Diabetes Diet – Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle And Reducing Risk

An acceptable diabetes diet is one of the ways to reduce one of the most important risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes, and that is obesity. It is a healthy diet combined with exercise that will help prevent a pre-diabetic condition and type 2 diabetes related to obesity.

Women in particular are at increased risk for diabetes as a result of a poor diet, a lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol, and having excess body fat has proven to be the single most determinant of type 2 diabetes.

The reduction in excess body fat will improve glucose tolerance, and reduce the related risk factors for heart disease. In addition, getting regular exercise will improve carbohydrate metabolism, improve lipid metabolism, and increase insulin sensitivity. Exercise also improves blood flow to the extremities, reduces blood pressure to normal levels, and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Nutritional Needs of Diabetes

Diabetics have the same nutritional needs as everyone else; the difference is that with diabetes food intake must be monitored carefully. The key is to eat well balanced meals in the correct amounts of food to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.

Those with diabetes should have specific meal plans and those with type 1 diabetes should eat at about the same time each day, and there should be consistency regarding food choices. By keeping calorie and carbohydrate intake consistent this prevents blood glucose levels from becoming too low or too high.

Those with type 2 diabetes should consume a well balanced diet low in fat, particularly saturated fat and trans fat which will promote a healthy body weight. The intake of dietary carbohydrates should come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

For information about diabetes diet meal plans from the American Diabetic Association click on the link to diabetes.org

There is a great series of articles on several aspects of eating healthy with diabetes at helpguide.org

For some great information, diet tips and recipes for managing diabetes from an individual living with the disease click on the link to liveahealthylifewithdiabetes.com

For other information on nutrition and diabetes diet some great references are:

• Nutrition – Fourth Edition by Paul Insel, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein

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