Diet For Diabetes

Overview & Description

Diabetes mellitus, often called diabetes,makes it hard for the body to control the level of glucose in the blood. Glucose is themain form of sugar in the body.

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes.This type used to be known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM, or juvenile-onset diabetesmellitus. A person who has this type of diabetes makes little or no insulin. Most will needto take insulin shots one or more times a day.
  • Type 2 diabetes.This type used to be known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM, or adult-onsetdiabetes. This is by far the most common type of diabetes. The person who has type 2diabetes might make healthy or even high levels of insulin. Butobesityoften makes his or her body resistant to its effect.
  • Gestational diabetes.This type is brought on by pregnancy. In most cases, this type of diabetes goes awayafter the child is born.
  • There are other types of diabetes that are less common. This groupincludes diabetes caused by:

  • a genetic defect or pancreatic diseases
  • hormonal problems
  • being exposed to certain drugs or chemicals
  • What is the information for this topic?

    A healthy diet for a person with diabetes is based on a nutritionalassessment. This information is then used to prescribe the diet. This diet:

  • is based on treatment goals
  • takes into account what the person is able and willing to do
  • is sensitive to cultural, ethnic, and financial factors
  • A proper diet for a person who has diabetes focuses on these overallgoals:

    1. It helps to maintain blood glucose levels as near to a healthy rangeas possible.

    2. It helps keep blood lipids such as cholesterolat healthy levels to help reduce the risk of complications. This includes:

  • HDLor so-called good cholesterol
  • LDLor so-called bad cholesterol
  • triglycerides
  • VLDL,also called very-low-density lipoproteins
  • 3. It provides enough calories to help keep a person healthy.

  • For adults, it means the diet will help them maintain or reach a healthyweight.
  • For children and adolescents, it means the diet provides enough energy to promotenormal growth and development.
  • For both groups, the diet should also allow for special events such asbreast-feedingor getting over an illness.
  • 4. It helps to prevent and treat complications of diabetes, such ashigh blood pressure andheart disease.

    People who have any type of diabetes should follow these general guidelines:

  • Protein:Depending on the person’s kidney function, the ADA recommends that15% to 20% of his or her daily calories come from protein. The protein can befrom both animal and plant sources.
  • Fat:Less than 10% of the person’s daily calories should come fromsaturated fats.About 10% should come fromunsaturated fats.Monounsaturated fatsand carbohydratesshould make up the other 60% to 70% of the total calories. The breakdownbetween fats and carbohydrates varies for each person. It is based on his or hergoals for blood glucose and blood lipid levels, as well as weight.
  • Cholesterol:The person’s intake of cholesterol should be less than 300 mg daily.
  • Fiber:The person should choose a variety of fiber-containing foods, such as whole grains,fruits, and vegetables. Some studies have shown a positive effect on blood glucoselevels from fiber. But a person would have to eat very large amounts of fiber to havethis effect. So experts recommend a person stick with 5 to 9 servings a day of fruitsand vegetables.
  • Sodium:Sodium, or salt, intake should be no more than 2,400 mg/day for people with mild tomoderate high blood pressure.
  • Alcohol:Men should have no more than two drinks a day and women no more thanone drink a day. One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1-1/2ounces of distilled spirits. People who have a history ofalcohol abuseor women who are pregnantshould avoid alcohol. Those who have diabetes along with other medicalconditions, such as pancreatitis, high triglycerides, liver disease, or neuropathy, shouldrestrict or avoid alcohol.
  • Vitaminsand Minerals:When people who have diabetes eat a balanced diet with enough nutrients, there isoften no need for extra vitamins or minerals. For some people, the doctormay recommend supplements.
  • A diet plan for a person with type 1 diabetesis designed to match insulin therapy with the person’s eating and exercise patterns.Mealtimes are planned around the effects of the insulin shots. The personmeasures blood glucose levelsone or more times a day. Then he or she adjusts the dose and type of insulinas needed.

    A diet plan for a person who has type 2 diabetesaims to keep the person’s blood glucose, blood lipids, andblood pressureat or near healthy ranges. Since obesityis the major cause of type 2 diabetes, weight loss is often a goal.The American Diabetes Association suggests taking the following steps to lose weight.

  • Slightly decrease the number of calories eaten each day. Most often, this means 250 to 500calories less than the average daily intake total that the person is used to eating.
  • Follow a meal plan that contains healthy foods and less totalfat.
  • Become more physically active. Follow theexercise guidelines for a person with diabetes.
  • Space meals throughout the day. This is especially true of carbohydrates.
  • A diet plan for a pregnantwoman who has diabetes should be based on a nutritional assessment. This is truewhether her diabetes is preexisting or whether she has gestational diabetes.A dietitian can help to create and adjust a meal plan based on:

  • the needs of both mother and baby
  • blood glucose levels
  • ketones in the urine
  • appetite
  • weight gain
  • Article type: xmedgeneral