Diabetes Diet - The Best Plan On How To Treat This Problem

The Best Plan On How To Treat Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common and serious diseases in humans. It is the third leading cause of death in many developed countries, and it occurs in at least 5% of the population. It is a syndrome characterized by the relative or absolute lack of insulin in the body, which results in the impaired metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Insulin is a very important hormone in the human body that is produced by the pancreas and plays a central role in the body's metabolism. It regulates the levels of blood sugar, because it helps the glucose (which is the main fuel of the body) to get transferred into the cells. So the lack of insulin leads to the increase of blood sugar above normal levels.

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The Symptoms:

Common symptoms of high blood sugar include thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, lethargy, blurred vision and recurrent infections. However, many people show no symptoms and therefore early detection is very important. The main indicator of diabetes is the excessive blood glucose, which is detected by tests. More specifically, here are some of the possible symptoms of the disease:

Skin rashes
Skin infections
Slow healing of the skin
Urinary tract infection
Dry, itchy skin
Skin with scales, ulcers or boils
Peripheral neuropathy
Tingling sensation on the feet or hands
Hand Numbness
Blurred vision
Sexual problems
Unusually dry vagina
Early menopause
Absence of periods
Bad scars
Weight Loss or gain
Excessive hunger
Muscle cramps and weakness

The Causes:

You may be wondering why you have diabetes and if your children have an increased risk of developing the disease. Unlike other diseases, diabetes does not appear to be strictly hereditary. Of course, there are people who, due to heredity have more chances to suffer from this condition compared to others.

Diabetes Type I and Type II have different causes. But there are two factors that play an important role in both cases. The first is the hereditary predisposition and the second is the environment.

The genes themselves, however, do not cause diabetes. A proof of this fact is the case of twins. Twins have identical genes. But in cases where one twin has diabetes Type I, the other one has only 50% chances of developing the condition. If you are a man with type I diabetes the chances that your child will also suffer from the disease is 1 in 17. If you are a woman with the same condition and you have a child before the age of 25, the chances are 1 in 25. If you have a child after 25, the chances are 1 in 100.Scientists believe that a child is at greater risk of developing diabetes type II, if the mother has it. But, if both you and your partner suffer from it, then the chances for the child are 1 in 2.

Regarding environmental factors, scientists believe that the climate may be a factor. Diabetes Type I occurs more often in areas with cold climates. Nutrition during infancy can also play an important role. It has been found that people who are breast-fed for longer periods of time are less likely to develop the disease.

Diabetes Type II has a stronger genetic basis than Type I, but nonetheless, it is highly dependent on environmental conditions. The western way of life, characterized by poor eating habits and little exercise, may be partly responsible for the problem. People who do not follow the western lifestyle, don't suffer from this condition very often, regardless of their genetic predisposition. Obesity is also a major factor for the occurrence of the condition. Obesity is more dangerous for young people and for those who stay obese for long periods of time. Diabetes during pregnancy may be even more dangerous. Older and obese women are more likely to develop this condition.

What is the diet you should follow, in case you suffer from diabetes?

Proper nutrition is one of our main weapons against diabetes (but never alone). The first thing you need to know is that there are no forbidden foods. However, there are certain foods that should be eaten in small quantities. Some general guidelines are:

  • The diabetic diet should be one that helps you maintain a healthy body weight (or rather a normal body mass index - BMI). If you are currently overweight, then you need to limit the amount of calories you consume, so as to lose weight. This will reduce insulin resistance and thus help you regulate blood sugar.
  • Contrary to previous guidelines, the basis of your diet should be carbohydrates (about 50% of daily calories). Prefer complex carbohydrates and foods rich in fiber (legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, etc.) and in general, foods that are of low glycemic index. Low glycemic index means that the carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly and don't cause sudden increases in blood sugar. Sugar has a high glycemic index, which means that you should avoid foods that contain it (such as sweets and soft drinks).
  • Your fat intake should be limited to less than 30% of daily calories. This can be done by selecting dairy products that are low in fat, removing visible fat from meat, and avoiding fried foods. Monounsaturated fat is the best source of fat you can eat.
  • Your protein intake should not exceed 15-20%.
  • Finally, it is important to eat small quantities of food throughout the day, instead of large meals. In this way you will be able to absorb the ingredients more gradually, so that the body can handle them better.
  • Since diabetics are prone to heart disease you need to follow a diet that can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This means that it would be a good idea to reduce animal fats, foods high in cholesterol and high in salt. Your weekly menu must be rich in vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, poultry, lean beef and low-fat dairy, and you need to stay away from lamb or pork, and eat no more than 3 eggs per week.

In conclusion, the diet for diabetics does not differ significantly from what might be called balanced or healthy diet.

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