Is there a diabetes diet?
The clear answer is: yes, there is a diabetic diet!
This may sound disappointing to some, as the news that diabetics can now eat anything has been making headlines recently. But the above statement also contains correct information.
It is therefore important to clarify which food and drink can provide diabetics with the greatest possible benefit for their health and at the same time the desired enjoyment according to the current state of knowledge.
New research results in recent years have shown that many so-called “old braids” can be forgotten in the diet for diabetics.
Complete Exclusion of Certain Foods:
For example, the complete exclusion of certain foods, such as those that contain sugar, cannot be justified. The rise in blood sugar after table sugar is comparable to the blood sugar course of several other foods and even less rapid and steep than, for example, after white bread, minute rice or corn flakes, if you eat the same amount of carbohydrates in each case. Studies on the glycemic index have made this clear.
The important recommendation to reduce saturated and hydrogenated fat and to give preference to monounsaturated fats, such as those found in rapeseed oil, olive oil, nuts and avocados, has not yet been implemented so well.
A cheap choice of fat would help diabetics to significantly reduce their high risk of vascular damage, early hardening of the arteries, heart attacks and strokes.
Much remains to be done to make it clear that the recommendation to consume at least 2-3 servings of fresh vegetables and 2-3 servings of fresh fruit per day has several advantages for the health of the diabetic. Vegetables and fruits are suppliers of both dietary fiber and (antioxidant) vitamins, which act as protective factors for cardiovascular diseases. A few grams more fiber in the diet already helps to improve the long-term control of diabetes, as measured by HbA1c, and reduces the high risk of coronary heart disease in diabetics.
It has now been recognized that too much protein in the diet regularly puts unnecessary stress on the kidneys of the diabetic and is often associated with diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage). This is why animal protein suppliers in particular should not be consumed too abundantly. Meat, sausage and cheese in large portions usually also produce an undesirable amount of fat. Fish with cheap fatty acids and vegetable protein from legumes and grain products, on the other hand, are recommended for the diet of diabetics.
Modern insulin therapy and new medication give diabetics a lot of flexibility in their diet. ‘Strict arithmetic’ and counting of bread units can be dispensed with. For this, the diabetic and the doctor jointly choose a therapy regimen that takes into account both the diabetic’s preferences for the number of meals and their composition as well as the requirements for good diabetes control.
The basis of nutrition in diabetes is a healthy diet, however, depending on the clinical picture, possibilities of nutrition for the health of the diabetic can be used individually and therapeutically.
For example, the recommended diet for a diabetic with lipid metabolism disorders and hypertension will have a different focus than for a pregnant diabetic, a diabetic with severe nephropathy, a very overweight diabetic, an adolescent with familial hyperparathyroidism and high risk of coronary artery disease, or a diabetic with eating disorders, to name a few. Suitable food can be preventive and therapeutically effective for all of these health disorders and risks.
Certainly the word ‘diabetic diet’, which from the past is still associated for many with constriction and joyless eating, can be replaced by ‘right eating’ for diabetes or ‘nutritional therapy’ for diabetes; It is more important, however, that diabetics seek the advice of a competent diabetes doctor and diabetes team so that they can obtain the most suitable diet for themselves.
Suitable here means that they receive the recommendation for which, according to current knowledge, it has been proven that individual health benefits can be expected. We know today that such a diet can also satisfy the desire for taste and enjoyment of eating and drinking.