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World Diabetes Day Theme 2014: Healthy Eating & Diabetes

World Diabetes Day Theme 2014: Healthy Eating & Diabetes

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation  (IDF) and its member associations to create & promote an awareness regarding diabetes.

The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.

World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community.

Healthy Living and Diabetes is the World Diabetes Day theme for 2014-2016.images (7)

There is no standard meal plan or eating pattern as such that works universally for all people with diabetes. In order to be effective, nutrition therapy should be individualized for each patient/client based on his or her individual health goals; personal and cultural preferences ; access to healthful choices, his medications & physical activity and readiness, willingness, and ability to change. However, certain dietary guidelines are very helpful to keep the disease under control. Nutrition interventions should emphasize a variety of minimally processed nutrient-dense foods in appropriate portion sizes as part of a healthful eating pattern and provide the individual with diabetes with practical tools for day-to-day food plan and behavior change that can be maintained over the long term.

Dietary guidelines for diabetes

  1. Understand diabetes

It is very important to understand diabetes in order to live with it. Clear out all your doubts with periodic visit to endocrinologist & dietitian.

  1. Have small spaced meals

Eat every 2/3 hourly in order to prevent episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). At the very time, do not overeat as suddenly the blood glucose levels may raise. Keeping the meals small & spaced will minimize blood sugar fluctuations (such fluctuations is not very healthy sign)

  1. Avoid fruit juices, cold drinks

Fruit juices contain lots of sugar; so it is best to avoid them. Cold drinks contain approximately 10 tsp of sugar. So it is not at all advisable to diabetics. People often opt for diet drinks as they are low in sugar. However, it should be noted that its use should be kept minimal to avoid complications.  A study published in 2010 in the “Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine” found those who drink heavy amounts of diet soda are more likely to be obese than those who don’t drink diet soda, and obesity is a major risk factor for type-2 diabetes.

  1. Portion size

Diabetes is all about managing your portion size. Watching your serving sizes can help you keep the complications of diabetes in check. A dietitian or certified diabetes educator can tell you how many servings from each food group you should eat per day.

  1. Follow the meal & medicine timings strictly

In order to avoid episodes of hypo & hyperglycemia, it is very important to follow the meal & medicine timings strictly.

  1. Limit the artificial sweetener

Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, are compounds that offer the sweetness of sugar without the same calories. Artificial sweeteners do not affect blood sugar levels, but some foods containing artificial sweeteners can still affect blood sugar because of other carbohydrates or proteins in these foods. There is a growing research on the side effects of artificial sweeteners which may range from minor to serious health complication. So it is advisable not to use these sweeteners freely & consult the dietitian.

  1. Be aware of diabetic snacks

Nowadays, many types of snacks are sold under the name of “diabetic snack”. However, not all are good. They may be high in fats & artificial sweeteners. Read the labels carefully.

  1. Carbohydrate counting

All food items contain carbohydrates. The amounts may vary. Also its release into the bloodstream is different. A good dietitian will educate you regarding this. Once you understand this relation, it is becomes easy to manage your diabetes.

  1. Avoid saturated fats, red meat

Research shows that diabetic patients are at higher risk (nearly 80%) of developing heart problems. So it is advisable to avoid saturated fats & red meat.

  1. Include variety of vegetables

Vegetables are rich in fiber which helps to regulate the blood sugar. They are also rich in antioxidants which have an additional health benefits.

  1. Fruits & Nuts

Portion size of fruits & nuts & the timing of eating is the key to enjoy them without adversely affecting your blood sugar levels. You can eat variety of fruits & nuts if your sugar levels are under control (Gly Hemoglobin gives a clear picture of your diabetic control). However, it should be within the prescribed amount. Get your diet planned by the dietitian & follow it strictly to enjoy a happier life.

  1. Stay active

Physical activity improves insulin sensitivity. There is also a benefit of the “feel good hormones” released during exercise. But, diabetic patients should avoid heavy exercises. Walking is the best exercise for them. Consult your endocrinologist & physiotherapist before starting any exercise regime.

  1. Carry sugar candies for emergency

Always carry some candies or some munches or glucose powder in case of any emergency.

  1. Consult your dietitian before following any dietary or home remedies blindly

Nowadays, there is an easy access to the information, thanks to the modern internet & mobile technology. However, not all the information given is correct & if you follow it without consulting a dietitian expert, it can prove dangerous for you. To avoid such incidences, consult a well qualified or registered dietitian.

Initially, you may find it difficult or confusing to follow a healthy lifestyle. However, believing in it,  sticking to it & accepting it will help you to master this art.

Eat well, feel well.

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