Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the insulin level in the body. Insulin is released by the pancreas and helps to regulate the blood glucose level. Any decrease in this hormone raises the level of glucose and causes diabetes. This condition occurs over time, and can be checked by a number of ways. This includes taking medication for diabetes, exercising to burn calories as well as dietary restrictions to ensure that the glucose level remains in check.
Carbohydrates and sugar in your diet determine the blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by enzymes in the body and absorbed by the intestines. This glucose can either be utilized as energy or as stored for later use. In people suffering from diabetes, enough insulin is not produced to remove the excess glucose from the blood. Thus in order to control this spike in glucose levels, it is important to avoid foods that are rich in carbohydrates and sugar.
Foods to be eaten during diabetes include:
High fiber foods like whole wheat bread, oats, and barley provide energy that lasts longer. Other foods that contain fiber include beans, peas etc.
Vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins are important requirements for the body. Three to five servings of vegetables like spinach, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and cucumbers, not only keep the sugar in check but also provide healthy nutrients.
Fruits also contain essential nutrients but can be relatively high in natural sugar. Fruits in moderation are good for health. Some fruits like grapefruit are good for people with diabetes.
Proteins such as meat, tofu, cheese and eggs, taken in moderation are good for health. Other beneficial proteins include fish, beans, chicken and nuts.
Low fat milk, unsweetened yogurt can be taken daily.
Foods that should be avoided are white bread, cereals high in sugar content, canned fruits, pasta and others. Different carbohydrates are absorbed at different rates, and thus can differ in terms of raising the glucose level. Foods high in fiber take longer, whereas others are rapidly digested. This property is defined as the Glycaemic Index (GI). Foods with a low GI should be preferred over foods with high GI.
Most people who suffer from diabetes may also high cholesterol level and foods that contain saturated fats like cream, cheese, butter should also be avoided. Limiting the portion size is also important in people with diabetes.