Smart diet choices, along with regular physical exercise or activity, can help to control the blood-glucose levels, blood cholesterol level and maintain a healthy weight.
Diabetes diets – Fats.
Fats are considering as a heavy diet with highest energy content of all diets. Eating too much of fat can increase body weight and in the long run, it may be difficult to manage the blood-glucose levels.
Still small amounts of healthier fats (unsaturated fats) may improve the health and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Thus, both the type of fat as well as the amount consumed is important.
- Avoid unhealthy fats (Saturated fat, Trans fat & Cholesterol)
- Include small quantity of healthy fats (Monounsaturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat & Omega-3 fatty acids)
Saturated fat - Unhealthy diabetes diet
Limit or even avoid saturated fat because it raises LDL cholesterol (consider as a bad cholesterol) levels in blood.
Some of the sources of saturated fats are animal foods (fatty meat, milk, butter and cheese), Vegetable fats (palm oil and coconut products such as copha, coconut milk or cream).
How do you reduce saturated fat consumption?
- limit fat milk, yoghurt, ice cream, and custard.
- limit lean meat and remove any fat off before cooking.
- chicken without skin (remove before cooking).
- limit butter, lard, cream, sour cream, copha, coconut milk, coconut cream and hard cooking margarines.
- limit cheese usage and try low-fat varieties.
- limit or even avoid bakery stuffs - pastries, cakes, puddings, chocolate and cream biscuits.
- try avoiding processed and pre-packaged food items.
- avoid fried foods such as chips, chicken, and battered fish.
Unhealthy diabetes diet – Trans-Fat
Trans-fat increases blood-cholesterol level, and it is even worse than saturated fats. Tran’s fat is nothing but hydrogenated oil: liquid oil is converting into solid by hydrogenation.
Some of the sources of Tran’s fat are processed and baked foods (such as chips, crackers, muffins, cookies and cakes), Stick margarines & Shortening and Some fast food items (read the label for content).
Unhealthy diabetes diet - Cholesterol
Body can make cholesterol, remaining come from the diet we eat. Therefore, it is wise to avoid cholesterol rich diets.
Some of the sources of cholesterol are dairy products with fat, Egg yolks, Animal liver and other organs, Poultry skin and high-fat meats.
Diabetes diets - Healthy fats.
- Monounsaturated fat,
- Polyunsaturated fat &
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Healthy fats are called so because they can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and helps prevent clogging of the arteries.
Healthy diabetes diet - Monounsaturated fats
some of the sources of monounsaturated fats are: Canola oil, Olive oil, Peanut butter and oil, Avocado, Almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts and Sesame seeds.
Healthy diabetes diet - Polyunsaturated fats
Some of the sources of polyunsaturated fats are: Oils (Corn oil, Cottonseed oil, Safflower oil, Soybean oil, Sunflower oil), Walnuts, Pumpkin or sunflower seeds, Soft (tub) margarine, Mayonnaise, and Salad dressings.
Omega-3 fatty acids - Healthy diabetes diet
Some of the sources of omega-3 fatty acids are:
• some fish varieties (Albacore tuna, Herring, Mackerel, Rainbow trout, Sardines and Salmon),
• some plant foods (Tofu and other soybean products, Walnuts, Flaxseed & flaxseed oil and Canola oil).
Diabetes diets – Protein.
Protein provides some important nutrients for good health. Most of the protein foods cannot directly affect the blood-glucose levels. Protein foods include lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood, eggs, unsalted nuts, and soy products (tofu and legumes - dried beans and lentils). However, legumes can also have carbohydrates and so can affect the blood-glucose levels.
Protein and diabetes management
Protein-rich foods are meat, cheese and certain nuts. Approximately, about 40 to 50 percent proteins you consume are converting into glucose and enter the blood stream in about 3 to 4 hours. Thus, you should consume carbohydrate along with protein; protein additionally helps to slow down absorption of carbohydrate. Your bedtime snacks should always contain protein. This helps to keep your blood-glucose level from dropping low during midnight. However, eating too much of protein food can harm your kidneys.
Diabetes diets – Carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates are the best and fast energy source for the body. It is easy to digest and breaks down to form glucose in the bloodstream. Carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient for humans: the body can make all its energy from proteins and fats. However, the brain and neurons cannot burn fat and needs glucose for energy.
Amount of carbohydrate consumed will affect how the blood-glucose levels rise after a meal. Large a serve can make a huge glucose level rise. Most of the foods contain carbohydrates, which the body breaks down and digested into simple sugar that is the major source of energy for the body.
Types of Carbohydrates
There are two major types of carbohydrates in foods; they are simple (monosaccharide and disaccharides) and complex carbohydrates (oligosaccharides and polysaccharides).