23 October 2010

What can people new to diabetes eat?

After receiving the diagnosis of diabetes, many people are in a panic. What will they be able to eat? What will they be able to do to manage the diabetes? For most, it is fairly straight forward, they must reduce the quantity of food they are consuming and increase the quality of the food they eat. And I mean quantity replaced by quality.

Many suggest using a 8.5 or 9 inch plate instead of a 10 to 12 inch plate. And for many this is a good idea. Just don't overload the smaller plate as that will defeat the purpose. Decreasing the serving size is another idea that deserves much consideration.

To get you started, consider reading this from fellow blogger Alan Shanley. If you have not received your meter and testing strips he lays out some excellent ideas and advice to get you started. Then consider reading his blog titled “I'm Type 2, What Should I Eat?”.

The following site is for your reading, but read with a jaundiced eye. The article is very correct in the first paragraph when they say that what is good for the person with diabetes is good for all family members. They are also correct in saying that the amount of carbohydrates must be limited for the person with diabetes.

At least the author included exercise, but after the recommendation of healthy foods. The advice of meeting with a dietitian should be a dietitian specializing in diabetes. This cannot be emphasized enough and the nutritional value is important for a balanced meal. Leave the medications and testing training for the Certified Diabetes Educator, but do not use them for nutritional planning.

Now if you haven't read the blogs by Alan, please take the time to do this. The article of four pages by WebMD is in general fair and does have some excellent advice, but when it comes to whole grains they may have missed the point. See my blog here.

Listen to the dietitian because the number of carbohydrates and the glycemic index of foods is important in managing diabetes. While the glycemic index is important, it should be used as a guide and not an end-all as some are prone to recommend.

The first paragraph on page three is excellent and more people need to be aware of this. While I tend to eat under a 120 carbs total per day, some must go lower while some people can tolerate more. That is why each person must find what their body can tolerate by testing after eating. Testing suggestions post meal range from one hour to two hours and sometimes longer depending on the amount of fat in the foods ate.

The advice for fat on page three holds true for some, but not all people. A lot will depend on heart risks and therefore consultations between the doctor and dietitian must take place before amount to fat can be determined. Sodium intake which is not mentioned, also must be determined.

The last idea for this is the discussion of artificial sweeteners. Take time to read this as in general this is good advice.

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