diabetes Association’s guidelines for managing type 2 diabetes; otherwise, limit it to 10 grams per day if you have type 1 diabetes alone or 15 grams when coupled with medications such as insulin shots every morning without fail each morning without fail throughout the day except during exercise periods where there will be no food consumed until after sunset so that they do not interfere with any form of exercise performed thereafter.”
When you have diabetes, it’s important to eat foods that are low in carbs and high in protein. This will help your body maintain healthy blood sugars and keep you feeling full longer. When planning meals and snacks, try to include some of these diabetes-friendly dishes: sweet potato fries with garlic aioli dip or avocado toast; chicken salad with almonds or cucumber slices on top; fresh fruit salad; kale chips instead of potato chips; turkey burgers instead of beef burgers (which tend to be higher in fat).
You can also use low-glycemic index varieties of bread like wheat bread for sandwiches or tortillas for tacos instead of white bread which may cause spikes in blood sugar levels if eaten too often throughout the day.