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Diabetes Foods and Nutritional Requirements For Diabetics

Diet plays an important role in managing diabetes. All diabetic patients should know what to eat and what to avoid. This article will help you know about the diabetes foods and nutritional requirements for diabetics.

Diabetes Foods

Foods that can be eaten as much as one wants - Green leafy vegetables, fruits except banana, lemon; clear soups, onion, salads, mint, spices, plain coffee or tea, skimmed and butter milk

Foods that can be eaten in moderation - Fats, meat, egg, cereals and pulses

Foods to be avoided - Simple sugars (glucose, syrup, sweets and honey), dried fruits, cake, fried foods, candy, alcohol and nuts

Nutritional Requirements for Diabetics

Carbohydrates - High carbohydrate and high fiber diet improve insulin binding and increase in monocyte insulin receptor binding. High carbohydrate diet is likely to elevate serum triglyceride levels (endogenous cholesterol). Hence carbohydrate is maintained to about 50% of total calories. Most carbohydrates should be in form of polysaccharides such as bread, cereals, beans, etc. Rapidly absorbed mono and disaccharides such as sweets, chocolates and sweetened drink should be avoided.

Proteins - A diet high in protein is good for the health of diabetics because it supplies the essential amino acids needed for tissue repair. Protein does not raise blood sugar during absorption as do carbohydrates and it does not supply as much calories as fat.

In patients with NIDDM, consumption of protein along with carbohydrate will lower the blood glucose concentration due to amino acid stimulation of insulin secretion; this help to compensate for the defect in glucose mediated insulin secretion seen in so many of these patients. Protein also promotes satiety and helps both types of diabetic patients to adhere to the carbohydrate allowance.

Fats - Low fat diet increases insulin binding and also reduces LDL and VLDL levels and lowers the incidence of atherosclerosis which is more common in diabetics. Fat content in the diet should be 15-25% of total calories and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Dietary Fiber - Diets high in carbohydrate and fiber improve glucose metabolism without increasing insulin secretion. They lower fasting serum and peripheral insulin concentrations in response to oral glucose administration in both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. Fenugreek seeds which contain high fiber are useful to diabetics.

Artificial Sweeteners - High content of sugar consumption is undesirable for diabetics and for obese individuals. Non-caloric and high intense sweeteners are available as sugar substitute. These sweeteners are as sweet as sucrose, have a pleasant taste, are colorless, odorless, readily soluble, stable, functional and economically feasible.

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