The medical community claims that a person diagnosed with diabetes definitely needs a lifestyle change, not just specific medications, but also when diet and treatment are equally important components. A diabetic diet should help balance the intake of carbohydrates and their expenditure to keep the body functioning. For diabetics, it is not possible to compensate for carbohydrate metabolism without following a diet, so dietary control is becoming an integral part of treatment.
Diabetes mellitus: a disease that has become a way of life
The World Health Organization gives the following definition of what diabetes is. It is a chronic disease that develops when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the synthesized insulin cannot be used effectively. In the world, this disease occurs equally in men and women.
Diabetes mellitus is derived from two Latin words, one of which means persistent fluid loss with constant thirst, and the other has been added to indicate the sweet taste of urine in diabetics due to its high glucose content.
The body needs glucose as its main source of energy. Metabolic processes are impossible without it. The cells of most tissues in the human body need the pancreatic hormone insulin to assimilate the glucose that food gives us. If this hormone is not enough or the cells stop interacting with insulin, a lot of glucose accumulates in the blood and signs of diabetes appear. Among the characteristic symptoms of the disease are frequent urination, patients are constantly thirsty and hungry, and at the same time lose weight quickly.
An indicator of the condition of the body that allows you to confirm or refute the symptoms of diabetes - a blood test for glycated (or glycosylated) hemoglobin. The more glucose accumulates in the blood, the higher the percentage of hemoglobin cells associated with it. The rate of glycosylated hemoglobin is calculated as a percentage: if the test reading is ≥ 6, 5, the doctor makes an initial diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and prescribes additional tests.
The causes of high blood sugar are not always related to diabetes. Acute hyperglycemia occurs during stress when a person eats large amounts of high-calorie food at once without control. In addition to diabetes, stroke, myocardial infarction and some infections can cause high blood sugar. However, if your blood glucose level is higher than diabetes, your doctor will select the appropriate medication and help you adjust your diet.
Features of the diet for different types of diabetes
The diet for diabetes mellitus is selected according to the type of the disease. Nutrition in type 1 diabetes - when glucose uptake is impaired due to insufficient insulin synthesis - should not only reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, but also carefully monitor their intake to prevent life-threatening diabetic coma. Hypoglycemia is no less risky in diabetes mellitus, which occurs in patients who are new to insulin and cannot combine it with food for diabetics. This condition occurs when there is insufficient nutrition. Salvation is eating foods rich in fast carbohydrates.
The type 2 diabetes diet - when the problem with glucose uptake is when the cell refuses to take insulin - is based most on weight loss, as obesity is usually the cause of insulin resistance. Features of the diet for type 2 diabetes mellitus are to exclude easily available carbohydrates from the menu, but be sure to add foods that contain a lot of different dietary fiber.
One of the forms of the disease that requires immediate adjustment of the diet in the direction of rejection of fast carbohydrates and high-calorie foods is impaired glucose tolerance or latent diabetes. This is called prediabetes, because without proper treatment and diet, latent diabetes will gradually develop all the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Experts note that prediabetes is more common in men, which is explained by the lack of attention to their health. This type of disease can develop without specific symptoms and is sometimes detected by blood tests and rarely becomes a habit in men. Increases the risk of prediabetes and a diet associated with high calorie intake with low physical activity. However, some studies show that men who drink less alcohol reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A fairly rare type of diabetes - insipidus, occurs against the background of pathology of the pituitary gland and impaired renal function. A diet that develops diabetes insipidus can significantly alleviate and compensate. The diet for diabetes insipidus is based on limiting the protein in the menu, which contains enough carbohydrates and fats, and frequent meals.
Diabetes-related diseases and conditions: how to eat properly
One of the diseases closely associated with diabetes is the dysfunction of the thyroid gland when its functions are performed at a low level (hypothyroidism). Reputable endocrinological studies have shown that without proper treatment, patients with hypothyroidism and overweight develop prediabetes within a year. In the future, their risk of developing full-fledged type 2 diabetes is twice as high as that of people with normal thyroid function. On the other hand, hypothyroidism can later develop against the background of type 1 diabetes mellitus and can lead to impaired potency in men as well. The diet for any type of diabetes, including hypothyroidism, should be severely low in carbohydrates.
Another disease that is often accompanied by diabetes mellitus is arterial hypertension. In type 1 diabetes, hypertension is caused by damage to the kidneys, while in type 2 diabetes, the problem is often complicated by hypothyroidism, which leads to the development of atherosclerosis of the arteries and high blood pressure. With this combination, your doctor may recommend not only medications to stabilize blood pressure, but also a special diet for diabetes and hypertension - without salt and salty foods.
A special condition associated with the development of insulin resistance is gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy. In women, this type of diabetes is associated with the production of hormones needed for fetal development, but sometimes these hormones interfere with the cells' ability to receive insulin. As a rule, gestational diabetes disappears after the birth of the baby. However, if a woman's body weight becomes overweight, she is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus. A pregnant woman with diabetes should eat a complete diet, but she should reduce her intake of fats and sugars, especially refined sugars, control her weight gain, and include small portions of food throughout the day.
Diet and diet - important rules for diabetes
The main therapeutic task in diabetes mellitus is to normalize all the important metabolic processes in the body that are concerned about problems with glucose absorption. Anyone who learns their diagnosis for the first time should understand that diabetes is not a death sentence, but a lifestyle change. To feel normal, you need to learn to control your blood sugar levels. This will help you to follow a diet and a special diet.
Your doctor will tell you how to eat, depending on the type of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, insulin replacement therapy is the mainstay and dietary support. At the same time, the treatment prescribed by the doctor can either make it more effective or cancel it. Therefore, in order for the effect of insulin to match the calories received, it is necessary to carefully monitor the sugar content in the diet.
Dietary therapy is essential for type 2 diabetes mellitus because glucose absorption can only be improved by normalizing body weight, and this requires a low-calorie diet.
Important dietary rules for diabetes mellitus, regardless of type:
- eat at least 5-6 times a day, create small portions for yourself so that carbohydrates are absorbed evenly from the food and glucose levels do not jump too sharply in the blood;
- sit at a table at a certain time to make it easier to adjust the dose of the drug and blood sugar levels;
- Try to keep the calories consumed at the same level from day to day and depending on the meal (for all breakfast, lunch, etc. ).
The diet is prepared under the supervision of a physician: only a specialist can recommend what diet a particular patient can and should follow. For example, in type 2 diabetes, a protein diet can significantly reduce excess weight and is more effective for many patients than low-calorie diets. Doctors recommend being extremely careful with such options for rapid weight loss, such as weight optimization with a 10 kg weight loss program or the addition of energy diets in 7 days. They are at high risk of exacerbation of diseases of the digestive system and can aggravate metabolic disorders.
Approved and recommended foods for diabetics
The nuances of nutrition in diabetes mellitus are that the amount of energy entering the body through food should be equal to its energy expenditure. In this case, the diet menu is calculated based on a clear balance of the main macronutrients - about 100 g of protein, 80 g of fat and 300 g of carbohydrates.
Special calculation measures were taken for people with diabetes - bread units (BU), with the help of which the diet is selected. In different countries, 12 g of sugar or 15 g of carbohydrates are obtained for 1 loaf of bread (approximately the equivalent of 1 slice of wheat bread). The more carbohydrates on the menu, the higher the dose of insulin to turn them off. The diet of patients with diabetes mellitus should include about 18-24 XE per day.
In order to choose the right diet for diabetics, it is important to remember that only carbohydrates increase blood sugar, and foods dominated by proteins and fats can be consumed without restrictions with a normal weight. At the same time, when most fruits and vegetables are included in the menu (except potatoes), blood sugar levels in diabetes rise very little.
Eat different and complete, taking into account the content of carbohydrates in different products and replacing them with each other, while remaining in the amount of 7-8 XE per meal. If you want something sweet, you can easily afford some meals while adjusting other foods and the amount of insulin injected. Good snacks for diabetics, when they want something really tasty, are sweet and sour fruits and berries. It is also convenient to include them in the menu for an afternoon snack.
Among the foods recommended in the diet for diabetes are vegetables rich in vegetable fiber (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, green peas, tomatoes), which create a feeling of satiety. A good way to support the liver in type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis is to include foods with lipotropic properties (oatmeal, soy, cottage cheese) in the menu.
In addition to diet, your doctor may recommend bioactive supplements that improve the sensitivity of tissue cells to the hormone insulin. Such action has chromium and vanadium, lipoic acid preparations for diabetes. One of the food selection options with the optimal selection of components for diabetes is special enteral nutrition. These are generally glucose-free food mixtures and are a source of starch, fructose, maltodextrin and dietary fiber carbohydrates.
Prohibited foods for diabetes
Nutrition therapy for diabetes mellitus involves a number of restrictions on what you can and cannot eat and drink. Thus, it is forbidden to use sweets in liquid form, because they raise blood sugar levels much faster than them (although they can save this condition with hypoglycemia). We are talking about fruit juices, sweet tea, cocoa, lemonade. Men often regret the news that they will have to give up any alcohol, including beer, because these drinks also rapidly raise blood glucose levels.
Doctors do not recommend lactose in milk and fermented milk products for diabetes. It has the ability to stimulate cholesterol synthesis and increase the risk of atherosclerosis of blood vessels, which is dangerous in diabetes mellitus.
Prohibitions to be observed in diabetes include spicy and salty snacks, spicy and smoked foods, fresh breads and pastries, some fruits (bananas, grapes) and sweet foods (ice cream, raisins, chocolate). Diabetes will need to be treated by combining the medications prescribed by the doctor with a balanced diet, and then the disease will simply become a special lifestyle without disrupting its normal course.