What is diabetes?
Diabetes or Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that doesn’t allow the pancreas to produce the hormone, Insulin.
What is the function of Insulin?
It is a chemical messenger or we may know it as a type of hormone. The role of insulin is to allow the cells to absorb the glucose which is a form of sugar present in the blood. There are generally two types of diabetes- Type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 Diabetes
This is an autoimmune disease that destroys the cells in the pancreas creating a hindrance in the production of Insulin. The person suffering from this type has to take insulin shots to stay alive.
Type 2 Diabetes
This type makes the body resistant to the functioning of insulin produced in the body. As a result, the glucose level in the blood increases. This is caused due to the increase in age, unhealthy food habits, obesity, and also if present in the family history.
Apart from these two, the other types of diabetes which are unlikely to affect usually are gestational diabetes, monogenic diabetes, and cystic fibrosis diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs to women during the time of pregnancy and the body stops reacting to the insulin produced. However, not all women during pregnancy suffer from this type of diabetes. Most importantly, gestational diabetes disappears after pregnancy.
How to lead a life with diabetes?
Living with diabetes comes with a lot of restrictions in the case of food especially. So, being diabetic is a foodie’s nightmare. But unfortunately, if you are diabetic and you are a big-time food lover, there is no other way but to get strict with your diet. Because the blood sugar levels are already high, so it is advised by doctors to have a restricted diet to lower down and manage the glucose levels in the blood.
Patients with diabetes are advised to consume only the healthiest food in sufficient quantity at regular intervals of time. Consulting a well-informed dietician is recommended to eat the veggies and meat the right way.
Recommended food to include in a diet
Diabetic people are advised to check the glycemic index of the food that they consume. What is a glycemic index?? Glycemic index or GI is a food value on a scale from 1 to 100 which indicates how rapidly the particular food item can increase the blood sugar levels. Another factor, glycemic load or GL is also considered in this case.
Fruits and veggies- a big source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Even though fruits have sugar content, it is completely safe to consume them. However, consumption of processed fruits is not advisable, as its sugar content is more rapidly absorbed by the body leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. But fresh or frozen fruits can be taken without any worries. Fruits such as apples, strawberries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, plums, pears, and oranges can be eaten without any doubt.
Vegetables and leafy vegetables are also necessary for their high fiber content. Vegetables like squash, broccoli, garlic and leafy vegetables like spinach, kale should be consumed.
- Whole grains, legumes such as beans, peas, and nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios.
- Fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Intake of this element is essential for the goodness of the heart and diabetic people are prone to heart diseases. So good care of the heart is also to be taken.
- Low-fat dairy such as skimmed milk and extra virgin olive oil.
- Apple cider vinegar is seen to improve insulin sensitivity and so helps in lowering the blood sugar levels by almost 20% if consumed with food rich in carbohydrates.
- Saturated fats such as butter, sausage, bacon, coconut oil, kernel oil.
- Trans fats such as processed food, baked goods.
- Cholesterol like egg yolk, liver, and other organs.
- Sodium: Not more than 2300 mg per day of sodium is to be consumed.
So, the thing is diabetes is undoubtedly tough to deal with mainly because there is so much restriction on the food choice. But diabetes is a very serious condition and if not controlled, it will affect various other parts of the body and can result in fatal conditions also.