Healthy Foods for Diabetes

Diabetes is caused by the lack of the hormone Insulin which is needed to help the body convert food into energy.

There are actually two types of Diabetes:

Insulin Dependent Diabetes is where people have stopped producing insulin themselves and have to have injections of insulin together with a healthy diet and regular meals to control their diabetes.

The other type is Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes and this is when people produce a little insulin themselves, but it’s not enough, or it doesn’t control their blood sugar as well as it should. They can control their diabetes by watching what they eat and sometimes with tablets. This group of people tend to be overweight and so weight reduction also plays an important part in the control of their diabetes.

What people eat is important to anyone with Diabetes and they should also watch their weight. Why should being overweight be avoided? Well, being overweight also makes it very difficult to control diabetes. People with diabetes should aim to keep at a weight that feels right for them, and to maintain that weight.

The longterm answer to weight control is by changing to a healthier eating routine and increasing physical exercise.

Therefore, if you have Diabetes, it’s important to take a look at your eating habits. Some questions you might ask yourself are:

Do you eat too many fatty foods and do you tend to eat when you’re bored or feeling at a loose-end? Perhaps you might even eat in an effort to cheer yourself up?

If you’ve answered yes, to any of these questions, then here’s what to do about it. Be prepared to change some of your eating habits. For instance, try substituting lower calorie, lower fat and lower sugar foods into your diet. Don’t keep high fat or high calorie foods in your fridge or cupboard as these may be too much of a temptation. And if you need a way of cheering yourself up, find new hobbies, join a club or regular exercise can help make you feel relaxed and happy.

Insulin response to the carbohydrate foods we eat varies with the speed of absorption of the carbohydrate. This is where dietary fibre can play a helpful role. Carbohydrate foods that are rich in fibre are absorbed more slowly than those from which the fibre has been stripped. It’s therefore worth thinking about including more unrefined high-fibre starch food in your diet.

You could base your meals around foods such as wholemeal bread, jacket potatoes, beans and lentils. It has also been found that fruit, vegetables and oats (which contain soluble fibre) help slow any rises in blood sugar after meals containing them.

Fruit and vegetables also help lower cholesterol levels which has to be good too. Apples, for instance lower the body’s insulin requirements and are also a good source of potassium. Broccoli is a rich source of chromium which helps regulate insulin and blood sugar and garlic too helps lower blood sugar levels.

It is essential for anyone suffering from diabetes to watch what they eat. Controlling their diet will also help you have some control over your health.