Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know that your diet will highly affect how well you feel, and has a lot of influence over your condition. This is because the types of food you eat affect your levels of insulin production. However, don’t worry. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up junk food entirely, and it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to eating ‘rabbit food’ all the time.
Yes, it is important to eat healthier when you are diagnosed with diabetes, being fit and healthy will indeed somewhat improve the condition, and in the case of type 2 diabetes, a diet change can even completely cure your condition. Apparently losing just 5-10% of your total body weight can lead to a drastic decrease for those who have high blood sugar. Remember, it’s never to late to make a big change to your overall health, and with a little effort you will soon reap the rewards of eating a good, varied and balanced diet.
Ideally, you’re looking to cut down on sugary foods that contain fructose, and processed foods, as these are the kinds of food that are going to put weight on around your abdomen, and fat in this area is more likely to lead to diabetes.
Some people recommend a high-protein diet in order to lose weight, but this isn’t such a great idea if you have diabetes, as a high consumption of animal proteins can lead to an increased resistance to insulin. It’s much better to maintain a balanced diet.
When making snack choices as a diabetic, it is recommended that you go for high-fibre foods, as these release their energy slowly, meaning they will not only keep you fuller for longer, but will also release sugar in a more manageable way for your body to cope with. Look out for brown or wholemeal versions of carbs like pasta, bread and rice, and look for snacks such as cereal and muffins that contain bran, oats or other grains.
Be creative with your food and look to making baked treats with substitute healthy ingredients; for example, there are plenty of recipes for brownies on the internet, that use avocado instead of butter, and agave nectar instead of sugar. Agave nectar is low GI, and avocado is what can be considered a ‘healthy’ fat, as it’s full of oils that are good for your skin and unsaturated. Surprisingly, when you use these ingredients as substitutes they will often taste the same or even better than the unhealthy ingredients that they replaced.
Finally, it’s a good plan to have small, regular meals when you have diabetes. You should never skip breakfast, as going without food for this long period of time can lead to your blood sugar levels reaching dangerous lows. Make sure you eat in regular intervals, and have lots of low-calorie, low-GI snacks to hand, so you’re never tempted to reach for a chocolate bar instead; good examples include fruit, nuts, cereal snack bars (but check the sugar content if processed!) and natural, unprocessed peanut butter.
This guest post was contributed by Holly Powell on behalf of Needle Bay for those who suffer from diabetes.