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Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem worldwide. It has been estimated that more than 33 million people in India are affected by diabetes, perhaps the largest number of diabetics in any country in the world. This number is expected to increase to 57.2 million by 2025 as reported by king et al. (1998). Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires changes for a lifetime. The management of diabetes includes nutrition therapy, Physical activity, Blood glucose monitoring, medication, and self management education. The dietary management of both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes mellitus is almost identical.
Nutritional therapy and dietary modification
The goals of nutrition therapy are:
- To attain and maintain optimal metabolic outcomes, including normal glucose levels, favorable lipid profile and acceptable blood pressure levels, to reduce the risk of macro vessel and micro vessel disease.
- To prevent and treat chronic complications of Diabetes mellitus by modifying nutrient intake and lifestyle as appropriate for the prevention and treatment of obesity, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and nephropathy.
- To improve health through healthy food choices and physical activity.
- To give specific advice necessary for minority groups such as:
- Young people with type 1 and type 2 Diabetes mellitus
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Older adult
- Individual treated with insulin
- Those at risk of developing Diabetes mellitus
What you should include:
- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran.
- Use breads with whole grains, stone-ground flour, sour dough .
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat.
- Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables.
- Use Basmati, Doongara rice.
- Enjoy whole grain pasta, whole grain noodles.
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables.
- Incorporate good fats like nuts (almonds, dates, walnut) and olive oil.
- It is ok to use low-fat dairy foods.Note: these red-orange foods (Watermelon, Carrots, Cantaloupe) are in the med-high GI range so try to include them in less quantity in your diet .
- Incorporate these wonderful herbs to enhance the flavor of all your foods: cinnamon, dill, fenugreek, garlic, ginseng (Panax, Korean, American) oregano, parsley, rosemary, stevia, thyme.
Research has discovered a whole range of plants with hypoglycemic action. Among them are:
- Artichoke, banana, barley, cabbage, carrot, lettuce, nettles, oats, peas, spinach, sweet potato, and turnip.
- Blood sugar regulators include: alanine, banaba, beta-glucan, bitter melon, chromium piccolate, guggul, gymnema, rehmannia.
- An apple can regulate blood sugar levels. Apples contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, some of which have been proven to have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free radicals in the body. Cell damage from free radicals can be a factor in certain cancers, heart disease, strokes, and other conditions. The major antioxidant components in apples are polyphenols contained mainly in the skin known as quercetin glycoside, phloretin glycoside, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin.
What You Should Avoid:
- Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar.
- What you don’t eat may be even more important than what you do eat. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar, because they tend to worsen index levels. If you can’t avoid them, then at least cut down.
- Reduce Processed and Refined Foods.
- Avoid fried foods, white pasta, white rice, full fat dairy, white potatoes, white bread.
- Processed food can rob your food of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to fight off stress and promote good health. Try to buy whole foods, unprocessed foods and try and stay away from "instant" foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fats, refined foods, hydrogenated foods.
- Reduce Sugar Intake: Too much sugar can rob our body of essential nutrients. Simple carbohydrates from baked goods, pastries, most crackers and cookies must be limited to a very small portion or completely removed from the diet.