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Top 10 Foods For Diabetes

Posted on January 9, 2022 | No Comments on Top 10 Foods For Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic and fast growing disease. There is no cure but it can be properly and successfully managed and controlled. Diet and lifestyle are very important factors to consider. It is useful to know how your body handles nutrients in the food you eat and how it affects your health. In other words, you are what you eat and what you eat heals you.

Several food guides for people with diabetes have been reported. A food guide is a way to plan a diet to control and manage diabetes. For example, the American Dietetic Association has recommended the use of the Diabetes Pyramid.

The Diabetes Pyramid grouped the foods based on their carbohydrates and protein content instead of their classification as food. The Pyramid does not prevent those with diabetes to eat any kind of food. It merely teaches us the choices that we have to eat the most. For example, the largest group consists of grains, beans and starchy vegetables which we should eat more of, while the smallest group consists of fats, sweets and alcohol which we should have few servings of.
Carbohydrates are of two types: available and unavailable carbohydrates. Available carbohydrates are sugars and starches and both are digested and absorbed in the small intestine. However, 15 percent of starch (resistant starch) escape digestion and absorption in the small intestine and goes to the large intestine and produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA).
The unavailable carbohydrates are the non-starch polysaccharides, e.g. dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates like fructooligosaccharides. These types of carbohydrates resist digestion in the small intestine and is metabolized in the colon by friendly microorganisms like bifidobacteria and lactobacillus into SCFA. SCFA produces 2 Kcal/g of dietary fiber/complex carbohydrates/resistant starch which is lower than the available carbohydrates which produces 4 Kcal/g.

Carbohydrate is the nutrient that most affects your blood sugar level. The misconception that carbohydrate-rich food is bad for diabetics is not true. We have to know the type of carbohydrates we should take and spread out in our daily meals. Eating regular meals can help you spread carbohydrates intake throughout the day.

Milk products contain protein, calcium and other nutrients. We should choose low or non-fat milk. Choose the lean portion of beef, pork and chicken, and fish. They are rich sources of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Keep your servings small for fats, sweets and alcohol and save them for a special treat. The glycemic index* (GI) of some fruits considered to be low has been studied at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology.

The 10 top food choices for the control and management of diabetes are:
1. Root crops (e.g. sweet potato, taro, yam [ube], cassava, tugi, potato)
2. Grains (e.g whole wheat, brown rice, high amylose rice, corn)
3. Low GI fruits (as shown above)
4. Vegetables
5. Beans (e.g. kidney beans, soya, mung bean, pole sitaw)
6. Nuts (e.g. peanuts, coconut, pill, cashew)
7. Low or non-fat milk
8. Fish
9. Lean meat
10. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT)

In addition to the 10 top food choices for the control and management of diabetes, physical activity and exercise, and a healthy lifestyle (no smoking, less alcohol) should always be considered.

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