Jul 31, 2015
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A good diet is necessary for maintaining diabetes. Know more!

Basic principles of a good diet:

    • Eat regular meals
      Eat a well balanced diet at regular, frequent intervals (say, every four hours). This would allow your blood sugar levels to be better controlled. If you eat too much at one time, the blood sugar will go high. And if you don’t eat for a long time, the blood sugar will go too low. Remember those shaadis that you have attended – if you measure blood sugar after eating a lot you will find that it can be too high. Regular eating will avoid that. Tip: If you are outside your house and you don’t have regular food, carry some fruits/low calorie biscuits along with you.
    • Cut down on high sugar foods
      oods with sugar (sucrose or glucose) require little or no digestion for your body to absorb the sugars. This means they cause blood glucose to rise quickly after a meal
      Normally the pancreas produces a boost of insulin to cope with the raised blood sugar, but in Diabetes this process fails. So moderating the amount of high sugar foods in your diet will help control your blood sugar level.

  • Reduce the amount of fat
    Compared to the other foods, fat has the most amount of calories – 9 calories per gram.
    This means cutting down the amount of fat you eat will have the most effect on reducing your total calorie count.
    When you use oil, use one that is high in ‘good’ fat such as olive oil and rice bran oil, but use it sparingly. Use a spray for oil that is now available in some markets. If you don’t have a spray for oil, you could achieve the same effect by using a cloth for spreading oil.
    You can reduce fat by grilling, steaming or microwaving foods and buying lean cuts of meat – for example chicken breast without the skin.
    Low-fat choices are easy to find in supermarkets, but be careful of this label. Reduced fat crisps may be lower in fat than a standard bag, but they are by no means a low-fat food. Instead, you would be better off choosing a different type of snack altogether eg a piece of fruit.
  • Eat five portions of fruit and veg a day
    Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day provides the essential vitamins and minerals we all need.
    To make sure we get a variety of nutrients and take advantage of the host of benefits they provide, it’s important the fruits and vegetables are different types.
    A good intake of fruit and vegetables has also been proven to reduce blood pressure and protect against conditions such as heart disease – it may even prevent some cancers.
    Adding a glass of pure fruit juice to your daily diet is a simple way to get one of your five portions.
  • Reduce salt intake
    Six grams of salt or less a day is the recommended amount for adults. This equates to a slightly heaped teaspoon.
    The problem is that even if you don’t add salt to any of the food you eat, the amount of ‘hidden’ salt in processed and packaged foods means you can easily eat two to four times this daily limit. For example, a single slice of bread can contain 0.5g of salt.
    Common salt is sodium chloride. On food labels, the salt content is often given as grams of sodium. To convert sodium to grams of salt, multiply the quantity of sodium by 2.5. The daily limit is about 2.5g of sodium.
    Don’t forget the amount stated on the label is often per 100g, not for the product itself. A standard ready meal weighs about 500g, so at 0.5g sodium per 100g it would contain 2.5g sodium – your total daily intake. Read labels on packaged food.
    You can reduce levels of salt in your diet by:

    1. not adding salt to meals
    2. limiting the amount used in cooking
    3. choosing foods that contain 0.1g sodium or less per 100g – three quarters of the salt we eat comes from foods we buy
    4. switching everyday foods to low-sodium/reduced salt options – this means breakfast cereal, soup, biscuits, tinned vegetables and ready meals
    5. limiting salty foods such as crisps, cheese and pickles
    6. using more herbs, spices and ground pepper.
  • Keep alcohol to moderate levels
    Drinking up to two units of alcohol a day appears to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk.
    It’s thought that compounds within some alcoholic drinks, particularly red wine, mop up ‘free radical’ molecules that can cause tissue damage.
    But these benefits rapidly turn to negatives when higher levels of alcohol are consumed.
    In diabetes alcohol can also lower the blood glucose level. This makes a hypoglycaemic reaction more likely – as does drinking on an empty stomach.
    The recommended limits for alcohol consumption are: 14 units per week for women and 21 units per week for men. This should ideally be spread over the week.
    A unit of alcohol is:

    1. 250ml (1/2 pint) of ordinary strength beer or lager
    2. A 125ml glass of wine
    3. A small measure for spirits (25ml)

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