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Diet and Diabetes

         Some 16 million Americans have diabetes mellitus, a serious, chronic disease that impairs the body's ability to convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy .Persons with diabetes eitper cannot produce or respond to insulin, a hor mone instrumental in glucose metabolism. Because all human body tissues must have a steady supply of glucose, diabetes can affect every organ. In particular, it can, lead to heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and nerve problems. Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations in the US. And the fourth leading cause of death, both of which can often be prevented by early, effective treatment.

          Diet is fundamental in managing diabetes. A good one can stop symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels and lower the risk of complications. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) urges every patient to connsult a registered  dietitian to work out a diet tailored to, individual tastes and needs.  The ADA now emphasizes meal plans that take into consideration the overall diabetes management as well as age and related health concerns, such as elevated blood cholesterol levels and hypertension. In order to maintain normal blood glucose levels, 

diet

 

meals and snacks must be balanced to provide a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Children must have adequate calories for growth; a teenager's meal plan should allow flexibility to match an  often erratic schedule. Adults may need to reduce fat, cholesterol and protein to guard against kidney and heart disease. An overweight person with type II diabetes needs to focus on weight      loss by cutting 200 to 300 calories from his daily diet and increasing exercise to burn up more.     

         For most diabetics, complex carbohydrates (vegetables, reads, cereals and pasta) should make up the bulk of the diet. Because their fiber content slows the release of  glucose,  high-fiber starches--such as whole-grain bread, beans, peas arid lentils—help suppress a sharp increase in blood sugar after high-carbohydrate meals. High-grade protein (lean meats, meat substitutes and low fat dairy items) should supply 10-20% of daily calories. Fruits are a nutritious source of simple sugar. If you  use canned fruits, buy them packed in natural juices instead of syrup. Ounce for ounce, dried fruits have more concen trated sugar than fresh. Be careful to limit salt and salty foods if you have high blood pressure, a complication of diabetes.

         In contrast to earlier ADA recommendations, the current dietary guidelines allow leeway in eating simple carbohydrates. It is no longer an  iron-cladl rule that syrups, sugars and sweeteners must be avoided in favor of vegetables, breads, cereals, pasta and other complex carbohydrates. The emphasis is now on monitoring total carbohydrate consumption rather than the source of the carbohydrate. So, a cookie will have no more effect on blood glucose than mashed potatoes, provided the total amount of carbohydrate is the same. Still, all carbohydrates are not equal when it comes to nutrition. Starches provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, whereas sugar and sweeteners provide mostly calories; therefore, starches should make up the bulk of the diabetic diet, and sugar only a small amount. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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