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Smart Eating for Type II Diabetes

Smart Eating for Type II Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that cannot be cured , and persisting high blood sugar levels can harm the kidneys, eyes, nervous system, blood vessels and the heart in the long run. The most important thing for people with diabetes is to try their best to maintain normal blood sugar levels . To achieve this, you need to have a healthy eating plan and do regular physical activities. Your diet plan and medications are likely to be changed regularly. Therefore, having regular reviews with your doctor and your dietitian is very important. Good control of blood glucose levels can significantly reduce the risk of diabetic complications.
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Diabetes and Diet

During digestion, carbohydrate is absorbed and becomes blood sugar, with the help of insulin it is then absorbed into the cells to provide energy or for storage. People with type 2 diabetes does not secrete enough insulin or their insulin is not working very well, so the blood sugar remains in the blood, causing high blood sugar levels. Insulin also helps the body absorb protein and fat; therefore the energy metabolism in diabetic people is more or less affected.

People with diabetes should pay special attention to eat a balanced diet and get enough nutrition. A registered dietitian can assess your needs and develop a meal plan for you, which will including the types of food , portion sizes and meal patterns . Diabetes diet therapy will not happen overnight , so you do not have to rush to change your eating problems all at once . Identifying problems, good planning, small changes, and adhere to a long-term healthy and balanced diet is the key to the treatment of diabetes .

1 ) regular meals

Small regular meals are more effective in stabilising blood sugar than having three large meals a day. When hungry, eating some healthy snacks in between meals is appropriate. Learn more about healthy snacks and expand your healthy food choices, a diabetic diet does not need to be boring. 

2 ) low-fat diet

To cut down the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet, you need to choose lean meat, deep-sea fish, skinless poultry, and soy products, and limit the intake of fatty meat, butter, lard, processed meats, greasy fast food and takeaway meals. High levels of blood lipids and cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

3 ) high-fiber diet

A daily intake of 30 grams of dietary fiber from food can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrate during digestion, help you to more effectively control your blood sugar levels. Choose high-fiber low-fat foods for snacks, such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, crackers, wholegrain bread, and etc.; choose wholegrain cereals instead of refined carbohydrates; try eating five servings of different vegetables and fruit daily to increase fibre intake as well as to ensure adequate intake of various vitamins and minerals. 

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4 ) protect your heart
Diabetics are more prone to hypertension, so foods high in salt must be avoided.  Examples of high salt food include sauerkraut, salted fish, soy sauce, processed foods and so on. Drinking in moderation and avoid high sugary alcoholic beverages , such as cocktails and champagne. Eat some starchy foods before drinking to prevent hypoglycemia. Spirits are not suitable for people with high blood pressure.

Healthy Cooking

  • Cook food with less oil, such as steaming , stewing , boiling and baking .
  • Use less cooking oil, salt and sugar; instead, use more herbs and spices such as onions, garlic, ginger, lemon, shallots, lemongrass  and pepper. .
  • Stir-frying with a small amount of oil at high temperature is quick and easy while retaining nutrients.

Healthy Food Examples

  • Steamed cod.
  • Poached skinless chicken
  • Garden salad

Try to Avoid

  • Fried food and snacks such potato crisps
  • Food with high fat creamy sauces
  • Fried noodles, fried rice
  • High fat high sugar desserts such as cakes
  • High fat fast food and take aways, such as KFC 

 Key Messages
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  • Do not skip meals.
  • Avoid eating a big meal before bed.
  • Chew thoroughly and eat slowly .
  • Eat your vegetables first, then the grains, and meat the last.
  • Avoid high fat, high sugar and high salt foods.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of low-carb vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.

Your dietitian can assess and analyse your health and nutritional status, identify your specific nutritional needs, and teach you more food knowledge that is required for the dietary treatment of diabetes. You will be empowered to make informed choices, and become your own diet expert to stay in control!

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