Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States and the world. The National Institute of Health medicine reports that 8.7% of the US population is a diagnosed diabetic. That’s a whopping 27.8 million people. In addition, an estimated 8.5 million people have undiagnosed diabetes, and 96 million adults have pre-diabetes. That’s almost 40% of people in the United States, and each requires nutrition knowledge for their long-term health.
The World Health Organization estimates that 95% of all diabetes diagnoses are type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is a progressive disease related to diet and lifestyle factors. The good news is that you can manage diabetes with diet, medication, and exercise.
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or type 1 diabetes, a healthy eating plan is vital to control blood glucose. A dietician’s plan will help with weight management and other health issues related to diabetes.
What Causes Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is an ineffective production or delivery of the hormone insulin. The pancreas creates insulin and releases it into the blood when we eat. Our blood flow transports insulin to our cells, and insulin helps cells absorb glucose from the blood. If insulin doesn’t function properly, glucose accumulates in the blood. Raised blood glucose is a health hazard that can cause damage over time.
There are three key causes of insulin dysfunction in type 2 diabetes: genetics, excess body fat, and physical inactivity. Luckily, we can alter our diet patterns and physical activity level to manage the causes and even reverse the disease to some degree.
A Healthy Eating Plan
Your Bellevue, Washington, diabetes nutritionist has the following advice. Everybody needs a healthy eating plan. Healthy eating can reduce the symptoms of diabetes and prevent complications. We do this by eating a diet pattern that lowers blood glucose and minimizes excess weight.
Anyone with diabetes can benefit from eating three balanced meals a day. We can prevent the blood glucose spikes associated with insulin resistance with balanced meals. A Bellevue, Washington, diabetes dietitian can design a health plan that fits your lifestyle and food preference.
A balanced meal must include fiber, proteins, healthy fats, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates. Balancing these four nutrients when preparing a meal helps slow the absorption of sugar.
Healthy carbohydrate sources include low glycemic load foods or, more generally, complex carbohydrates that are minimally processed. A diet pattern for diabetes can consist of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low-fat dairy products, all of which contain carbs.
Eating the correct diet pattern helps you manage diabetes and prevent conditions that develop alongside diabetes, like high cholesterol.
We can’t forget physical activity. Like insulin, muscle movement can cause blood glucose to move into the muscle cells. The effect is lowered blood glucose. So any plan should consider increased physical activity, especially movement that you enjoy.
Foods to Avoid
Typically, those with diabetes avoid foods with large amounts of carbs or highly absorbable carbohydrates, often classified as high glycemic load foods. This usually includes restricting added sugar like candy and cookies/cakes, refined grains, grain-based products like pasta, dried fruits, fruit juice, and large blended fruit smoothies.
Drinks are a particularly tricky area. We can consume large amounts of sugar in our beverages without feeling full. Sometimes, one beverage provides enough sugar for a whole meal but with no fiber, protein, or fat to balance it out.
Each person is different. How much we tweak your diet depends on the condition’s specifics and your end goals. A diabetes diet is one of the best eating plans for almost anyone interested in weight management. Ask your Bellevue, Washington, diabetes nutritionist to design a plan for a healthy life.