Diabetes and Your Diet


Diabetes and Your Diet

Diabetes relates to a persistent elevation in blood glucose levels. Many factors influence the development and management of diabetes including genetics, weight, predisposing medical conditions and diet. A healthy diet that is rich in lean protein, healthy grains, fruits and vegetables have a beneficial impact on stabilizing blood sugar levels. Foods that are high in starch, sugar and saturated fat can cause spikes in blood glucose levels and contribute to weight gain. Excess weight is a risk factor in the development of diabetes and people trying to manage their blood sugar levels should take steps to manage their weight.

Carbohydrates have a strong impact on blood glucose levels. Foods containing carbohydrates include potatoes, rice, pasta, breads and cereals. Yogurt, milk and desserts are also high in carbohydrates. These foods are often high in sugar content and may cause an unhealthy spike in your blood glucose levels following their consumption. Foods high in protein tend to have the least effect on diabetes and blood sugar levels. Eating lean sources of protein should be incorporated into your diet plan because they are low in fat and sugar. Food high in saturated fat, however, can exacerbate diabetes and contribute to heart disease and stroke by raising cholesterol levels and blocking the arteries.

The diabetic exchange diet using a system of various foods to comprise a healthy diet. In addition, doctors often recommend that diabetic patients practice portion control to manage their blood sugar levels as well as their weight. Obesity contributes to elevations in blood sugar levels, and even modest weight losses can have a dramatic and positive effect on blood sugar levels. In addition, incorporating exercise into your healthy eating plan can further influence healthy blood sugar levels, as can managing stress. Drinking plenty of water also aids in digestion and can help normalize blood sugar levels as well. Elevated blood sugar levels vary widely during the course of the day, but consistent elevations need to be evaluated by your physician. A simple blood test can determine your blood glucose values, and is sometimes performed after an overnight fast.

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