The number of people with diabetes is on the rise. But the good news, it is preventable and manageable. If you have type-2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, your diet plays a key role to control it. Here is food list (recommended and forbidden) for diabetics!
Sugar (glucose) is the source of your energy. It is required by cells of the body to keep them survive. The body’s cells need glucose to help make muscles and other tissues, too.
Your body gets glucose from your dietary glucose (food) and liver. In the body, glucose is metabolized with the help of insulin.
When there is excess glucose, the liver stores it as glycogen. And if there is low glucose in the blood (such as when we have not eaten in a while), the stored glycogen is converted back into glucose to help make the blood sugar level back to normal!
Insulin is a kind of protein and hormone produced by beta cells of pancreas. This hormone is responsible to control blood sugar and keep it normal. If there something goes awry with your insulin, your body is poor in controlling your blood sugar – as a result, the blood sugar is much easier to rise.
Normally, the high amount of glucose in the bloodstream is responded by the release of more insulin from pancreas. For instance, the amount of insulin in your blood usually reaches its peak levels during and after eating.
In general, here are 4 major steps of how your insulin works to help regulate your blood glucose:
- Beta cells of pancreas are naturally ‘fuel sensors’ stimulated by sugar (glucose). If there is high glucose in the blood, more insulin is secreted by pancreas into the bloodstream.
- The insulin circulates to help glucose enters cells and tissues of the body so thus it can be metabolized for energy. In healthy individuals, high insulin stimulates the liver to store glucose as glycogen, while low insulin stimulates the release of glucose from the liver (the stored glycogen is converted back to glucose).
- Then the high blood sugar in the bloodstream decreases within its normal range.
- As the level of your blood glucose declines, so does the amount of insulin released from your pancreas.
So it’s important to make sure that your pancreas and insulin work properly to help control your blood sugar as well.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition of when the body cannot regulate blood sugar (glucose) normally. It occurs due to the amount of insulin produced and released from pancreas doesn’t meet to the body needs –or– if insulin doesn’t work effectively (insulin resistance).
The main goal of treatment for all forms of diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level as normal as possible. More episodes of high blood sugar mean the higher risk of having the complications from the disease.
Having diabetes can be very bothersome. It also can be serious or even life-threatening when it has caused its complications such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, nerve damage, kidney damage, etc.
The good news, there are plenty of options to control type-2 diabetes. And your diet can play a key role to cope with it.
Type-2 diabetes diet facts and myths
While exercise or other factors are also important, but what you eat may be much more important to cope with diabetes. How your diet should go?
Actually, there is no special food. Still, your nutritional requirements are virtually ‘not different’ everyone else.
For instance, diabetics are commonly recommended to stick with a healthy eating plan that is low in added sugar, low in fat, moderate in calories, and high in nutrients. And this is simply a healthy diet for everyone, isn’t it?
Diabetes means you cannot have a normal diet?
Some people think that there is a special diet for diabetes. But in fact, having diabetes doesn’t mean that you will no longer be able to have a normal diet or eat normally like others.
Again, healthy eating is actually the same for both diabetics and non-diabetics. As long as you eat in moderation, you can easily eat with your friends and family. Forget about expensive diabetic foods – generally, they don’t offer special benefit!
Should you cut down on carbohydrates?
With or without diabetes, eating carbohydrate in moderation is important for anyone. However for diabetics, it’s much more important to pay attention on the type of carbohydrates and the serving size.
Complex carbohydrates (such as whole grain) are more recommended. Because they don’t cause a sudden increase in blood sugar, slowly digested (make you full longer), and rich in fiber.
High-protein diet is good, but …
There is opinion that high-protein diet is always good for diabetics. Protein is one of essential nutrients required by the body. But eating too much protein may become counterproductive since it may actually contribute to insulin resistance.
Therefore, it’s much better to eat anything in moderation. Even the good thing can be bad if you eat it too much! Furthermore, healthy diet is not only about protein. It also includes carbohydrates and even fats. The body needs all of them to function properly. Remember that a balanced diet is the key!
Should you avoid sugar at all costs?
When it comes to diet for diabetes, sugar usually takes more attention. But in fact, diabetics can still enjoy sugar as long as they plan properly. And don’t forget to watch on sugars in lots of packaged foods, too!
The time of consuming sugar is also crucial. In general, it’s not recommended to consume it a few hours before your bedtime. If you do worry about your dietary sugar, take it only in the morning and again in moderation!
Recommended and forbidden foods
If you have diabetes, you may constantly ask yourself ‘what to avoid’ and ‘what can I eat’! Fortunately, actually it’s a manageable condition, though currently there is still no cure. Living with diabetes doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived.
Forbidden foods for diabetics
As mentioned before, having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to follow special diet. As long as you eat in moderation, there should be nothing to worry. But if you’re looking for forbidden foods you need to avoid, here is the list:
Foods high in hidden sugar
You don’t need to avoid sugar completely, just make sure to eat it properly (especially at the right amount). One thing to remember that sugar can be found in many foods, and if you ignore this your dietary sugar can go out of control.
To help control your dietary sugar, it’s recommended to skip processed or packaged foods with hidden sugar such as frozen dinners and canned soups.
Find ingredients which are added sugars, and avoid them! These come in a number of different guises.
Processed foods high in bad fats
Diabetes is not only about sugar. It’s also important to pay attention on your dietary saturated (bad) fats. In fact, cardiovascular diseases and stroke are quite common in people with diabetes. Diet high in saturated fats can worsen these risks! Even though you are not a diabetic, it’s still important to restrict bad fats!
Saturated fats are also a nightmare for your blood cholesterol level. Even they are the top leading cause for your LDL (bad cholesterol) to rise! So restrict them or avoid them if necessary, especially such as packaged meals, takeout food, and processed meats!