Research has shown that diabetes can be managed to some extent by following a natural diet to reduce the disease’s effects on the body. With any diet aimed at sufferers of diabetes, the goal is to achieve near normal blood glucose levels, as well as control weight and promote overall health.
Before Beginning a Natural Diabetes Diet
Before beginning any diet, people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (that use insulin) must coordinate their calorie intake with medication or insulin administration, exercise and other variables to properly control their glucose levels. Be sure to check with your doctor or diabetes dietician before beginning any new diet plan, as your particular case may put you at added risk for other medical complications. Dietary requirements for diabetes must take these risks into consideration.
Overall Guidelines for a Diabetes Diet
There is no single diet that will suit all people with diabetes. This approach is based on the US Dietary Guidelines for healthy eating and has been very effective in increasing the health of and lowering the dependence on insulin for type 2 diabetes patients.
- Limit bad the fats: saturated fat and trans fatty acids. By selecting monounsaturated (olive oil, canola oil) and polyunsaturated (sunflower, rapeseed) oils, you are protecting your body and increasing your heart health, while trans fatty acids and saturated fats are making you at further risk for other diseases and health problems.
- Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, including daily consumption of nuts, seeds or legumes. Primarily focus on eating whole foods instead of processed ones, as they have higher nutritional value and are not loaded with trans and saturated fats like many processed products.
- Limit your protein consumption, opting to get most of your protein from fish or soy protein sources (as opposed to poultry or meat). At the very least, avoid high fat meats. Try including salmon, halibut, swordfish and tuna in your diet on a regular basis.
- Choose fresh fruits when looking for something sweet.
- Reduce salt intake.
Natural Diabetes Meal Planning Basics
Additionally, the American Diabetes and Dietetic Association recommends following these ratios for meal planning:
- Protein should provide only 10% to 20% of total caloric intake
- Fat should provide no more than 30% of daily caloric intake
- Carbohydrates should supply up to 60% of calories daily
- Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, 6 servings of whole grains daily and 2 weekly servings of fatty fish.
By following a diet plan like this that focuses on eating whole and natural foods, and avoiding the more processed ones that are bad for your health, many people have been able to control their diabetes and reduce their dependence on insulin. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet, and be sure to include fitness goals in with your diet. By combining exercise with your natural diabetes diet, you can feel great and look great too. Make a change that you can live with your entire life, and discover the way to eat healthy.