Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by excess sugar (glucose) which can be detected by biological, blood (blood sugar) or urine (glycosuria). Excess blood glucose is harmful to health. Glucose comes from food digestion. To enter the cells where it is used as fuel, glucose needs insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
A person does not become diabetic because he eats or just eating sugary foods, diabetes is rather a disease with hereditary predisposition. Diabetes occurs either because of insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas or is mainly due to cellular insensitivity to insulin. In both cases blood glucose levels exceed normal values.
Risk factors for diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes are: excessive thirst; frequent urination; starvation and fatigue; weight lose for no reason; slow healing of wounds; dry skin; itchy; loss of sensation in the leg extremity; weakening eyesight.
1.Type I diabetes – juvenile or insulin-dependent.
2.Type II diabetes – maturity or non-insulin-dependent (90-95% of total).
Diabetes is on the rise, yet most cases of diabetes are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes and some can even be reversed. The basic, verified in clinical practice and highlighted the scientific analysis, is to keep blood sugar under control.
Eating right is a key step to preventing and controlling diabetes. Diet is of primary importance in diabetes, the best means of balancing the disease. It helps to balance not only glucose but also contributes to avoiding complications of diabetes – hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and on long term, reduces the risk of kidney disease, neurological and cardiovascular. The key to a diabetes diet is eating in moderation, sticking to regular mealtimes, and eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The diabetic diet should include enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, to ensure normal growth in children and adolescents and to meet additional needs in the event of physical activity, pregnancy, lactation or illness.
Dietary goal is to ensure an adequate intake of nutrients, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Therefore, food must be regularly (avoiding variability in insulin requirements) and fragmented (usually three meals and two snacks).
American Diabetes Association recommends a diet that respects the principles of healthy eating pyramid:
Basically, a vegetarian diet varied, based on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, vegetables, legumes (bean family), nuts and seeds.
Eat Moderately, low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, fresh cheese and some meat.
Eat Sparingly, Vegetable fats and oils, sweets and salt.
A sample daily menu:
Coffee, tea or milk
Bread or crackers (45 g) butter (15 g)
A slice of cheese or a boiled egg
150 g lean steak in pan
120 g potatoes, 2 tomatoes
Cheese with garlic and herbs
A glass of wine
Skinless chicken thighs in pan
A slice of cheese fat
↑ Healthy Eating Pyramid
Very important is how much you eat and when you eat. Keeping regular meal and snack times also affects your blood sugar levels and will help to keep them more constant. Also, if you eat too much you will gain weight, which is a factor in diabetes.
Exercise. And we don’t have to forget the exercise. This is the second essential pillar of the treatment of diabetes. It starts at the level of the patient and increases gradually until it reaches a minimum of 5 sessions / week. Follow proper exercise, which can be brisk walking in step, running, biking, and swimming. Exercise has many benefits for diabetics: increased cellular sensitivity to insulin, leading to better glucose control, prevents cardiovascular complications (heart disease, hypertension), lowers blood fats, help lose excess weight.
Diabetic dietary education is essential, along with continuous monitoring of blood glucose. But in the same time we have to combine exercise with diet. The goal is to increase muscle mass through strength training and taking a balanced diet from the consumption of protein, carbohydrates and fats.