High blood sugar or diabetes is a condition wherein your body fails to produce the required quantity of insulin needed. It is a metabolic disorder that occurs to people whose cells are not in a position to use the insulin secreted or in those insulin is not secreted in required volumes. Blood sugar level increases sharply for diabetic people causing lot of health issues and damaging vital organs like heart, kidney, lungs and brain. You are at risk of several complications and hence it is very much important to maintain your weight. Losing weight for diabetic people can be more challenging than others.
Choosing the right diet is vital for everyone who is health conscious, but for diabetic people eating wrong diet can increase their risk significantly causing more complications. To begin with, the risk of diabetes increases considerably if you are obese and overweight. According to CDC of USA, people with body mass index of 25 or more are categorized as overweight. As more and more people become obese, diabetic population increases considerably.
As of now 68% of adults in the US are either overweight or obese and this accounts for about 2/3rd of population. Almost 3 out of 4 men are obese or overweight according to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney diseases.
Who Are At Risk ?
Any person who is overweight or obese is at significant risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Your risk increases if you are physically inactive or if you have a family history of diabetes, or if you have high blood pressure/cholesterol, or if you have cardiovascular disease. Losing just 5% of weight can prevent you from diabetes and for that you need to be active and control your diet.
Don’t Avoid Eating :
There are some people who think by avoiding breakfast or lunch they can reduce weight. This theory is worse than you think. By fasting you are actually worsening the metabolic condition of your body. It is very much vital for people with diabetes to eat frequently in smaller portions. You can even eat 6 or 7 times a day instead of sticking on to 3 times meal a day.
Eat Right :
- Firstly, you should know what foods to avoid before getting to know what you should eat. There is no specific “diet” for people with diabetes according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics but they should definitely know the impact of certain foods on their metabolism.
- Eating a nutritious balanced diet can help in preventing diabetes and promoting weight loss, if you have not still developed diabetes. You can always take steps to reduce the risk at least now. Maintaining your weight at healthy level can make a big difference.
Recommendations Of ADC :
The American Diabetes Association has recommended the following foods for people with diabetes.
- High protein foods like beans, nuts, eggs and poultry and fishes like salmon, tuna etc. can be taken. Fruits and vegetables like berries, broccoli, kale, asparagus, collard greens and okra can be included. Dairy products like nonfat milk or low fat
- Yogurt can be taken. Whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta can be included.
Food To Be Avoided :
Certain foods can cause sudden spikes of blood sugar in diabetic people and hence such foods should be avoided. This include full fat dairy products, processed grains, fruits with sweeteners and canned fruits, and fried items and foods made of refined flour.
DASH Diet :
DASH is the short form of Dietary Approach Stop Hypertension which goes well for diabetic people also. Healthy vegetable oils, low fat dairy foods and lean protein can be taken daily. Total sodium (common salt) intake should not be more than 1000 mg per day.
Mediterranean Diet :
This diet is also healthy for people planning for diabetic weight loss diet. This includes foods rich in oleic acid that helps in reducing glucose levels and weight. Here again recommendations come in the form of protein foods like salmon and eggs, fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts and healthy fats like olive oil and almonds.
Paleolithic Diet :
This diet includes protein rich foods like meat and poultry, plant based foods like vegetables and fruits that contain less starch and healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil.
Doing regular exercises like walking or workouts in gym is good for people with diabetes. Aerobic exercise would help in reducing blood sugar levels considerably. You need to consult your GP if you have additional complications like cardiovascular problems before starting any workouts. You can see improvements in blood glucose level if you are dieting alongside exercising.
Losing Little Weight :
Even losing little weight can help you in long way. Set realistic goals while planning for diabetic weight loss. Be choosy in your diet and it is good to check with your dietician for healthy weight-loss. You need to realize that it is the starchy carbohydrates that increase the blood glucose level and reduce it considerably or try to avoid it. Losing little weight also can boost up your mood and motivates you to lose more weight.
Stomach Fat :
If you observe diabetic people, you can see most of them are obese having rich belly fat. Abdomen region is loaded with fats when compared with hips and thighs. Ideal waistline for woman is about 35 inches or less and for average adult men it is 40 inches.
Healthy Foods For Diabetic Weight Loss :
- Fats (unsaturated) like olive oil, fish oils and flax seed oil contain monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These are good for health helping in lowering blood glucose and cholesterol.
- Any fruits and vegetables (excepting canned ones) are good for diabetes. Eat fresh fruits chewing it slowly instead of juicing it. Fruits with high sugar content like mango, pineapple, pears and bananas can be taken in small quantities.
- Whole grains like whole wheat bread, whole oats, brown rice, whole rye, barley and buckwheat are healthy for diabetic weight loss.
- Fish variety like turkey, salmon and tuna can be taken, once or twice a week.
- Protein rich foods like eggs, low fat dairy and low fat yogurt are good for diabetes.
Foods To Avoid :
- Packaged foods, processed foods, baked items, sweets (of any kind), fried items, white bread, refined rice or pastas, processed and red meat are to be consumed in very less quantity or fully avoided.
- The real culprit is the carbohydrates since it can increase blood glucose level sharply. Reduce or avoid carb rich foods like white rice, white bread and pasta. Slow release carbohydrate foods can be take in smaller quantities since they are digested slowly keeping you satiated for extended time.
- Select and eat foods that have low glycemic index like whole grains, legumes and low starch fruits and vegetables if you have diabetes.