The Diabetes Diet

Although a “miracle” diabetes diet does not exist to cure the disease, if you have type 2 diabetes, there are dietary rules you can follow that will ensure you stay as healthy as possible. When it comes right down to it, proper nutrition is the only “diet” you need to follow. Many people are inexperienced with following a healthy diet, but once you get into the swing of things, eating properly will become part of your lifestyle.

To start off, it’s best to follow the nutrition guidelines in the Food Pyramid, with special attention to carbohydrate intake. Also, diabetics should maintain a regular meal schedule and exercise portion control.

Starches are allowed in a diabetes diet, as long as you control portions and don’t consume too much starchy food. Starches are present in bread, cereal, and starchy vegetables.

Consume five fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This can easily be accomplished by eating a piece of fruit for a snack several times a day, or by eating vegetables with dinner. Soups, stir-fries, and chili make good hiding places for veggies if you need clever ways to add more good stuff into your meals.

You can still eat sugars and sweets (perhaps surprisingly) with type 2 diabetes, but do so in moderation, which means once or twice a week maximum. One way to eat fewer sweets without neglecting your sweet tooth is to split a dessert in half.

Especially beneficial for diabetics are soluble fibers, so you need to get as many as these into your diet as possible. Luckily, you can find soluble fibers in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Soluble fibers are excellent because they aid in slowing down and reducing the absorption of glucose from the intestines. Legumes (such as cooked kidney beans) have the highest amount of soluble fibers, and also keep blood sugar levels in check. Insoluble fibers, found in bran, whole grains and nuts, are also part of a healthy diet because they work like intestinal scrubbers, by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract.

For many people, contacting a dietician is the best way to put together a good diabetes diet. Everyone is different, so keeping in contact with your physician and nutrition consultant will ensure your diet plan is the optimum one for you. A professional will take into account your lifestyle, medication, weight, other medical issues, and your favorite foods to come up with a plan that will keep you healthy and satisfy your cravings for particular flavors.

A Healthy Weight – and Lifestyle

If you have type 2 diabetes, it’s also very important to maintain a healthy weight ( http://www.healthline.com/adamcontent/diabetes-diet ). With type 2 diabetes, added body fat actually makes it more difficult for your body to produce and use insulin. Trimming down as little as 10 or 20 pounds has the potential to improve your blood sugar significantly.

Smokers are advised to quit as soon as possible, as smoking can aggravate diabetes and make it more difficult to cope with the disease. Because diabetics often experience circulation problems in the legs and feet, smoking is a dangerous habit to continue – it decreases blood flow even more. Smoking also increases LDL cholesterol and raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you keep your blood sugar under control, moderate alcohol consumption is allowed, but avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this can lead to low blood sugar. To learn how much alcohol you can safely include in your diet, consult your doctor.

Fat and Carbs

You can control the amount of carbs you consume by practicing carbohydrate counting. This involves keeping track of the total number of grams of carbs you need to eat at meals or snacks, depending on your medication and exercise. Usually this method involves the use of a carbohydrate counting book, which you can purchase at a supermarket or bookstore.

Those with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for heart problems, so most physicians make a recommendation to limit fat below 30% of your total daily caloric intake – this tends to be done by eating less fat overall and staying away from saturated fat. You should also pay attention to cholesterol levels by eating smaller amounts of meat, and sticking to lean meats, such as poultry and fish.

It will take some time to adjust to your new diabetes diet and healthy lifestyle, especially if you haven’t followed healthy living practices in the past, but the results will be worth the effort. Not only will you be able to better manage your diabetes, but you will also become a much healthier person.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Some women are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because of a syndrome that often goes undiagnosed: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, affects between six and ten percent of women who are of childbearing age. One of the symptoms of PCOS is often excess weight gain, with that weight carried around the abdomen. Reducing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS involves, in part, improving insulin sensitivity.

If you have symptoms such as irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles, acne, excessive body or facial hair, you may have PCOS. PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance that can cause these types of symptoms. Your doctor will be able to identify the syndrome and direct you to appropriate treatment to control the condition and prevent future complications such as heart disease, infertility, endometrial cancer, and diabetes.

Women with PCOS should be sure to eat a healthy diet, and include regular exercise each week. Maintaining a healthy weight, and losing any extra pounds, will not only help to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it will also help to reduce the symptoms associated with PCOS.

There are some women that, even with increased exercise and a healthy diet, will not lose weight. Will these women still benefit? Studies have shown that exercising has healthy benefits, regardless of its effect on weight. Exercise affects how the body metabolizes carbohydrates (glucose), and improves insulin sensitivity, both of which help to prevent diabetes from developing. As our body becomes less sensitive to insulin, the pancreas increases its production of insulin to try to compensate. By exercising, and improving our body’s sensitivity to insulin, we keep the pancreas from working overtime.

Losing weight can be particularly important to women, not only for the health benefits, but also because of the effect on energy and self-esteem. Even if the exercise does not help you to lose weight in the short term, it will still have a benefit to your health. Before starting an exercise program, it is important to check with your doctor. They may have recommendations on starting a program, or cautions based on your personal medical history.

There are several ways to start an exercise program; the key is finding what works for you. You may choose to ride a stationary bike, swim, walk, or dance.

Walking is a great way to begin a habit of regular exercise. Women who enjoy a daily walk report feeling better, sleeping better, and experience less moods swings. Should you decide to start a walking program, make sure you have a quality pair of walking shoes. Your local running store can provide you with information on the style of shoe best for you. When you begin, do not worry about your speed, or how long you walk. Even a slow-paced walk will be good for your health, and as you build up stamina, you will be able to increase the length of your walk. Start out slow, studies show that even a slow-paced walk is good to your health. As you continue your program, you will probably find your stamina builds up and you can add more distance to your walk. An excellent goal to work towards is a thirty-minute walk every day.