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Cooking for a Diabetic

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine

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Cooking for a Diabetic

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
For anyone who suffers from diabetes the quality of life depends upon what you eat. The diabetic diet you follow should be decided by your doctor based on your personal health situation.

What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disorder whereby carbohydrate metabolism is characterized by elevated blood sugar and a defective insulin secretion. The blood sugar level is the concentration of glucose in the blood. While blood sugar in a healthy person can vary at different times of the day, insulin regulates the sugars to keep the levels relatively even. In a diabetic this insulin mechanism does not function properly, allowing blood levels to become dangerously high. Low blood sugar is equally bad. We all need blood sugar for energy, but levels that are either too high or too low are health threatening. Insulin helps to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy the body needs for daily activities.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and is also referred to as juvenile diabetes. Type 2 is found more in adults. With Type 2 diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells do not recognize the insulin it is producing. Being overweight is one of the main cause for developing type 2 diabetes.

Hyperglycemia occurs when your blood sugar is too high. Hypoglycemia, occurs when your blood sugar is low. The symptoms of hypoglycemia are sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation. Keeping your blood sugar as close to normal as possible is what a diabetic must strive for. Checking your blood sugar levels frequently, and adjusting your diet accordingly, is the best way to accomplish this. Your doctor will also prescribe medication to help control the blood sugar levels. You should always check your blood glucose before you go to bed to make sure it is at a safe level of around 100 - 140 to carry you through the night.

Living with diabetes doesn't mean you have to be deprived of your favorite foods. You will, however, have to be more mindful of what you eat, how much, and when you eat. In the past, people with diabetes were told to avoid sugar completely, but experts now agree that small amounts of sugar can be eaten while still maintaining proper blood glucose levels. You can still eat the food you like, you just have to be aware of the amount of carbohydrates, fats and protein you consume with each meal. In fact, many diabetics eat the same foods as the rest of the family. The difference with a diabetic is the amount. Everything in moderation. One thing we need to understand is that our bodies do not process all foods equally, and foods are not metabolized at the same rates. The slower a food is metabolized the less drastic the increase in blood glucose levels. Foods high in sugar metabolize quickly which brings the blood glucose levels up rapidly. Carbohydrates metabolize more slowly and bring the blood glucose up more slowly over a longer period of time. Because meals are often made up of a combination of foods a diabetic must pay close attention to how much they are eating.

If you are on diabetes medications that lower blood glucose, you need to practice caution when drinking Alcohol beverages since many medications are affected by alcohol. Your doctor can advise you on this. You should not drink alcohol when your blood glucose is low, or when your stomach is empty since drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia. If you want to drink it is best to have your Alcohol drink with your meal.

It is critical that diabetics never skip meals. Eating more often, but less at each meal is actually best. All you accomplish by skipping meals is more fluctuation in your blood glucose levels. A varied, moderate diet is ideal if you want to enjoy good health. If you stick to your meal plan for portion sizes and eating times you should eat the same mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats each day. Your blood sugar control will be ideal, as will your weight and your overall health.

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