Dieting for Diabetics


It is a known fact that diabetes is one of the alarming health problems around the globe. It is a serious illness on its own but it also leads to other complications such as heart and liver problems.

When the disease is way past the preliminary stage, it can be expensive, not to mention hard, to treat. Since diabetes is hereditary, an individual knows if he or she is at risk. If your grandparents are diabetics, there is a high possibility that you can be one too. If that is the case, it is advisable to take precautions. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.

One good way to prevent diabetes is a detailed diet plan. Eating the right kind of foods in right proportions can go a long way in avoiding diabetes.

Dieting for diabetics usually includes food rich in dietary fiber, specifically soluble fiber. There are foods that are high in fiber but also high in fat. The diabetic diet calls for something which is low in fat. Most dieticians encourage diabetics who have high glycemic index to eat a limited amount of carbohydrates. To cover all the bases, the glycemic index refers to the measure of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. A low glycemic index entails reduced insulin demand. In other words, the lower your GI is the better.

One of the diets suggested for diabetics is the famous Atkins diet. As you well know, the Atkins diet is a low carb diet. The person behind the diet, Dr. Robert Atkins, claims that by decreasing the calorie intake, the fats in the body are lessened. In turn, the risk is significantly reduced particularly for Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Atkins designed the diet with people suffering from heart ailments in mind but he still stands by his statement that the diet is advantageous for diabetics as well.

Although there are a considerable number of diabetics who testified that the Atkins diet is indeed helpful, the diet has its share of setbacks. For one thing, it is exclusively for people with Type 2 diabetes or for individuals who got diabetes due to their eating habits and lifestyle. If what you have is Type 1 diabetes, the Atkins diet will not be useful at all. You have to fall back to daily insulin injections. For another, specialists are not that thrilled about the idea of Atkins diet being regarded as diabetic diet. According to them, the Atkins diet can even aggravate the situation resulting to heart problems.

Seeing that the Atkins diet is not the best diabetic plan, what are the other options for diabetics?

Experts are continually studying which foods should be taken and which should be avoided. As there is no final decision on that yet, the timing of the meals is crucial to a diabetic diet. When to eat is based on the type of insulin one injects. If you are taking fast-acting insulin, it is best if you eat before going to bed. You would not want to have hypoglycemia overnight, would you?

There is the matter of how much food to eat too. Eating several small meals a day may not gain an approval from most people but it is suitable for diabetics. Eating big meals means your body has to work double time in order to process large amounts of food. Eating small meals, on the other hand, gives the body a chance to process the food slowly but surely.

If you are not warming up to the concept of eating many mini meals, at least give this a try: have a heavy breakfast and a light dinner. To be clear, this implies eating the largest serving of carbohydrates during breakfast and the smallest by dinner. It is better if you totally cut off carbs by nighttime. In doing this, you manage to get your calorie fix in a way that it will not make your condition worse.

There are various supplements out in the market made for diabetics. Some are effective while some, majority actually, are not recommended for several reasons. The price of these diabetic supplements can be steep and they are pointless if you do not accompany them with proper diet and exercise.

In a nutshell, people with diabetes should not overlook their eating habits. Dieting for diabetics is not merely a six-month program. It is long term. Consult a dietician to work out a diet plan that is not too tough to follow. If you are going to be in it for the long haul, you may as well be comfortable.

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