What is the role of food in treating diabetes?

Diabetes requires sugar intake restriction and constant monitoring of blood sugar levels. This means that foods for diabetics must be carefully selected to avoid sudden spikes or drops in glucose. In other words, foods for diabetics must above all have a low glycaemic index.

The best diets for diabetics

Diabetes experts have developed guidelines for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. First, diabetic foods should contain high amounts of easily digestible carbohydrates. The proportion of simple carbohydrates in their daily calorie intake should not exceed about 45% and complex carbohydrates 60%. Carbohydrates should be combined with high fibre products, which aid digestion and reduce glucose absorption. Healthy fats should make up 30-35% of a diabetic’s diet. This may include fish, nuts, cold-pressed oils and olive oil. The remaining 15% of the diabetic diet should be filled with protein.

Products to avoid for diabetics

Foods for diabetics should obviously contain a limited amount of sugar and fats should be limited. For instance, high-fat margarine, lard, butter and refined oils are not recommended. White bread and wheat products should also be excluded from the menu, as should breakfast cereals and dairy products. Indeed, products for diabetics should not be highly processed. Therefore, it is worth choosing foods that are as natural as possible. It is worth noting that diabetics are not advised to eat gluten-free products. And, alcohol is not allowed in type 2 diabetes.

What can diabetics eat?

People with diabetes can eat wholemeal bread and pasta. Coarse grains and porridge are also suitable. As for meat and dairy products, they should be lean, unprocessed and unsalted. Healthy fats like vegetable oils are suitable for their health condition and most contain omega acids. The least restrictive foods for diabetics are vegetables. However, care should be taken with potatoes, yams and carrots, as they have a relatively high glycaemic index after heat treatment. In addition to the selection of appropriate food products, how meals are prepared is essential. Foods for diabetics should be cooked traditionally, i.e. steamed or grilled. Baking and frying should be kept to a minimum.

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