Diabetes Type 2 is the commonest form of diabetes in today’s world. This is a disease which generally affects people aged over 40 years and lasts for life. It is characterized by high sugar levels in the blood. Diet and exercise can help treatment of both of these problems. Bodies of patients affected with diabetes type 2 cannot produce enough insulin to cope with the sudden and sharp rise in blood glucose that occurs after a meal. Obese and overweight persons are inactive and hence tend to be more insulin resistant than lean people who exercise regularly. The common symptoms of this disease are excessive thirst, increased urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Diet plays an important role in preventing, managing and controlling diabetes when combined with other techniques such as exercises, stress management. Depending upon the stage of diabetes, Type 2 diabetics could be prescribed either medication or insulin or both. However, insulin and medication are no substitutes for a healthy diet. Healthy and proper diet could allow few patients to reduce or eliminate medication.
While patients with Type 1 diabetes are prescribed a diet of approx 35 calories per kg of body weight per day, patients with Type 2 diabetes are usually suggested a 1500-1800 calorie diet per day to help loss of weight and thereafter for maintenance of desired body weight. However, this varies as per age, sex, activity levels, and body frame. Obese individuals are likely to require additional calories initially until their weight reduces. This is as it takes extra calories to maintain a larger body and a 1600 calorie diet for them may promote a faster weight loss and hence may not be healthy. Since men compared to women have more muscle mass in general they may therefore require extra calories.
Diabetics generally benefit from consulting a dietician or nutritionist for a diet suitable for them. It is important for all diabetics to understand the import of counting carbohydrates and how to help control blood sugar levels through a balanced and proper diet containing fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It is important to have all three included in the diet. The quantities of food eaten are closely related to blood sugar control. If excess food than recommended is consumed, it will affect blood sugar levels which could go up. The only way to monitor eating of correct portion size is to carefully measure the foods.
Every little weight loss reduces the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Suitable changes in eating habits, physical activity, and outlook towards food and weight management will be required to be incorporated in lifestyles throughout life.
In Type 2 diabetic the emphasis may be more towards weight loss in order to improve the body’s ability to utilize the insulin it does produce. Therefore sound knowledge about the basics of food nutrition will enable adjusting diets. It is necessary that a healthy meal should be eaten to kick start the day. Thereafter having five to six small meals rather than three large meals is recommended. Under no circumstance, a diabetic should starve himself.
A diabetic must consume at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to cleanse the body system daily.
There are foods which can be eaten freely and without counting. Any food or drink containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serving is classified as a free food.
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