One of the fastest growing health issues among U.S. adults is diabetes (particularly type II diabetes). The diabetic diet may have promise for the millions of adults who are diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Since the diet is aimed at correcting eating patterns that largely led to diabetes in the first place, is it something that anyone should go on as a way to prevent ill health? Listed ahead is a complete guide as to what the diabetic diet entails along with some of the foods you should avoid.
What is Diabetes?
Currently, there are more than 30 million individuals with diabetes in the U.S., which is very close to one in every ten people. This widespread issue is a growing concern among various adults in the U.S., which is why many adults tend to change lifestyle habits. Diabetes is largely caused by lifestyle, including a diet that lacks nutrient dense foods. In addition, a lack of physical activity, including resistance training, is a major concern for adults that can lead towards diabetes. Upon consuming a meal, your body begins the digestive process that breaks food down to tiny compounds so that you can absorb nutrients or eliminate waste. However, in the setting of diabetes, your diet tends to contribute to rising glucose amounts in the blood and it is generally a result of insulin not working as it should in your body (this is called insulin resistance).
What are the Health Risks of Diabetes?
There are a few important health risks of having diabetes. One of the first includes your blood circulation. Type II diabetes is notorious for creating a decrease of blood flow to some of the outer portions on your body, which could lead to a condition called neuropathy. This is one of the most common conditions and if it is left untreated for years then it could lead to dead tissue.
Another common health risk of diabetes includes eye conditions, including glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition in which your optic nerve experiences damage, which can lead to permanent blindness in your eye. The good thing is that you can detect this condition early and it can be regulated by maintaining your diabetes and blood pressure.
Lastly, another common condition that diabetics can experience is skin issues. Since your blood circulation is reduced, your nutrient profile is decreased as well. When this happens your skin can become damaged and appear dry.
Who is at Risk of Diabetes?
Generally speaking, anyone who has a family history of diabetes, with a poor diet, and little physical activity is at risk of diabetes. It is not something that occurs overnight, meaning it takes years and decades for the disease to take its effect.
In addition to having inadequate lifestyle habits, obesity is one of the biggest factors that can lead to diabetes. Studies have shown that obesity is linked with an increased risk of diabetes, which is one of the reasons that adults are starting to have this issue more commonly.
The Diabetic Diet
In light of the growing incidence of diabetes in the U.S., changing lifestyle and diet is important to regulate the condition. The diabetic diet is considered to be a healthy option for adults looking to eat healthier as a way to prevent blood sugar problems from occurring. Adults are generally placed on the diabetic diet by physicians as a way to prevent diabetes from occurring or as a way to holistically manage the condition.
The diabetic diet is not a very involved dieting program that requires you to cut out foods and to starve yourself. It is more of a diet that enables you to make lifestyle changes that limits the amount sugar you eat throughout the day so that you can cut back on the total calories you consume. In addition, the diabetic diet encourages you to avoid certain foods that could be causing your body to have blood sugar issues throughout the day. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that could be causing you issues so that you can avoid them.
Foods to Avoid on the Diabetic Diet
There are not many foods to avoid if you are at risk for or have diabetes. For starters, it is important to eat smaller portions, avoid adding salt to foods, consume less fat, and to monitor your alcohol consumption. With that said, consider avoiding very starchy foods like potatoes, non-whole grain pastas, baked goods, donuts, ice cream, soda, sugar beverages, potato chips, and cookies. These are just a few foods to avoid, but realistically a diet that encourages more fruits and vegetables and less fat, salt, and simple carbs is best when on the diabetic diet.
Is the Diabetic Diet Plan for Everyone?
The diabetic diet is geared at improving your lifestyle habits by making changes to your diet. Considering diabetes is affecting more than 30 million individuals, there is a need for individuals to make dietary changes, as well as increasing physical activity.
The diabetic diet aims at decreasing the amount high glycemic foods and replacing them with foods that are considered to be low glycemic. This means that any food that causes a large spike in your blood sugar should be avoided. Many of these foods are starchy, carbohydrate-driven and are known culprits for causing blood sugar spikes. However, potatoes and some beans are not-so-well known culprits that can cause issues.
Consider skipping on any and all junk foods when on the diabetic diet. These foods provide very little nutrition for the amount of calories they contain. In addition, sugar sweetened beverages should be avoided at all costs if you are looking to jump on the diabetic diet. With all of this information, is there any criteria for which adults should qualify in order to go on the diabetic diet?
There appears to be no limitations when it comes to going on the diabetic diet. Most adults on this diet first hear of this diet from a physician or dietitian, but it seems anyone looking to make improvements in the quality of food in which they eat can do so at free will. Consider this diet if you are at risk of diabetes, have pre-diabetes, or you are diagnosed with the condition.