Monday, March 05, 2007

Diabetes diet: general considerations

Diabetes diet: general considerations presented by American Diabetes and Dietetic Association by Groshan Fabiola

It is very important for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes who are on insulin or oral medication to maintain a normal blood glucose levels and to establish treatment goals:

-to control their blood pressure
-to obtain the ideal body weight
-to prevent diabetes complications (heart, kidney disorders)

Those are general dietary goals, but the US Dietary Guidelines for healthy eating for all Americans, includes the following: to use in alimentation monounsaturated fats(virgin olive oil, canola oil) and polyunsaturated oils (sunflower, rapeseed) and to avoid the use of saturated fats(animal products)and avoid cholesterol consume. To eat plenty of fiber-rich foods (whole grains, fresh foods, vegetables), nuts, seeds or legumes. Pay attention to the sugar in foods.(especially in fruits).

Protein intake should be reduced: fish and soy-protein are recommended.

Salt intake should also be limited. American Diabetes and Dietetic Association recommend a balanced meal plan: More calories should be taken from carbohydrates, second comes fat and third protein.

As a general line everyone should serve: two portions of fatty fish., five of fruits and vegetables and six of whole grains. Diet plans are planned with dietitians in order to meet the needs of every person with diabetes type I and type II.

For example during a study the scientists have come to the conclusion that if people stay focused on it any healthy diet (a high-carbohydrate/high-fiber diet, a low-fat diet, and a weight management diet)is good for those with diabetes type II, after one year and a half the results were for the people in the study improved glycolated hemoglobin and cholesterol levels. Other effective methods are on diabetes exchange list: counting carbohydrate grams, using the glycemic index.

Monitoring blood glucose carefully is suggested by doctors, to prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Glycemia should have the following values: 80-140mg/dL pre-meal, 100-160 bedtime levels determined four or more times a day. Of course for very young, very old individuals, pregnant women and those with a precare health condition there are different values.

A very easy to use at home test is: glycosylated hemoglobin test which evaluates the severity of the diabetes, normal values are below 7%, high levels are a marker for kidney complications and poor control of carbohydrates. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar is very low and is very dangerous for drivers when it occurs suddenly, it may also occur at night.

Patients with diabetes should always carry sweets or glucose substitutes specially for diabetic individuals to prevent collapse in case of hypoglycemia.

Other recommended tests are: for high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, urine tests which are significant when traces of albumin are found that indicate severe kidney disease.

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