People with newly diagnosed diabetes should make menu plans to control blood sugar. Prediabetes diet should be free from any sugar; artificial sweeteners can be used if necessary. Patient should avoid all sweetened drinks and fruit juices. Avoid all sweets, chocolate, cakes and sweet biscuits and also reduce fat in the diet. Limited amounts of bread, potatoes, rice, cornstarch and similar carbohydrate containing foods can be taken. Fresh fruits and vegetables are highly recommended, but these should be selected from those which have low sugar content. A single diet may not be appropriate for all the diabetic patients.
Patients with newly diagnosed diabetes have often been drinking large quantities of sugary drinks such as lemonade, coke or fruit juices to quench their thirst. Just removing these and other simple sugars from the diet often leads to a rapid fall in plasma glucose and control of the symptoms. The consequent improvement demonstrates to the patient the importance of diet in diabetes treatment.
It is recommended to include grains, beans and starchy foods with 5-6 serving per day and it is recommended to ear fats, sweets and alcohol occasionally. The modern approach is not to ban sugar entirely, but to allow a small amount, preferably mixed with other foods and not taken on an empty stomach. It is acceptable to allow some sugar but the total quality should be kept reasonably small since sugar is high in calories and will contribute to gain weight. If sugary foods are to be taken as a part of the diet, it is best to consume them as part of or at the end of a meal. Artificial sweeteners are safe.
People with diabetes are advised to follow healthy menu plans which would be good to control blood glucose levels. Eating starchy foods to satisfy the appetite will often lead to weight gain. Starchy foods need to be taken to reasonable portion size. Starchy foods such as bread, potatoes and pasta when digested in the stomach release energy in the form of glucose. This will be absorbed through the stomach wall and lead to a rise in your blood glucose level. The body relies on sugar as its main source of energy so we all need some starchy foods in our diet.
If your blood glucose levels are rising too high, it may be that your diabetes is not controlled and needs some adjustment. Fats are high in calories, liberal intake of fats will tend to lead to weight gain and increasing insulin resistance. Olive oil and sunflower oil are good. These types of oil are preferable to animal fats. Increasing the proportion of vegetables, fruits, nuts and oily fish in the diet and taking small amounts of lean meat and whole grains are helpful in improving cardiovascular complications for people with diabetes.
Many recipes can be adapted to fit into a healthy eating diabetes diet. The amount of sugar in a portion of baked beans is small and is acceptable. Baked beans are a good source of carbohydrate, they contain soluble fiber. Brown bread is recommended as compare to white bread. White bread contains little fiber and the starch is rapidly digested by gut enzymes.
It is essential that dietary advice should be both practicable and culturally and financially acceptable to the individual and the family.
People with diabetes should be advised not to miss food because of the alcohol. The risk of hypoglycemia appears to be increased if food is omitted. It is advised to people with insulin dependent diabetes to make sure that they take alcohol with a meal or a snack.
Everyone with diabetes who smokes should be advised to stop. Smoking may lead in increased development and progression of nephropathy and neuropathy. Smoking appears to have an adverse effect on cardiovascular system in people with diabetes.
It is recommended that people prone to diabetes should be encouraged to take 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Minor exercise should be encouraged whenever there is an opportunity for example, climbing stairs rather than using lifts, walking for short distances rather than using any vehicle, doing gardening during free time, etc. During exercise, stored glucose is released from muscles and utilized to complete the activity.
Oral hypoglycemic agents
In general those patients with higher plasma glucose levels at diagnosis are more likely to need oral hypoglycemic agents in addition to diet. Usually use of OHA is delayed until dietary modifications and life style changes have proved unsuccessful in achieving adequate control. Encouraging weight loss and exercise are important for prediabetes. If a patient is keen to lose weight and makes a good start with diet and exercise then intake of OHA can be prevented. Good education, careful blood glucose self monitoring and healthy life style can help to prevent diabetes.