The Importance of Nutrition for Diabetics

Nutrition plays a huge role in the life of a diabetic. It helps prevent and treat diabetes and the complications that go with the disease. To keep blood glucose levels even our body needs the correct foods for energy in the right amounts. Our bodies need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to convert to fuel. Let’s look at those three groups and decide which ones to consume and what we need to avoid.

Protein is needed for fuel energy, but most of us eat more than we need. When choosing protein, we need to choose lean meats, chicken, fish, and lean beef products. We should also avoid cooking these meats in a high fat method. Broiling or grilling can make a tasty meal but also be low in fats. If you have kidney problems, you should watch your protein intake even closer.

Our bodies do need some fat because it helps protect our inner organs, has a concentrated source of energy, helps to regulate body temperature, and is important in healing pain and inflammation. Fats also help us absorb fat-soluble Vitamins such as A, D, and E. We do have to watch which fat we are consuming. There are good fats and bad fats. Transfats should be avoided and saturated fats should be less than seven percent of your caloric intake each day. Looking at food labels is a good habit to start. Many foods now proudly display the fact they have zero transfats. You should try to include in your diet fish products such as sardines or salmon as well as using vegetable oils to make sure you are getting enough of the essential fats.

Carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet. As with fats, there are two different types of carbohydrates. Which carbohydrate you are consuming is important in controlling your blood sugar levels. Counting carbs is easy to do; every package you pick up will have the carbohydrates included in each serving. Good nutrition is choosing complex carbohydrates instead of the simple carbs. Most simple carb foods are sugar related. Carbs can be good for you if they are complex. That means it will take longer for the carbs to be processed. Simple carbohydrates, which most sweets are made of, are processed right away for fuel. Sugar substitutes can be used if the FDA has approved them. A new sugar substitute that is widely used and enjoyed is Splenda. You can use it to bake with, and it is equal teaspoon to teaspoon to sugar. It’s all right to eat a little sugar as long as you are testing to be sure your glucose level under control.

Recently guidelines were released that recommend 40 percent of our total daily calories should come from calories. These should be obtained from fresh vegetables, fruits, and beans. If you are trying to count calories and using that method of either weight control, or glucose level control, be sure you are eating enough vegetables to give you the proper amount of vitamins and minerals you need.