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5 Simple Ways to Formulate a Diabetes Diet

Sep 8, 2008
Since the food we eat is very closely linked with our blood sugar levels, it is not surprising that diet is one of the most effective tools we have available when combating diabetes. In this article I discuss five simple dietary changes that can help keep your diabetes under control.

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One of the main symptoms of diabetes is higher than normal blood sugar levels which is brought on by the lack of insulin in a diabetic person's body. The food you eat has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels and because of this diet is one of your best tools in the fight against diabetes. In this article I will be discussing five ways your diet can be modified to keep your blood sugar levels normal and keep your diabetes under control.

1) EAT 5 OR 6 SMALL MEALS PER DAY:- Most people eat 3 main meals per day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whilst blood sugar levels to rise to some extent following meals, eating large amounts of food in one sitting can cause them to increase significantly and then drop a few hours later. This is why you may experience a sudden burst of energy immediately after a large meal but then feel tired and sleepy a few hours later. By breaking your meals down into 5 or 6 smaller meals you can minimise these blood sugar surges and spread them more evenly throughout the day, meaning that your blood sugar levels will fluctuate less and be much more stable.

2) LIMIT YOUR DAILY CALORIES:- Developing a general understanding of how many calories are in the foods that you eat and how many calories you need to maintain a healthy body weight is a great way to keep your weight under control. But why is this important for diabetics? Well, fat cells have a number of characteristics that can aggravate diabetes one of which is that they have a lower number of insulin receptors than muscle cells. Therefore, by reducing your body fat levels you can increase your body's receptiveness to insulin making it easier for your body to control your blood sugar levels.

3) INCREASE YOUR SOLUBLE FIBRE CONSUMPTION:- One of the benefits of soluble fibre is that it holds food in the digestive tract for longer. This in turn means that sugars are released into the blood in a slower and more controlled way. Therefore, consuming more soluble fibre can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and minimise any rapid changes in your blood sugar levels. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of soluble fibre with apples, oranges and mushrooms being particularly rich in the substance.

4) REDUCE YOUR SALT INTAKE:- Although salt does not directly affect your blood sugar levels it can affect your blood pressure and with high blood pressure comes further complications such as heart disease. People with diabetes have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure than people without the condition. Therefore, combining the two is a recipe for disaster (excuse the pun). The recommended daily intake for salt is 6g so you should try and make sure that your maximum daily intake does not exceed this.

5) REDUCE YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION:- Moderate alcohol consumption does not pose a significant to most people's health. However, excessive alcohol intake can have a negative impact on your diabetes with the complications including hyperglycaemia (extremely low blood sugar levels). Therefore, you need to moderate when it comes to alcohol intake. Men should try to stick to 3-4 units per day whilst women should try to stick with 1 or 2 units per day.

Since diet is so closely linked with blood sugar levels it comes as no surprise that it must be closely managed in order to keep your diabetes under control. However, this does not mean that it has to be restrictive or boring. I hope this article has shown you how some simple dietary changes can significantly improve your diabetes.

Every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative but it is intended for general information only. Diabetes is a medical condition and this article is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner. If you have any concerns regarding any form of diabetes you should seek the advice of your doctor immediately.
About the Author
Tom Parker owns and operates a number of useful fitness resources and websites. For more detailed information on how to formulate a healthy diabetes diet please visit Tom's Fitness Tips blog
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