The symptoms of diabetes are controllable for the most part, but its effects can be severe and may progressively get worse, even when drugs are being taken to control the symptoms. Issues that can occur are impaired circulation, kidney disease, vision issues, damage to the nerves, damage to the skin, and a stroke or heart attack. This is why a diet that supports good overall health is considered a really good diabetes diet as well.
Healthy Diabetes Diet Considerations
1. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is important for overall health. You probably know that fiber helps with the digestive process, but it has also been shown to lower heart disease, which is often a problem for diabetics. Another interesting point to note is that although fiber is a carbohydrate (similar to sugars and starches), it will not elevate your blood glucose level because the body does not break it down and digest it.
Most of the foods that have fiber in them are healthy foods. For example, vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods all have natural fiber built-in the food. If you find fiber in processed foods, it is often because it is added in as it is being made.
2. Limit Sugar Intake
While the amount of sugar a person with diabetes should have can vary depending on their blood glucose response to it, sugar is not a healthy addition to any diet. Among many other things, sugar has been linked to cancer, weight gain, and premature aging. Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association strongly suggests limiting sugar-filled beverages.
3. Low Protein
A diabetes diet that is low in protein helps to protect the kidneys. Because diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, it is important to give your kidneys as much protection as possible. Diabetes contributes to kidney failure through increased blood sugar that damages the nerves and capillaries that support good kidney function. Eating large amount of protein puts stress on the kidneys, because they are the organ that has to excrete waste products derived from protein.
4. A diabetes diet should be low in saturated fats
When you have diabetes, you have another reason to avoid saturated fat. This type of fat is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and worsen insulin response. Also, when you lower saturated fat, you tend to increase monounsaturated fat, which is good for overall health, including the heart.
A diet that includes all four of the above-mentioned guidelines can help you avoid many chronic diseases and promote general good health. Moreover, it can also assist your weight control efforts. As far as a diabetes diet is concerned, the rules may vary based upon the level of restriction required to control individual lipid and blood glucose levels. Most patients will greatly benefit from strict adherence to these guidelines, however.