Diabetes mellitus is a very common lifestyle ailment. When your body cannot process and use the glucose from the food you consume and is incapable of using the glucose or sugar generation energy, that state is described as diabetic.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease which is chronic in nature and can affect both young and old. There are various types of diabetes, each having its respective root causes. However, all types of diabetes come with the common symptom of high levels of glucose or sugar in your blood.
For the treatment of diabetes, there are medicines, and in serious cases, insulin needs to be taken under medical supervision. However, one may also control diabetes through a healthy lifestyle.
What are the Effects of Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is considered to be a silent killer, which gradually works upon your body, affecting many organs. Some effects diabetes has are as follows:
- A high sugar content in the blood raises blood pressure.
- The body’s immune system gets compromised.
- In women, raised blood sugar may cause excessive production of testosterone, leading to polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Cholesterol level shows a tendency to go up.
- The body’s nervous system may get affected.
- Vision may get affected over a period of time.
Management of Diabetes Mellitus:
Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus has many ill effects. The disease is chronic and does not get cured completely. Hence, for a diabetic patient, it is extremely important to know how to manage diabetes mellitus and keep the glucose level within tolerable limits.
A person’s food habits go a long way in either disturbing the sugar level in the blood or keeping it under check. Therefore, as a cardinal rule for a person with diabetes, controlled food intake is of critical significance. Let us look at how to manage diabetes mellitus with a planned diet.
1. No High Glycemic Index Food:
For a person with diabetes, foods with a high glycemic index are not at all good. Examples of high glycemic index food include:
• Trans Fats: Trans fats or trans-unsaturated fatty acids are extremely unhealthy. These fats are found in fried items like french fries, doughnuts, cakes, pies, pizza, biscuits, microwaved popcorn, etc. These foods are difficult to digest and retained longer in the body, thereby increasing the glucose level in the bloodstream. The effects of trans fats are on the heart.
• Artificial Fruit Juice: Fruit juices are a healthy food option. However, bottled or artificial fruit juices have an additional amount of sugar added for taste. That is harmful to a person with diabetes. By consuming those juices, the sugar level in the blood goes up immediately. Even if natural fruit juice is consumed, it must be taken in controlled measures.
• Rice, Bread, Pasta: These white coloured food particles are low on fibre and very high on carbohydrates. Consumption of these foods increases sugar levels in the blood. A person with diabetes should ideally have food with high fibre content.
• Packed Food/Snacks: Packed foods have fast-digesting carbohydrates in large quantities, increasing blood sugar levels. If you feel a bit of snacking is needed, please try nuts instead of packaged snacks.
• Avoid Any Form of Sugar: Whether it is white sugar or sweetening materials like honey, these are best avoided by people with diabetes.
• Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like raisins have concentrated sugar, in fact, four times higher than grapes. Hence, a person with diabetes needs to choose dried fruits with lower sugar contents.
• Canned Food: Canned foods are loaded with preservatives that adversely affect the bloodstream sugar. Hence, they are best avoided by people with diabetes.
2. Avoid Excessive Intake of Carbohydrates:
As a cardinal measure to manage diabetes, one needs to control the intake of carbohydrates as they are directly turned into glucose. Carbs increase the sugar level in the blood, which is dangerous for a person who has diabetes. An excessive intake of carbs leads to gaining weight, which is avoidable for people with diabetes.
3. Avoid Drinking, Smoking & Poor Lifestyle:
If you are truly serious about controlling your diabetes, quit alcohol and smoking and live a disciplined life. Diabetes triggers several complications like cardiac problems, kidney ailments, eye damage, etc. it is extremely critical for a person with diabetes to control their weight, exercise regularly, and get sufficient sleep.
People are often in a dilemma as to how to reverse diabetes. The key lies within themselves. They must strictly avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar in liquid form, or unhealthy fats. These measures will help insulin sensitivity in the body and keep blood sugar within tolerable limits. As a thumb rule, stick to a dietary plan consisting of 30 gm. of fibre, not more than 20% protein, and a maximum limit of 200 mg of cholesterol per day. They should also consume vegetables that are non-starchy in nature, such as broccoli and cauliflower, and low carb fruits like watermelons, berries, etc., as measures for diabetes reversal.