NUTRITIONAL MANAGEMENT FOR DIABETES

 

Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas either produces no insulin (Type 1) or resists the insulin that is produced (type 2). Insulin is a hormone, which aids the cells to receive the glucose, which is present in the blood. Cells convert the glucose into energy. In the absence of insulin, the glucose remains in the blood stream and builds up. This is dangerous. Since the glucose in the blood comes from the food we eat, it is essential that diabetics ensure that the amounts of glucose in the blood do not peak. They have to be very careful about their diet.

 The caloric requirements of diabetics are estimated after considering factors such as age, sex, actual weight in relation to desirable weight, activity and occupation.

DIETARY MODIFICATIONS

  • About 55-60 per cent of the calories should come from carbohydrates,15-20 percent from proteins and 15-20 per cent from fats.

Simple sugars should be restricted since they are easily absorbed and have a high glycaemic index and more harmful.

  • Complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grain cereals and pulses, fibers  and salads should be included in the diet
  • Fats with high polyunsaturated fatty acids like vegetable oil is preferred (sunflower oil, corn oil, gingelly oil, mustard oil) than animal fat and hydrogenated fat which contains more saturated fatty acids.
  • High protein intake helps to increase insulin production and promotes satiety.
  • Vitamins and minerals should be taken in adequate amounts to meet the daily requirements.
  • Fruits containing fiber and having low glycaemic index like orange, papaya , apple, guava can be consumed by diabetics in limited quantities.
  • Timely intake of in between meal or snacks should be stressed to avoid hypoglycaemia. Three meals and three snacks should be taken.
  • Patients should avoid fasting and feasting.