Nicole K. Smith asked:

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is extremely widespread. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people who suffer from diabetes worldwide is estimated at about 180 million.

What happens to a diabetic person?

Either the pancreas does not produce insulin (Type I) or it does produce insulin, but the body is unable to use it properly (type II). Insulin is a very important hormone for the body. Its main role is to regulate blood glucose (blood sugar) and the effect of diabetes is to increase blood sugar.

What are the complications of the disease?

Without the proper treatment, this disorder can lead to blindness, kidney failure, limb necrosis, heart disease and stroke. Diabetes may also lead to hypoglycemia, which can make a person fall into a coma and cause arrhythmia or even an acute coronary incident.

How can I treat diabetes through diet?

The proper diet is a very important part of the treatment of diabetes, along with maintaining a healthy body weight and following an exercise program. By including certain foods in your diet and avoiding certain others, you will be able to lower your blood sugar levels the natural way.

But what are the foods that increase blood sugar? Some people believe that only sugar and the foods that contain it raise blood sugar, but the truth is that all carbohydrates can increase glucose levels. Carbohydrates are a component of many foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and starch (like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes). This means that carbs are hidden in almost all foods except cheese, meat, fats and oils.

Regardless of whether you suffer from diabetes of type 1 or 2, the carbohydrates you eat should be evenly distributed throughout the day. This means that you should avoid eating 2-3 large meals per day and eat 5-6 small meals instead. Out of these 6 meals the 3 should be your main meals and the other 3 should be snacks. Until not so long ago, there was the perception that a diabetic should not eat foods containing sugar or starch. But later research showed that the form of carbohydrate doesn’t matter, and the quantity is much more important. Thus a diabetic patient should follow a balanced diet without deprivations and prohibitions.

What is more, diabetes is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Therefore people with diabetes should have a low intake of saturated fatty acids, which can increase “bad” cholesterol, LDL. Saturated fatty acids are contained in foods of animal origin, such as red meat, eggs, butter and full-fat dairy products. White meat and fish are low in saturated fatty acids. For this reason, red meat should be included in the diet only twice per month, and chicken and fish can be consumed 1-2 times per week. You should also avoid butter and replace it with olive oil.

Particular attention should be paid to the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol causes hypoglycemia and for this reason it should always be consumed with a meal or a snack that contains carbohydrates. Of course, you need to keep in mind that a diabetic shouldn’t drink a lot of alcohol. Men can consume 2 drinks per day and women 1 drink per day.

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Here are the foods eat to treat diabetes:

Yogurt is a food of high nutritional value, making it as an essential food for diabetes that can be consumed frequently or even daily.

It is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and calcium. As for carbohydrates, lactose is the only carbohydrate present in yogurt. Lactose, like all the other carbohydrates in the body, serves as an energy source.

One portion of yogurt gives about 12 grams of carbohydrates and about 8 grams of protein.

Non-fat yogurt contains only 38 calories. Plain yogurt and milk have the same high nutritional value and the same amount of calories, but yogurt can provide you with a greater sense of satiety.

It can restore the balance of gut flora and helps improve the function of the intestinal system, facilitating digestion. But, why is yogurt so important in the diet of a person with diabetes? Due to the fact that it has a higher content of calcium and phosphorus compared to other foods, as well as significant amounts of zinc and iodine, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and B12.
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Vitamin D: The intake of sufficient vitamin D may prevent or partly reverse type 2 diabetes according to a study by Tufts University.  In this twenty-year-study in 81,700 women, researchers found that those taking more vitamin D, were 28% less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes. Good sources of vitamin D are milk, eggs and fish.
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Coffee: A study revealed that those who drink coffee frequently can avoid this disease. Scientists suspect that coffee beans help the body to process blood sugar more efficiently. What is more, coffee consumption increases a protein called SHBG that can regulate the body’s sex hormones, which seem to play a role in the development of diabetes type 2.
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Cinnamon: The active substance in cinnamon is something called MHCP which belongs to polyphenols.  This substance mimics insulin, activates its cellular receptors and acts within cells in synergy with insulin.

In several experiments in the laboratory, it was shown that cinnamon can neutralize the free radicals that are harmful for the DNA and are elevated in diabetics.

A study by Richard Anderson which lasted 40 days and involved 60 volunteers suffering from type 2 diabetes, clearly showed the beneficial effect of cinnamon.

These volunteers were divided into 6 groups of 10 persons.  One group received 1 gram of cinnamon for 20 days. The second group took 3 grams and the third group took 6 grams for 20 days.

The other three groups were treated with placebo. After the end of the study, there were significant reductions in blood glucose levels in all 3 groups that took cinnamon that reached 18% to 29% in some subjects.

The first group that received the smallest amount of cinnamon had the best results. There was no change in the groups that received the placebo.

 

 

 

 

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