Diabetes Diet

Dietary Management

Nutritional needs: Dietary control is an integral part of management for the diabetic. The diet should always provide the essentials of good nutrition and adjustments must be made from time to time for changing metabolic needs For example during growth, pregnancy, lactation or modified activity.

Proteins: Since diabetics in general are in negative nitrogen balance they should receive about twice as much protein as normal subjects. The proteins should be of high biological value and provide about 20  25 % of the calories in the diet. A diet high in protein is good for diabetics because

  1. It supplies the essential amino acids needed for tissue repair.
  2. Protein does not raise the blood sugar during absorption, as do carbohydrates.
  3. It does not supply as many calories as fats.

Carbohydrates: The daily intake of carbohydrate should provide about 40 % of the calories to prevent ketosis. Several studies shown that raising the carbohydrates intake does not adversely affect blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance, or insulin requirements provided that total calorie are not increased.

 

 

Fats: After protein and carbohydrates levels have been established the fat allowance makes up the remaining calories for most diets.30  35 % of the calories as fat is satisfactory. Foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol should be limited.

Fiber: Foods those are rich in fibre can reduce the rate of glucose absorption, lower blood sugar rise, decrease urinary glucose excretion, slower stomach emptying and delay intestinal transit time. Fiber also contributes to satiety and consequent decreased food intake helps reduce weight. This fiber containing complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and absorbed such as pulses, brown rice, bread, chapathy will produce less rise in blood sugar and less excretion of urinary sugar than an equivalent amount of carbohydrates taken as sugar in tea.

The fiber particularly the gums, pectin's when ingested with a diet are reported to reduce post prandial glucose levels (after food) in blood. Studies have shown that gum present in fenugreek seeds (it contains 40 % gum) is most effective in reducing blood glucose and cholesterol levels as compared to other gums. These types of dietary fiber are often recommended for the management of certain types of diabetes. 

 

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