What Can I Eat If I Have Diabetes?

The food you eat is one of the most important things to look out for if you have diabetes. A healthy, balanced meal full of nutrients, and very little to no sugar or salt is the most recommended by health professionals.
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Diabetes is a disease where your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose is one of the body’s most important sources of fuel or energy. However, just as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad.

Some factors that can make your blood sugar levels rise are: excessive intake of carbohydrates, lack of exercise, dehydration, and stress. Aside from these, certain types of diabetes are also hereditary.

Types of Diabetes

Despite the numerous types of diabetes, the most common common ones are Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system is mistakenly attacking the parts of the body. On the other hand, Type 2 Diabetes, the more common ailment between the two, is when the body loses its ability to respond to insulin.

  1. Type 1

Although it is still currently unknown why this happens; in Type 1 Diabetes, the immune system, which protects you from viruses and bacteria, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas called beta cells.

Despite the cause being unknown, there are various efforts and researches from different doctors around the world. So far, there is only one available treatment for Type 1 Diabetes, and this is the injection of insulin.

  1. Type 2

Diabetes Type 2 is a chronic medical condition where your body does not respond to insulin as well as it should. The causes could either be genetics or lifestyle. The best treatment for Diabetes Type 2 is the management of your blood sugar levels.

At the later stages, your body may also not produce enough insulin, which is why the injection of insulin maybe needed. This leads to fatigue and constant hunger, and if your blood sugar levels remain high for a long time, it also leads to yeast infections and slow-healing cuts or sores.

Although the two types of diabetes listed here are obviously different, the treatment and the prevention of the two are somewhat similar. Aside from injecting insulin, it is also said that managing what you eat so that your blood glucose level does not increase. So make sure to keep reading and find out the most important things you have to remember with regards to your diet.

What To Eat

People with diabetes have a high chance of having a heart disease. However, this only happens when your blood glucose levels are too high and left unchecked. So remember to monitor what you eat because there is no doubt that that will  affect your health.

If you are already monitoring what you eat and is choosing the healthier alternative, then congratulations! You are already well on our way on the road of health and we know that it may not be the easiest at times, but it is definitely one of the most fulfilling. On the other hand, if you’re taking baby steps, then no worries! Here’s a short list that can help you with the food items you need to  look out for:

  1. Avocados

An avocado has around 17 grams of carbohydrates, which is considerably less than an apple and a banana, which are 25 and 27 grams of carbohydrates respectively. With so few carbohydrates, you won't need to worry about an avocado raising their blood sugar levels.

Pairing an avocado with other foods may help reduce blood sugar spikes too, since an avocado’s fat and fiber content takes longer to digest and slows the absorption of other carbohydrates in the process. However, before you binge eat on avocados, remember that you also have to consider your daily calorie intake.

  1. Beans

It is advised for people with diabetes to add dried beans or no-sodium canned beans to several meals each week. Beans are low on the glycemic index and can help manage blood sugar levels. Aside from this, beans also contain protein and fiber, which makes them a high nutritional component.

Beans can be a little bland, however, remember to not add too much salt or cook them with unhealthy fats. How you cook something also determines how healthy it is. Also remember that despite most people’s reasoning, eating something healthy as your side and eating a predominantly unhealthy dish does not mean that you have eaten a nutritionally balanced meal.

  1. Broccoli

It was found through a study that a compound called sulforaphane improves the ability of the patients' systems to control their glucose levels and reduced their glucose production.

As a flowering member of the cabbage family, despite the vitamins it contains as well as its high fiber and low  calories and carbohydrates, many people dislike just the thought of broccoli. To remedy this, make sure to try different ways of serving broccoli if you don’t like how it is prepared steamed.

  1. Fish

Fish is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, and in a study from Harvard university, it was found that omega-3s raise levels of adiponectin, a hormone which increases insulin sensitivity. Aside from decreasing insulin resistance, it was found that they also help reduce inflammation, and prevent heart disease and stroke. These are the main reasons why omega-3 is recommended for those who have or are at risk of diabetes.

Fish is a healthy protein source that will not raise blood sugar levels. It is even recommended for us to eat 8 ounces of non-fried fish (particularly fatty fish) each week. Particularly, salmon has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Be advised however, to only buy  fish from trusted sources, since some types of fish may contain high levels of mercury and other environmental contaminants.

These are just some of the things that you can take note of in your diet if you are diabetic. To know more or if you want to verify these, consult with your doctor and they’ll be sure to provide you with reliable advice.

If you don’t have a doctor yet, then don’t worry! SeeYouDoc has a varied array of doctors that you can choose from and filter through based on their location, specialization, and insurance.

References: MedlinePlus, JDRF, Diabetic Living Online

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