Eat to Beat Diabetes

You are what you eat, for a diabetic nothing could be truer. When it comes to maintaining good blood sugar levels, a healthy diet is vital.
People with diabetes have to take extra care to ensure their diet is properly balanced with their insulin and oral medications.

The right meal plan will help any diabetic improve blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. It will also keep their weight on track.
All diabetics must control their refined carbohydrate intake. These types of carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels. While some promote health, others when eaten often and in large quantities, may increase the risk for diabetes.

Carbohydrates come from a wide array of foods including fruit, vegetables, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti and corn. The most common and abundant ones refined in are sugars, fibers and starches. It is advised diabetics avoid white bread, rice and pasta, along with foods containing unnaturally added sugars.

The body will convert all types of refined carbohydrates into glucose. Eating extra servings of rice, pasta and bread will make blood sugar rise. Just because an item does not contain added sugar, does not guarantee it is a safe food.

Diabetics should consume carbohydrate-rich foods close to their natural form. These items have greater vital nutrient density. Whenever possible, replace highly processed grains, cereals and sugars with natural whole-grain products.

Eating complex carbohydrates rich in fiber significantly lower blood sugar levels. It is suspected that soluble fiber may play an important role in glucose control. It is capable of slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and increasing the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, thereby preventing rises in blood sugar.

It is recommended diabetics eat 13 fiber-rich servings of fruits, veggies, beans and grains daily. Soluble-fiber rich foods include orange and grapefruit segments, prunes, cantaloupes, papayas, raisins, lima beans, zucchini, oatmeal, oat bran and granola. Other foods high in soluble fiber include barley, peas and strawberries.

The glycemic index system, or GI, is a good guideline for diabetics to follow.

Invented in the early 1980s by University of Toronto researchers, the glycemic index ranks carbohydrate foods by their effects on blood sugar levels.

The GI assigns carbohydrate-containing foods a number based on how they affect blood sugars. The number indicates how quickly the food breaks down during digestion. The longer the body has to break an item down into glucose, the slower the rise in blood-sugar levels, and the lower the GI. Products with a GI less than 55 are preferred.

Natural supplementation is a good ingredient to implement in the fight against diabetes. Adding a half a teaspoon of cinnamon to any meal can stabilize blood sugar swings.

Many diabetics also supplement with vitamins, herbs and medicinal teas. Incorporating natural ginseng into a diet can produce positive affects. This herb, which is recognized throughout China to have healing properties, has been known to help improve fasting blood glucose levels and increase insulin secretion.

The easiest method to control diabetes is through proper diet. An eating plan high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates will ensure the best strategy to beat the disease.

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