Let’s talk about diabetes. More specifically, type-2 diabetes. This is a condition that affects around 25 million Americans and is common among the elderly. If you have type-2 diabetes your body is unable to produce enough insulin to keep your blood glucose level at a normal level. When this happens your body is unable to use the blood glucose to energize the body. Therefore the body craves more sugar and the sugar levels then rise resulting in hyperglycemia. This isn’t a condition that develops over night — instead it slowly builds up over the course of lifetime.
First things first, if you are unsure if you are diabetic but are frequently urinating and are always tired and hungry, then you should see your doctor. It never hurts to get checked out if you are unsure. If an condition goes untreated it could cause serious problems for your body such as heart attack, high blood pressure, nerve damage or kidney issues.
Living with type-2 diabetes means that you need to think before you eat. The emphasis needs to be on eating healthy foods and eating to lose weight. This may seem overwhelming at first, but with some diligence and time you will be able to master following a diet that greatly benefits your health. It is important to mention there is no magic formula for controlling type-2 diabetes. Each body is different and has its own factors to consider when living with type-2 diabetes. For help formulating a diet that will work specifically for you, please consult your physician.
However, below, we break down some basic guidelines for eating and preparing foods when you are living with type-2 diabetes. Again, make sure to discuss these guidelines with your doctor and come up with an eating plan that is right for you.
Increasing the amount of protein in your diet is a great way to reduce weight quickly. Protein intake is more productive for weight loss than limiting carbohydrates. Protein will also help battle the exhaustion you feel from your type-2 diabetes, as it makes you alert and provides you with lasting energy unlike sugar.
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are the bad guys and the ones you want to avoid. They produce spikes in your bloodstream and fuel diabetes. Complex carbohydrates are the good kind, as they provide energy to your body. You can find complex carbs in foods that made with whole wheat, brown rice, beans, quinoa and oats. Carbohydrates in these foods will be slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and will keep your sugar level consistent. Simple carbs found in cakes and candies will be digested quickly and that is when the spikes occur.
Yes, fiber is a carb but, when it is consumed your body does not actually break it down and it doesn’t add calories to your daily count. Like carbs there are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. The insoluble fiber is what keeps your digestive system working and on track. This type of fiber is found in whole wheat products. Soluble fiber works to keep your cholesterol low. Keeping your cholesterol low is a great tool for helping to control type-2 diabetes. A great example of this type of fiber is oatmeal. Another benefit of fiber is that helps you manage your appetite. It is very filling and keeps you full for a long period of time. This helps eliminate the urge to snack on something sugary in between meals.
Foods with additives are not the best when you are trying to manage what you are putting into your body. Instead, add flavor to your food yourself with all natural spices. The Journal of Nutrition and Food Science featured a study where it was proven that the phytochemicals in household spices can improve insulin activity. Spices such as garlic and oregano are great examples of natural spices you can use.
Living with type-2 diabetes doesn’t have to be a challenge. Instead, let it be a learning experience that will involves things like changing your eating habits, understanding the needs of your body and embracing a healthier lifestyle.
What changes have you made to your diet after you found out you had type-2 diabetes? What have you found to be helpful to you when changing your eating habits?