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Foods that help better support diabetes

Our health depends intimately on what is on our plate. An endocrinologist gives nutritional advice for diabetics.

If there is no antidiabetic food, we know that certain nutrients will better regulate the effects of this pathology. They are different depending on the type of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, the most common, is the most sensitive to food. It affects older people, but also more and more young people overweight. In this case, the rule is to restrict calories, avoiding foods high in sugar and fat, but taking three or four meals a day. We recommend focussing on vegetables, including endives, green beans, tomatoes, aubergines, which are low in calories and have fibre. Vegetables have the virtues of providing vitamins and trace elements and slow the absorption of glucose. Protein foods should be as low-fat as possible: fish, poultry such as turkey, guinea fowl, chicken are the best choice, but also, in moderate quantities, beef or veal. On the other hand, lamb or pork meat should be avoided. The idea is to cook them with grill, steam or foil. Milk and low-fat dairy products are recommended, which provide a significant supply of protein and calcium. Whey has antidiabetic properties because of a beneficial effect on insulin secretion.

We also recommend limiting – but not eliminating – starchy foods, bread, potatoes, pasta, which facilitate weight gain because they contain too much sugar. In 1 kg of bread, we find 500 g of sugar, while 1 kg of dough or rice contains 700 g. We must prefer rye bread to white bread, black rice to white rice: they have a hyperglycemic effect less rapid.

Sugars, jams, honey and obviously all sodas, sugary drinks and fruit juices are to be avoided. All these foods release too much glucose, which will cause peaks of hyperglycemia and solicit the secretion of insulin favouring the storage of fat. Similarly, beware of canned and prepared foods, which concentrate hidden sugars, as well as lean products, certainly low in fat but enriched in sugar.

Fruits are needed, but watch out for their sugar content. Watermelon, apple, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant are welcome. But beware of figs, raisins or cherries.

The diet is different for people with type 1 diabetes. The pancreas does not secrete insulin and the subject loses weight. He must have a diversified diet, with meat and starchy foods, but monitored. Fast sugars (pastries, sugary drinks, jams …) are forbidden.

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