DIABETIC DIET - WHAT SHOULD A DIABETIC EAT?
Diabetic diet, as the name suggests, is designed for people who suffer from diabetes. This disease is inseparably associated with a change in eating habits and the inclusion in the menu of products that do not cause a rapid increase in glucose levels.
From this article you will learn:
- who should follow a diabetic diet,
- what are the most important rules of the diabetic diet,
- what you can eat on a diabetic diet,
- what products are contraindicated on a diabetic diet,
- what a sample menu looks like on a diabetic diet.
WHO SHOULD FOLLOW A DIABETIC DIET?
The diabetic diet should be an integral part of the treatment of all types of diabetes. There are two basic types of this disease:
- type 1 diabetes - or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus - is an autoimmune disease that involves the destruction of pancreatic cells that produce insulin. It begins in children or adolescents;
- type 2 diabetes - the essence of the disease is improper action of insulin in tissues, which leads to increase in blood sugar level. Genetic and environmental factors are responsible for its development. It is often associated with obesity and usually occurs in adults.
It is estimated that from up to 350 million diabetics worldwide, as many as 80-90% of cases are type 2 diabetes.
DIABETES DIET - THE KEY PRINCIPLES
The diabetic diet in type 2 diabetes is mainly aimed at achieving and maintaining normal - i.e. close to normal - serum glucose levels. The diabetic diet is supposed to prevent possible complications of this disease, including diabetic foot, nephropathy and retinopathy. A properly composed diet also helps to achieve:
- optimal serum levels of total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides,
- optimal blood pressure, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases,
- proper body weight.
Currently, the recommended diet for people with type 2 diabetes is a low glycemic index diet. This parameter, denoted by the letters GI, determines the speed of digestion of a given product and the rate of sugar absorption in the blood, and thus its ability to increase the glucose level after eating. Products with a high glycemic index are digested more quickly, resulting in a rapid rise and subsequent drop in blood glucose levels.
The diabetic diet is based on the principles of healthy eating, i.e. regular meals, careful selection of products, proper hydration, and additionally physical activity. Most of its principles fit well with the Mediterranean diet. The diabetes diet is based on the use of products with the lowest level of processing and low glycemic index - wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, raw vegetables and fruits, natural dairy and dairy products, and in moderation also nuts, seeds and vegetable fats. However, it is important to know that the glycemic index of foods can change during cooking.
WHAT TO EAT IF YOU HAVE DIABETES? RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS IN DIABETIC DIET
The list of products that a diabetic can eat includes:
- natural dairy and its products - yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, curdled milk, cheese;
- vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, green and other lettuce, Brussels sprouts, garlic, white and red beans, green beans, peas, green peas, kohlrabi, corn, peppers, carrots, parsley, leek, lentils, turnips, radishes. Vegetables are best eaten raw;
- cereals, pasta, flakes - wholemeal rye bread, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, barley, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal couscous, quinoa, oatmeal (plain and mountain), rye, wheat and oat bran
- meat and fish - chicken, turkey, lean beef, lean pork, veal, venison, rabbit, all fish.
- The diabetic diet in moderation can also include fruit - oranges, grapefruit, peaches, apples, apricots, berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, grapes, gooseberries, avocados, little ripe bananas, lemon, cherries or pears. For sweetening, however, it is recommended to use sweetener, xylitol or stevia.
DIABETIC DIET - CONTRAINDICATED PRODUCTS
Among the products that diabetics should avoid are mainly:
- sweetened flavored yogurt and other dairy products;
- fruits - watermelon, ripe bananas, canned fruit, candied fruit, sweetened dried fruit;
- cooked pumpkin, potatoes, broad beans;
- sugar, honey, sweets, sweetened carbonated drinks;
- wheat bread, yeast pastries and other confectionery products;
- millet groats, corn groats, white rice, corn and other breakfast cereals, rice and millet flakes;
- most gluten-free cereal products;
- fatty beef and pork, mutton, low-quality cold cuts and sausages.
DIABETIC DIET - MENUS. SAMPLE RECIPES FOR A DIABETIC
Despite appearances, the menu for a diabetic can be very varied. What dishes can be included in it?
- Breakfast - oatmeal with sunflower seeds and blueberries, graham roll with lamb's lettuce, cold meat and avocado
- Second breakfast - 2 slices of rye bread with cheese, egg and rocket, caprese salad with pasta, mozzarella and tomatoes
- Lunch - cod fillet in tomato sauce with olives, roast turkey with rice and pepper salad
- Afternoon snack - yoghurt with bran and nuts, strawberry cocktail
- Supper - salad with cottage cheese, omelette with salad, red onion and cucumber
Diabetic diet is an essential part of diabetes treatment. Its main purpose is to achieve and maintain normal blood serum glucose levels, as well as to achieve optimal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. A well-balanced diabetic diet should be based on products with a low degree of processing and glycemic index, which allows avoiding complications of the disease.