Friday, February 11, 2011

DIET TIPS! Diabetes

Among the tests carried out in a recent medical outreach in Abuja by my organization were blood glucose tests.

In a certain organization (name withheld) 70% of staff examined were aged 35 or less and 46% of staff whose fasting blood sugar levels were tested had high results, while 54% had normal result findings.

Worrisome! Don’t you think?

Although this one-time finding may not pronounce the participants (46%) as diabetic, but it is a very strong hint on the fact that diabetes is on the rise. It is now common to find a person living with diabetes in at least every two families; obesity has become a common sight in our society so diabetes and other chronic diseases thrive. 

If you’re concerned about diabetes, you can make a difference by eating a healthy diet, keeping your weight in check, and getting exercise.

Eating right for diabetes comes down to three things:  
  • What you eat. Your diet makes a huge difference! You should eat mostly plant foods, cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks, and choose healthy fats over unhealthy fats. Focus on whole grain carbohydrates since they are a good source of fiber and they are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even. Whole grain carbohydrates include oat meal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta etc.

  • When you eat. Keeping regular meal and snack times also affects your blood sugar levels and will help to keep them more constant. Therefore, establish regular eating habits. Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levels and your weight when you maintain a regular meal schedule. The following tips will help you,
-Do not skip breakfast

- Eat small meals at regular times. It is helpful to eat 3 small meals plus 3 snacks spread out through the day. People tend to eat larger portions when they are overly hungry, so eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.
- Listen to your body and know when you’ve had enough to eat.
How much you eat. Portion sizes matter. Even if you eat very healthy meals, if you eat too much you will gain weight, which is a factor in diabetes. The key is to eat a balanced diet. Make 50% of the meal in your plate vegetables and then the remaining 50% protein and carbohydrate Start your meals with vegetables, which will help fill you up and give you lots of nutrients.

You do not need to eat special foods, but instead simply emphasize vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone!