Diet for diabetics
Diet is a key element of diabetes mellitus treatment. Properly designed diet enables glucose level control which plays a vital role for diabetic patients. An individually compiled diet should take into account the following aspects:
- patient’s lifestyle
- metabolic status
- eating habits
- kidneys condition
- arterial blood pressure
- patient’s engagement in treatment
- patient’s financial means (affordability of medication and supplements)
Diabetic diet should:
- reduce carbohydrtares consumption (according to Polish Diabetes Association, 45- 50%)
- provide proteins of 15-20% of daily energy intake
- provide fats of 30-35% of daily energy intake
- considerably reduce alcohol consumption due to its high glycaemic and caloric value
Diabetic patients should refrain from smoking as it may contribute to microangiopathy, macroangiopathy or neuropathy. Diabetic diet does not differ much from so called, healthy diet as the main difference concerns only the limit of carbohydrates. The diet should include several meals a day and include a variety of components. Meals can contain vegetables such as onion, chives, leek or garlic. Glucose level can be reduced by: wildrye, fenugreek seeds (which taste really good with cottage cheese), oats and oat flakes, beans, sage, nettle, bluberry, mountain cranberry, St John’s wort, black elder leaves, dandelion root and valerian herb root. Black-caraway (or nigella), both added to food and as herbal tea, is known to reduce glucose secretion and insulin level.
Aloe vera tea, juice or capsules can be a valuable supplementation to diabetic diet. Daily liquid intake should amount to 1,5 -2 liters, including soups and juice. The major prevention aim in diabetes type 2 and 3 includes prevention of diabetic angiopathy (which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and mortality). Prevention of diabetes mellitus should rely on prophylaxis, observation, treatment and proper diet. The treatment, in turn, can be facilitated by cooperation with a doctor, dietician and a nurse aa well as by following the dietary recommendations.