There is a misconception that a diabetic diet means a sugar-free diet. People suffering from diabetes usually resort to refined sugar or natural sweeteners in the diet. It is not possible to eat non-sugar free food on a long-term basis. In order to eliminate any misconceptions regarding diabetic diet, it is essential to know everything about this condition, the fundamentals of nutrition and the essential requirements for an effective diabetes management.
Diabetic diet insights – It is important for diabetes’ patients to follow the right diabetic diet. The diet must be based on the blood sugar level and help maintain and keep it under control. It is essential to follow a balanced and nutritional food diet by a diabetic patient in order to ensure good health. Diabetic patients must take the help of an expert dietician to create an effective nutrition plan. This will help them manage their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart related diseases. It will also help them maintain their weight and keep them in good health and spirits.
Energy needs of a diabetic patient – The energy that we get from food is measured in calories. There are three main types of nutrients namely:
Foods that provide calories will increase the blood sugar level and when it is digested it gets broken down into glucose. This glucose is then absorbed in the blood stream and this is what is known as blood sugar. For a person with diabetes, the insulin released by the pancreas allows the glucose to get into the cells as energy and be burnt. If this process does not happen then the glucose level increases in the blood and creates a high blood sugar level and this condition is referred to as diabetes.
All foods have calories which are converted into glucose but certain foods that are fatty get digested gradually. In fact, they take up to 6 to 8 hours to get converted and release the glucose into the blood stream. Proteins in food take about 3 to 4 hours to get converted into glucose and carbohydrates get converted within half an hour after the meal. This essentially will raise the glucose level faster. This is the reason why the patient with diabetes must be careful about carbohydrate content in the food. For a good diabetic nutrition management, you must ensure that the carbohydrate intake is restricted to a great extent.
Nutrition Plan – An effective diabetic nutrition plan must include a mixture of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in every meal with the appropriate calorie level. The diabetic diet must provide an essential nutrition value and ensure that there is an even release of glucose into the blood after the meal. A dietitian will be able to assess the nutritional needs of the patient and work out a diabetic diet plan that includes the necessary ingredients. Another aspect that has to be worked out includes the number of times the patient must eat during the day. This essentially depends on the lifestyle of the patient and many other factors.