DIABETES – is indeed called the “sweet disease” as it reduces the ability of the body to absorb sugar from the blood. Diabetes is a defect in the body’s ability to convert glucose (sugar) to energy. When one has diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer diabetes as “sugar.”

There are 2 types of Diabetes.

  • TYPE 1 DIABETES
  • TYPE 2 DIABETES

TYPE 1 DIABETES - 

  • Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.
  • Only 5-7% of people with diabetes have type-1 diabetes.

 TYPE 2 DIABETES -  

  • Type 2 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults.
  • This type of diabetes is not necessarily insulin dependent. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
  • If someone has type 2 diabetes the body does not utilize insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas make extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time the body is not able to keep up and cannot make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
  • Majority of patients improve with weight loss and are maintained on diet therapy.

ACCEPTABLE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS IN DIABETES

TYPE OF TEST           NORMAL BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVEL            ACCEPTABLE BLOOD GLUCOSELEVEL

Before Meal                                  80-100 mg/dl                                                Till 120 mg/dl 

Two hours after meal                Less than 140 mg/dl                                    Less than 140 mg/dl

At Bedtime                                  Around 100 mg/dl                                         Around 150 mg/dl

HB1AC                                                 5- 5.9                                                         Normal

                                                               6- 6.5                                                         Pre-Diabetes

                                                               6.5 – Above                                               Indicates diabetes

WARNING SIGNS OF DIABETES:

Frequent Urination :- 

Frequent urination is a basic symptom of Diabetes.

If blood glucose levels become too high, the body will try to manage the situation by removing glucose from the blood through the kidneys. In this process the kidneys will also filter out more water and you will need to urinate more than usual as a result.

Excessive Thirst :- 

This is another common symptom of Diabetes.

If one feels thirsty all the time or their thirst is stronger than usual and continues even after they drink, it can be a sign of this symptom. It is also usually accompanied by temporary or prolonged dryness of the mouth.

Diabetes and Sudden Weight Loss:-

In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the body's cells to use as energy. When this occurs, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight.

Unexpected weight loss is often noticed in people prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes but it may also affect people with type 2 diabetes.

 Increased Fatigue :-

If your insulin is not working properly, or is not there at all, glucose will not be entering your cells and providing them with energy. This will make you feel tired and listless.

Low sugars levels also cause fatigue, because when blood sugar is low, there is not enough fuel for the cells to work well.

Blurred Vision :- 

High levels of blood sugar resulting from diabetes can affect your ability to see by causing the lens inside the eye to swell, which can result in temporary blurring of eyesight.

If the blood sugar levels are fluctuating over time, one may notice that the vision improves and worsens for periods of time.

COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETES :

People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of serious health problems.

Cardiovascular Disease: is most common  & affects the heart and blood vessels and may cause complications such as heart attack and stroke.

Kidney Disease: caused by damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys leading to the kidneys becoming less efficient or to fail altogether.

Nerve Disease: diabetes can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body when blood glucose and blood pressure are too high. This can lead to problems with digestion, erectile dysfunction, and many other functions.

Eye Disease: most people with diabetes will develop some form of eye disease (retinopathy) causing reduced vision or blindness. Consistently high levels of blood glucose, together with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are the main causes of retinopathy.

Pregnancy Complications: Women with any type of diabetes during pregnancy risk a number of complications if they do not carefully monitor and manage their condition.

 NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

CARBOHYDRATE & DIETARY FIBER: -

Carbohydrate restriction impairs insulin sensitivity and it is reversed by high carbohydrate diet.

There should be about 55% of the total energy intake of which about 20% should be simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates should fulfill the remaining carbohydrates requirement.

Foods containing carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk should be included in a healthy diet.

Dietary Fiber may be enhanced to an intake of 25-30gm per day. 

1)Dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates benefits type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Such diets lower 10 insulin requirement.

2) Increased peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity .

3) Decrease serum cholesterol and triglyceride values. 

4) Aid in weight control

5) Lowers B.P.

Diet high in carbohydrates and fibers improve glucose metabolism without increasing insulin secretion. High Fiber diets promote weight loss.

PROTEIN:

A diet high in protein is good for the health of diabetics because, Protein does not raise blood sugar during absorption as do carbohydrates and it does not supply as many calories as fats.

One gram of protein per kilogram body weight is adequate but more may be given and the amount of fats and carbohydrates proportionately reduced.

Protein also promotes satiety and helps both types of diabetic patients to adhere to the carbohydrate allowance

FAT:

Low fat diet increases insulin binding and also reduces the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and reduces the incidence of Heart Disorders which is more common in diabetics.

Fat content in the diet should be 15-25% of total calories and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

GLYCAEMIC INDEX:

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Diabetics should prefer low glycemic foods, Here is a list of few commonly used Foods.

FOOD GROUPS                        LOW GI (Below 55)                MEDIUM GI(55-70)            HIGH GI (70-100)

Cereal                                       Bulgar Wheat                              Rolled Oats                              White Rice

                                                        Semolina                                     Brown Rice                               White Bread

                                                        Sweet Potato                              Couscous                                   Mashed Potato

Pulses                                      Chana Dal                                    Urad(black beans)                               -

                                                      Lentils(red, green)                      Whole Moong                                      -

                                                      Beans (all types)                                        -                                    Watermelon [80]

Dairy Foods                            Milk & Milk Products                  Ice Cream                                             -

                                                      Soy Milk                                                       -                                                -

                                                     Yogurt(unsweetened)                                -                                                 -

Fruits                                      Apple                                               Pineapple                                Watermelon

                                                      Pear                                                 Papaya                         Fruit Juice (concentrated)

                                                     Cherrie                                            Banana                                                  -

Vegetables                            Cabbage                                          Green Peas                                      Pumpkin

                                                    Bell Peppers                                   Frozen Beans                                  Beetroot

                                                    Onion                                               Yam                                                   Carrot

Nuts & Dried Fruits            Walnuts                                             Raisins                                             Dates

                                                  Dried Apricots                                  Peanut                                             Sugars

                                                  Fructose                                            Honey                                             Maltose 

                                                         -                                                   Sucrose                                           Glucose

DIETARY AND LIFESTYLE GUIDELINES FOR DIABETES:

Eat Carbohydrates such as those present in wheat, jowar , bajra , ragi etc. instead of sugars like sucrose , glucose and fructose present in table sugar , honey fruit juice, etc.

Use whole pulses like chana , rajma , soybean instead of split pulses or their dals.

Green leafy vegetable and all types of raw vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, onion and tomato can be eaten in plenty to fill the stomach.

Use such cooking methods which require minimum amounts of fat. So one should eat boiled, steamed and grilled food instead of fried food. Using a non-stick pan reduces the fat consumption.

Stress promotes disease status in body. You can control stress by using relaxation techniques like meditation, pranayama, yoga and by listening to music or taking a short holiday.

If you have diabetes, practice caution when drinking. Do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low. If you choose to drink, follow the guidelines above and have it with food

Table Sugar VS Artificial Sugar

                     Table Sugar                                                                                                   

  • Sugar is a source of carbohydrate and energy.            
  • It provides 4 calories per gram or 16 calories  in a level teaspoon (4 g).                    
  • Sugars in moderation can be a part of a healthy balanced diet.1 tsp per day is an ideal              

        amount for a diabetic.

                  Artificial Sweetener

  • All artificial sweeteners are chemically  processed.
  • Sweeteners affect the body’s ability to gauge how many calories are being consumed.
  • Diabetics must count these starch-based sweeteners as part of their carbohydrate limits since insulin is required for their metabolism.

Hence, the key to keeping your blood glucose levels on target is to substitute small portions of sugar and sweeteners for other carb-containing foods in your meals and snacks. - Moderation is the key with sugar substitutes. Get informed and look beyond the hype.

Sugar/Honey/Jaggery/Brown sugar which 1 is better ?

Sugar, honey, jaggery and brown sugar all are similar where the calorie content is concerned.

Jaggery does have a little iron and minerals making it a healthier alternative.

However honey & jaggery both might be synthetic. Hence it’s better to stick to normal sugar.

Hence to end on a funny note,

EAT LESS SUGAR YOU ARE SWEET ALREADY J

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