Diabetes, prediabetes: what diet to choose to control your blood sugar

Presse Santé


A specific diabetic diet is simply a healthy eating plan to help you control your blood sugar. Here’s how to get started, from meal planning to carb counting.

The diabetic diet is simply about eating the healthiest foods in moderation and keeping regular meals.
A healthy diet is naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. The key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In fact, a diabetic diet is the best diet plan for most people.

Why should you develop a healthy diet?

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will probably advise you to see a dietitian to help you create a healthy diet. This plan will help you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight, and control your heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

When you eat extra calories and fat, your body produces an unwanted rise in blood glucose levels. If blood sugar levels are not controlled, it can lead to serious problems, such as high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which, if it persists, can lead to long-term complications such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
You can keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range by choosing healthy foods and monitoring your eating habits.
For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss can also help control blood sugar and provide a number of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetic diet is a well-organized and nutritious way to safely achieve your goal.

What is a diabetic diet?

The diabetic diet consists of eating three meals a day at regular times. This will allow you to make better use of the insulin your body produces or receives through medication. A registered dietitian can help you create a diet based on your health goals, tastes and lifestyle. He can also talk to you about ways to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portions that are appropriate for your size and activity level.

Recommended foods

Choose healthy carbohydrates, high-fiber foods, fish and “good” fats.

healthy carbohydrates

During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (compound carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates such as:

– Fruit
– Vegetables
– Whole grains
– Legumes such as beans and peas

Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or beverages with added fats, sugars, and sodium.

Foods high in fiber

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber relaxes your body’s digestion and helps control your blood sugar. Foods high in fiber include

– Vegetables
– Fruit
– Nut
– Legumes such as beans and peas
– Whole grains

Healthy fish heart

Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can prevent heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish with a high mercury content, such as tuna.

“Good” fats

Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol. These include the following foods

– Lawyers
– Nut
– rapeseed, olive and peanut oil

But don’t overdo it, because all fats are caloric.

Foods to avoid

Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following may run counter to your goal of eating a healthy heart.

– Saturated fats.

Avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, sausages and bacon. Also limit coconut and palm oil.

– Trans fats.

Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, pastries, margarines.

– Cholesterol.

Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal protein, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Focus on no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day.

– Sodium.

Focus on less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Your doctor may advise you to target even less if you have high blood pressure.

Overall: Create a plan

There are various approaches you can use to create a diabetic diet that will help you keep your blood glucose levels within the normal range. With the help of a dietitian, you may find that one of the following methods or a combination of them suits you:

Plate method

It basically focuses on consuming more vegetables. When preparing a plate, follow these steps, it should include:

– Half your plate with non-starch vegetables such as spinach, carrots and tomatoes.
– a quarter of your plate with proteins such as lean pork or chicken.
– The last quarter of your plate with a whole meal, such as brown rice or starch vegetables.
– Include “good” fats such as nuts or avocados in small quantities.
– Add a serving of fruit or dairy product and drink water or unsweetened tea or coffee.

Count the carbs

Because carbohydrates break down into glucose, they have the greatest effect on blood glucose levels. To help you control your blood sugar, you may need to learn how to count the amount of carbohydrates you eat so that you can adjust your insulin dose accordingly. It is important to note the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.

A dietitian can teach you to measure food portions and become an avid reader of food labels. Or they will teach you how to pay close attention to portion size and carbohydrate content. If you are taking insulin, your dietitian can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.

Glycemic index

Some people with diabetes use a glycemic index to choose foods, especially carbohydrates. This method ranks foods containing carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Talk to your dietitian about whether this method is right for you.

Consider your size and level of activity when planning your meal.

What are the results of a diabetic diet?

A healthy diet is the best way to control your glucose levels. And prevent complications of diabetes. And if you need to lose weight, you can adapt it to your specific goals.
In addition to treating diabetes, the diabetic diet offers other benefits. Because the diabetic diet recommends eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and fiber, adhering to it is likely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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