Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone that does. Regardless of the type diabetes, it isn’t yet a curable disease. However, it is a very treatable disease. There are many factors that come into play when developing type 2 diabetes not just the extra weight or eating too much sugar. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes but other factors play into it as well. Such as how much physical activity you get, family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Type 2 diabetes is not caused by sugar, but by genetics and lifestyle factors.
The human diet plays a very important role in prevention and controlling diabetes. Let’s look a little bit more into what diabetes is and how it affects your body. Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. If you have type 2 diabetes your body doesn’t use insulin properly. At first your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But overtime it can’t keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose a normal level.
Type 2 diabetes is not caused by sugar, but by genetics and lifestyle factors. Click To Tweet
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese.
Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as high blood glucose levels called hyperglycemia that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
Treatment and pharmaceutical recommendations
Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease by making healthy food choices and being more physically active. Many people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes medicines as well. These medicines may include diabetes pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. In time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to control your blood glucose.If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely. Click To Tweet
Dietary recommendations for type 2 diabetes for adult men and women
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you see a dietitian to help you develop a healthy eating plan. The plan helps you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats.
You can keep your blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and track eating habits. For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely.
A diabetes diet is based on eating three meals a day at regular times.
This helps you better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through a medication. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health goals, tastes and lifestyle. He or she can also talk with you about how to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level.
Choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber rich foods, fish and good fats. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as: Fruits, Vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy.
Include fiber rich foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains. Eat heart healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consume good fats: Avocados, nuts and canola, olive and peanut oil. The key to eating healthy with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines that your dietitian may have given to you. The food groups: no starchy vegetables: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes. Starchy vegetables: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas. Fruits: oranges, melons, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes. Grains: at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains. Whole grains include: wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley and quinoa. Protein choices are lean meat, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, meat substitutes such as tofu, eggs, nuts and peanuts, dried beans and certain peas such as chickpeas and split peas. Dairy- nonfat or low-fat milk or lactose, yogurt and cheese.
Food to avoid
Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Food containing the following can work against your goal of a heart healthy diet: Saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
Meal planning methods
Two common ways to help you plan how much to eat if you have diabetes are the plate method and carbohydrate counting, also called carbohydrate counting. The plate method helps you control your portion sizes. The plate method shows the amount of each food group you should eat. This method works best for lunch and dinner. Use a 9 inch- plate. Put non-starchy vegetables on half of the plate; a meat or other protein on one-fourth of the plate; and a grain or other starch on the last one-fourth. You also may eat a small bowl of fruit and drink a small glass of milk. The other option is carbohydrate counting and that involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates you eat and drink each day. Because carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, they affect your blood glucose level more than other foods do.
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Interview of Robert Perry on his diagnosis of diabetes
This afternoon I am relaxing with my husband Robert Perry age 57 as he shares some information to me about his diet related condition type 2 diabetes. Robert has explained to me that he was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes 6 months ago on October 2018, and he also has high blood pressure. He went in for his yearly exam with a full blood work up, including the AC1 test that measures the blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. Since his results were 7.4, he was diagnosed with diabetes since the level greater or equal to 6.5 which is consistent with diabetes mellitus.
What was prescribed?
Because of his diagnosis of diabetes, the doctor prescribed Metformin 500mg tablets taken once a day with breakfast. Metformin containing medicines are used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Along with the medication he has been told to test his blood sugar with a glucose monitor, once in the morning and again at night before he goes to bed. He also takes Lisinopril to help treat his high blood pressure. Robert has also seen a dietitian to help him understand what he should eat to lower his blood sugar levels and his cholesterol, since that is also is in the high range. The dietitian put him on a calorie controlled low cholesterol diet where she recommended he should try the carbohydrate counting method.
She explained it’s not healthy to cut out all carbs since your body and especially your brain needs them every day. He can have up to 10 carbohydrate foods a day (195 grams of carbs). The dietitian was very helpful in telling him what he should and shouldn’t eat and even sent him to a few diabetes classes. When I asked him if he thought this chronic disease could have been prevented, he said, “I’m pretty sure that if I made better food choices the outcome would have been different.” He said, “since changing my diet I do feel better and my weight and glucose numbers are down so yes I do feel that changing my diet has made a difference. I have fell off the wagon a few times by eating too many sweets and unhealthy fats, but I start again and try my best to get back on track.”
Research Study with lifestyle modification
Eating a healthy diet does help tremendously in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and controlling it. In a research study that was done, they randomly assigned 3234 non-diabetic persons with elevated fasting and post-load plasma glucose concentrations to placebo, metformin (850mg twice daily), or a lifestyle modification program with the goals of at least 7 percent weight loss and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. The life style intervention was significantly more effective than metformin. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when you blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your
blood can cause health problems, such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. You can take steps to prevent diabetes or mange it.
Written by Stacey Perry – A Fit Caregiver
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