For most people with diabetes what to eat is the most challenging part of managing their condition. The American Diabetes Association suggests there is no ‘one size fits all ’eating pattern for them.
Adults diagnosed with diabetes should
- Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods in appropriate portions as part of an eating plan that takes into account individual preferences, culture, religious beliefs, traditions and metabolic goals.
- Consider individual metabolic goals such as glucose and lipid levels and blood pressure while choosing foods.
- Take into consideration eating patterns since people eat combinations of foods and not just single nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein fats. Whether a Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet or low carbohydrate diet, the important thing is finding an eating pattern that fits food preferences and lifestyle and that can be consistently followed and provides the nutrition for good health.
- Go to a registered dietitian or participate in a diabetes self- management education program soon after diagnosis.
- Choose carbohydrates from vegetables, whole grain, fruits, legumes, and dairy products over other sources that contain added fats, sugar or sodium.
- Eat monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and avoid trans fats and saturated fats . Individuals who are trying to manage their weight should still eat good fats in moderation.
- Limit or avoid intake of sugar sweetened beverages from any caloric sweetener including high fructose corn syrup & sucrose to reduce risk of weight gain and worsening of cardio vascular risk profile.
- Adhere to the general recommendation to reduce sodium to less than 2.300 mg/day with added reductions for those who have high blood pressure.
- Adhere to the general recommendation to eat fatty fish at least 2 times a week instead of using omega 3 EPA/DHA supplements for the prevention of or treatment of cardio vascular disease .
There is no clear evidence of benefit from vitamin or mineral supplements for people with diabetes who do not have underlying vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
The key components of diabetes management are healthy eating habits, regular physical exercise and timely medication.
These recommendations are based on review of relevant literature by a group of highly trained clinicians and researchers.
Diabetes Pro Quarterly - American Diabetes Association.