How Are Diabetes and Nutrition Linked?
Diabetes is classified into two types, type 1 and type 2. Most commonly found is type 2 which occurs when there is an insulin malfunction in the body. Glucose levels in the blood increase which in turn leads to type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a problem that is a consequence of the lifestyle being led by that individual. Urban living, bad food habits and lack of any kind of physical activities other than work and home life are often what are generally responsible for this type of diabetes. Of course in some cases there could also be other underlying problems which can cause type 2 diabetes as a result.
Diabetes occurs when the insulin produced in the body is not enough, or it is possible that due to some reason the cells start ignoring the insulin that is being produced. Cells need glucose to carry out their jobs, and this is provided by the blood. The food is converted to glucose and sent into the blood which then carries it to the cells. The cells extract all the sugar in the blood and get on with their own work.
Now the problem starts when the cells cannot take all the sugar out of the blood. There begins a slow build-up of sugar in the blood and the cells get starved of energy. This increase in blood sugar is what leads to type 2 diabetes. Nutrition plays a very important role in preventing type 2 diabetes.
If your food intake is full of energy rich foods such as carbohydrates, and your exercise levels are not commensurate with the amount you are eating, then over a period of time there is a possibility that you will develop type 2 diabetes.
Your diet must have the correct amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Keep sweets, dairy products, bakery items and fat-loaded food items like cured meats, etc. to the minimum as these are the ones which could cause a sugar overload. Your food intake is what adds the sugar to your system. Ideally, if you are moderately active, you must follow this formula at each meal: 30% carbohydrate, 40% protein, 30% fat. This is a simple formula based on research, and it has been proven that sticking to this formula and exercising regularly will ensure a reasonably healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition plays a vital role in preventing diabetes naturally. There are a wide variety of healthy foods to choose from if you know what to look for. While it is important to recognize the freedom you have in your food habits with so many healthy food choices and not get tied down to a monotonous diet, it is equally important that you are aware of which foods are healthy and which ones are not to ensure that you do not run the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes by eating unhealthy foods.
Some examples of healthy foods in each category include:
CARBS: vegetables (raw and steamed) - limit starchy vegetables like potato, yams, peas and corn; fresh or frozen fruit - limit high sugar fruit; high fiber grains like brown rice, oatmeal, sprouted breads; low sugar yogurt.
PROTEINS: fish and shellfish, lean chicken and turkey breast, eggs, lean beef, low fat organic cottage cheese, tofu, tempe and protein powders.
FATS: olive oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, raw nut butters, ground flax or flax oil, organic mayonnaise, organic low fat cheese and omega 3s.
Be sure to give your nutritional plan the attention it deserves so that you may live a long and healthy life free of diabetes.
We would like to thank Coreen Reinhart for this article about diabetes and nutrition. If people would take the time to understand diabetes and nutrition and the possible effects on their lives they could live healthier lives. If you have questions about diabetes and nutrition consult your physician.They will be able to recomend what steps that you should consider with diabetes and nutrition that will give you the most benefits.