Diet for diabetics

Dim SumBeing diagnosed with diabetes, often, means that a person needs to change his eating habits. Those of us who have ever tried various ‘diets’ know exactly how difficult it is to change the eating pattern. In most of the controlled diets, there is a severe restriction on calories intake. Because of this restriction, the person is perpetually hungry, feels deprivation of food and if the food does not taste good due to lack of flavour, the person longs for more food. As a result, he abandons the controlled diet and gains back the weight.
Healthy eating for a person with diabetes is no different from healthy eating for a person without diabetes. It is just a matter of eating a wide variety of foods and a balanced amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. It does not mean giving up all sugars or special treats. You just have to make sure you account for the carbohydrate, proteins, fat and total calories in your meal plan for the day.

In a diabetic, extra care is required to make sure that the calories and carbohydrate intake throughout the day is such that
it keeps blood glucose levels under control. The meals must be carefully balanced with insulin doses, oral medication and physical activity to avoid fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Our traditional Indian diet, with slight modifications, is close to what is now considered ideal diabetic diet! Patients do not have to make any major changes to their usual dietary habits, with the exception of avoiding simple sugars and reducing the fat intake.

In order to ensure compliance, the prescribed diet should be individualised. It must be realistic, flexible and take into consideration the patient’s likes, dislikes, and must suit the patient’s life style. It is important to educate the patient about the basic requirements of the diet and judge compliance at regular intervals.

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