Diet for diabetes, a key factor in blood sugar regulation. When its levels are not maintained at the right levels, then sufferers have an increased chance of facing some serious health problem, both in the short and long term. This is because unregulated “sugar” is linked to causing dangerous complications such as:
- renal failure
- cardiovascular diseases
- diabetic retinopathy
- diabetic foot etc.
To remove the risk, the best way, experts point out, is for diabetes sufferers to keep their sugar at normal levels.
This is achieved by following the nutritional plan drawn up by the doctor, maintaining a normal body weight and regularly measuring blood sugar.
Diet for diabetes and its importance
The main goals of proper nutrition for people with diabetes include maintaining blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible, weight loss in the obese, regulating lipids and blood pressure, and reducing additional risks for health, such as cardiovascular diseases.
Now gone are the days when diabetics had to follow a diet full of deprivations and prohibitions. Experts agree and recommend that sufferers eat healthily, but be careful of the quantities they consume.
The modern diet for diabetes should include vegetables, foods rich in plant fibers, which delay the absorption of sugar in the blood, and carbohydrates.
The Mediterranean diet in focus
Experts seem to agree that the Mediterranean diet is a model of healthy eating. The reason is that it can significantly contribute to improving the health of people with diabetes. The Mediterranean diet “prefers”:
- Olive oil consumption (relative to other fats)
- Low consumption of animal fats
- Generous servings of fruits and vegetables
- High consumption of cereals (preferably unprocessed) and legumes
- Moderate consumption of fish and dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt)
- Low consumption of red meat.
Nutrition for diabetes and the 3 vitamins “allies”
- Vitamin D helps control blood sugar
Numerous studies have found that vitamin D is important for blood sugar control, while it has the ability to minimize diabetes risk factors.
Good dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish and cod liver oil. Sun exposure is also essential to increase vitamin D levels in the blood.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
B1, or thiamine, is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B vitamin complex. It functions as a coenzyme for the production of energy in the body and in the metabolism of carbohydrates. This practically means that vitamin B1 can help improve the way cells use glucose. By this process it can bring the blood sugar levels under control.
The diet for diabetes includes foods that are sources of vitamin B1. Some of them are milk, eggs, legumes, brown bread, rice and milk.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins, as it helps protect cells from oxidative stress that is responsible for premature aging and cell damage.
Its benefits don’t stop there. Vitamin E contributes to the oxygenation of the blood, while it has the property of improving glycemic control in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
A proper diet for diabetes includes foods rich in vitamin E. Some of them are olive oil, almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds and green vegetables.