Diabetes and Obesity

Diabetes is fast becoming one of the major killers of Americans. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, you have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and loss of nerve functioning.

There is an estimated 10 million people in America who have diabetes and with this disease, obesity contributes to the difficulties with symptoms of this disease.

The contributing connection between obesity and diabetes is profound. People who have lost weight have decreased their risk and /or even eliminated their diabetes condition.

Diabetes is a chronic disease. One way that it occurs is if the pancreas does not secrete enough of the hormone insulin. This is Type 1 Diabetes.

In type 1 Diabetes, Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM),the beta cells of the pancreas are often found to be completed destroyed.

In Diabetes type 2,  which is also called Non-Insulin -Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM),  there may be plenty of insulin, but the cells of the body have become resistant to insulin’s effects. With such resistance, the blood sugar cannot get into the cells. As a result of this, there are simultaneous increases of both blood sugar and insulin. This dual elevation is responsible for serious long-term complications.

Diagnosing Diabetes

If you suspect that you may have a problem with blood sugar you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Normal fasting Blood Glucose level is between 70-105 mg/deciliters

If a person has as fasting blood glucose measurement greater that 140 mg/deciliters on 2 separate occasions a diagnosis of diabetes is established.

Managing your Diabetes with a good diet

You need to start thinking differently about your nutrition if you are diabetic.

Here are some tips  from Merck Engage.com:

1. Making some  smart carbohydrate choices:

Starches: good starches include veggies such as potatoes, green peas and corn. Grains are also starches, eat some oats, barley and rice. Watch your portion control- 1/2 cup is about all you need to reap the benefits of starches. The same is true with fiber products. Try to maintain your weight through moderation.

Fiber: Beans, nuts, fruits and veggies. Fiber also helps to slow the rise of blood sugar so that your blood glucose stays within normal limits.

Sweets: We all need to stay away from eating a lot of sweets. But for diabetes it is crucial. Experts recommend that less than 7% of your total calorie intake should be from  sugar. Stay away from saturated fats- those full-dairy products such as ice cream, sour cream and cheese can not only pack on the pounds, but also have fewer nutritional qualities as fiber foods, proteins and starches.

2. Fats are not all equal

Some fat in your diet is necessary but unsaturated fats are the best. Healthy fats include nuts, vegetable oils, olives and avocados.

Non-fried fish such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna are good source of omega-3 fat.

Unhealthy fats

These include not only full- fat dairy products as noted above but also saturated fats on chicken skin, meats and bacon. Trans fats are also present in margarine, shortening and many processed goods such as chips and crackers.  A good tip is to not buy products that say, “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” fat.

3. How much Protein?

People with diabetes need about the same amount of protein as the general population which is about 15-20% of the total diet.

High protein diets seem to be on the agenda for many people, but there is little proof that they are beneficial. Long-term effects of high protein diets can have a profound affect on the kidneys, especially for people with diabetes.

Article taken in part from: Managing Diabetes Through Good Nutrition 5/30/2012