Evaluate The Connection Between Diabetes and Nutrition

The connection between diabetes and nutrition is fairly obvious, as the food that you eat will drastically affect your blood sugar levels. However, just because you are more susceptible to sugar rushes and crashes if you have either type of diabetes, it doesn’t mean that you have to radically alter your diet. You will need to make some changes, and as you get used to the symptoms of diabetes, you’ll get an idea to what your body can and can’t handle.

Busting Nutrition Myths

A lot of myths exist around diabetes and nutrition which generally stem from a lack of understanding of how diabetes affects the body and how the nutrition from food is absorbed into the blood stream. The most common mistruths are:

  • You cannot eat any sugar – Blood sugar levels are of course affected by sweet foods, but the glucose in your blood stream is created when your body processes any food, not just sugary snacks. It is the glucose that insulin is essential in breaking down to help your cells convert it to energy. All that you will achieve by cutting out sugar is avoiding the natural sugar rush and crash that affects anyone with or without diabetes.
  • You need to eat more protein – The idea of getting more energy through protein rich foods such as meat and nuts comes from the idea that you’ll be eating less sugar and will therefore need an alternative energy source. This isn’t true, and indeed some studies have shown that eating too much protein that comes from red meat can actually build your body’s resistance to insulin.
  • You have to cut out the carbs – This myth about diabetes and nutrition is partially true, as you will have to monitor the amount of starchy carbohydrate food that you eat. However, carbohydrates will remain important in your diet as they’ll provide you with long lasting energy which will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Eating too many carbs will cause your blood sugar to spike, while eating too few will leave you feeling hungry and more susceptible to snacking.

Watch the video below and know about some about nutritional aspects of diabetes.

Nutrition Tips

While the myths are not true, plenty of strong links between diabetes and nutrition exist. The best overall changes you can make are:

  • Choose better carbs – You should be eating around 60g of carbohydrates at each meal, which equates to half a cup of rice or pasta or a couple of slices of bread. You should also steer clear of white carbs such as white pasta and bread, as these have been refined and convert to blood glucose much more readily. Try choosing whole grain options instead that will give you long lasting steady blood sugar.
  • Eat more fiber – Your body struggles to break down fiber, so eating foods that are high in fiber will help to regulate your blood glucose levels. Foods that are high in fiber include nuts, red meat, grains and seeds.
  • Go to town on fruit and vegetables – The sugars in fresh fruit and vegetables are easily broken down by your body and do not affect your glucose levels greatly. They also contain no cholesterol and no fat, which makes them a great healthy option as a snack or a side dish. Be aware that fruit juice and canned fruit that comes with syrup are exceptions to these rules as they have been processed with additional sugar.

When you are talking with your doctor about diabetes and nutrition, you may want to ask tor advice about getting a nutrition advisor. Most hospitals and medical practices will have someone with whom you can talk, or you can find someone online who will help you plan your meals and analyze the impact of certain foods on your blood sugar levels.

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