Diabetes affects an estimated 23.6 million people in the US (90 percent to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes) – 17.9 million have been diagnosed, but 5.7 million are unaware they have the disease.
The goal of those with diabetes should be to reduce their insulin requirement to a minimum while maintaining the best possible health, especially of the cardiovascular system, through vigilant control of blood sugar levels and attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction.
Suggested lifestyle and diabetes diet changes
-Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess body fat causes cells to become resistant to insulin.
-Eat small, frequent meals to keep blood sugars in a healthy range. Eating large meals can flood the bloodstream with glucose. Experiment until you find an eating pattern that makes you feel your best.
-Keep refined starches and sugars to a minimum, choosing those with a low glycemic index. (Sweet potatoes, winter squash and beans are examples of better carbohydrates.) You should also be aware of glycemic load in assessing dietary choices.
-Keep trans-fats and other chemically altered fats to a minimum, but consume moderate amounts of monounsaturated oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and some nut oils.
-Eat fish several times a week, emphasizing wild, cold-water fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as Alaskan salmon and sardines.
-Eat generous amounts of non-starchy vegetables, like cucumbers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, zucchini, eggplant, squash, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beans, radishes and spinach.
-Increase your activity level. Aerobic activity improves insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, which allows more glucose to enter the cells. Aim for 30 minutes a day.
Since type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at increased risk for a variety of complications, symptoms should be taken seriously and addressed immediately, and lifestyle changes, including dietary modification, should be initiated promptly and maintained.
This month at The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine Dr. Kalidas will discuss ‘Diabetes, Diet & Detox’ at our free monthly seminar – Thursday, April 12th at 6pm.
On Thursday, April 19th @ 6pm – our Nutrition Educator, Kiara Oberhaensli will host a cooking demo ‘Diabetes & your Diet’ to share tips and recipes to keep food choices diabetes friendly. The cooking demo has a cost of $20 (to cover food cost).
Pre-registration required : (407) 355-9246
Our next blog will cover more information on diabetes and diet/lifestyle. Stay tuned….