So Seriously. Why Should You Follow A Diabetes Diet?

why a diabetes diet

Even though food might not be the cause of diabetes making sure that, as a diabetic you are now eating the right types and quantities of food- the diabetes diet right?

But why?

Your body still needs energy and that comes from food. The fuel you need comes from the basic block of Glucose.

Anything that your body eats will be broken down to its basic components. Glucose comes naturally from fruit, milk, some vegetables, starchy foods and sugar. So every time you move, breathe or allowing your cells to keep alive they need Glucose. So there is always a steady balanced stream of glucose which is regulated by Insulin.

So you need glucose but not in vast quantities and from sources better than others. Blood sugars should also be kept in a range. In Canada it is between 5-7. Constant high and low blood sugars causes the body not to act properly and constant high blood sugars causes complications.

Here are 5 diabetes diet must do's...and why.

1. Eating meals regularly

diabetes diet

Eating 3 regular meals a day at regular times and space apart. This helps to control your blood sugars so they increase and reduce regularly so that you don’t drop your blood sugars too low or increase them too high

2. Reducing fatty processed foods

diabetes diet burger

Reducing the amount of high processed fatty foods. I like burgers like most people. The problem comes- and like most foods we eat, it is how it is prepared and cooked:

  • fried
  • tons of condiments placed upon them
  • too many times a week
  • do you just have 1?
  • in more processed items the salt and sugar content are quite high

High fat foods increase your body weight and body weight is linked to Diabetes. Not that weight is a cause of Diabetes but for some reason reduction in weight reduces your risk of diabetes and improved blood sugars.

Also be careful of food disguised as healthy. There are some cool salads that you can buy but the goodness is sometimes reduced with the side dressing that is promoted with it.

3. The need for fibre.

diabetic diet fibre

Eating high fibre foods. In most cases processed foods have a reduced fibre content and sugar and salt content increased to counter the taste difference. Vegetables, dried beans and peas and fruit (whole fruit not juice) have fibre naturally and they allow you to feel fuller- therefore reducing the amount of foods that you intake, naturally. Also fibre regulates your blood sugars and helps to lower cholesterol.

4. Drinking water.

diabetes diet water

If you are thirsty drink water. I know water can be boring, but you can add the no sugar flavours, lemons, fruit that you like. And also it is not necessary to drink 8 glasses of water a day. You drink when you are thirsty.

If you have high blood sugars you tend to wee a bit more- your body is trying to flush out the excess sugar and also sugars encourage water to go with it. If you drink soft drinks to compensate, then the cycle increases and gets worse.

Water has a natural “filling” effect- it makes you feel fuller. It also have very little of anything within it so it doesn’t affect your blood sugars.

Drinking pure fruit juice will also spike your blood sugars. There's a bit of sugar within a fruit. So when we remove the juice from the fruit- technically we are removing the fibre. One glass of orange therefore does not equal 1 orange. It is usually 5 or more oranges, which is much more than you would normally eat.

5. Add activity

diabetes diet exercise

Add physical activity. No food here but very important task to add to your "diet".

Regular activity (and this doesn’t mean marathon running, something like a 5 minute walk is a great start) helps regulate your blood sugars.

Insulin is taken up more within the muscles. Also your body is using up and processing more fuel and byproducts of some of the poor foods that we eat. Physical activity also improves your well being and can also be a family activity (swimming, walk in a conservation area/ park).

One last thing...

In the big scheme of things when you look at it, a diabetes diet is actually one that we should all be following. Sometimes mentioning a "diabetes diet" to some people makes them feel shunned.

When other family members or friends come on board the sense of unity- a family/ friend unit helps the diabetic achieve their goals. The other family/ friend member usually feels good that they are able to help. Also they tend to feel better in themselves because their diet has changed.

The main idea is to set goals and do this in baby steps. Dont go for a 1 hour walk if you never walked before. Walk for 5 minutes around the block. Then in 1 week aim for 10 minutes and gradually build up the time spent doing the exercise that you like (you might like swimming, hockey, tennis).

Aim to reduce the amount of soda that you drink from 1 can a day to 1 can every 2 days, then 1 can every 3 days. Eventually, like with everything, you get used to reduced sugars, reduced salts and reduced fatty food.

From a diabetes diet to other things diabetes related. Click here to go back to the diabetes main page.

Check here on how diabetes can affect your feet.

The medical information on the web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.