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Diabetes and food

Diabetes is caused by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that stem from the pancreas's (gland behind the stomach) inability to produce the sufficient level of insulin that is required to help maintain blood sugar levels and provide the cells with energy.

Diabetes is also a life-long condition known to affect 2.9 million in the U.K that has to be managed effectively through the correct diet and medication.

How does food and dieting affect diabetes?

There are many factors that can affect and even cause diabetes, such as eating the wrong types food and poor dieting.

Considering that diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels, the effects of excessively eating foods that are high in sugar content are obvious. A poor diet and excessive consumption of sugary and sweet foods can contribute to diabetes and increase blood sugar levels drastically and create further health complications such as:

  • heart disease
  • strokes
  • kidney failure
  • blindness
  • nerve damage

How to manage a diet and diabetes

Managing diabetes and a diet can seem quite daunting at first, especially when considering the health risks associated with eating the wrong types of food and drinks that are commonly available.

Thankfully, there are useful guidelines available that can help when deciding what type of diet plan is suitable for you. For example, a low carbohydrate diet may be suitable for diabetics. The benefits of low carb diets are that they require less insulin, making diabetes easier to manage. Furthermore, the NHS recommends a balanced diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt and contains a high level of fresh fruit and vegetables. Moreover, by sticking to the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption per day (2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units for men), you can take further control over your diabetes and blood sugar levels.

However, it is important to note that, low carb diet plans can also potentially raise your chances of developing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level), which is why it is important to constantly monitor your blood sugar levels; which can be done by using a blood glucose meter.

Furthermore, when considering the pros the cons of various dieting plans for diabetes, it is advisable to seek advice from a dietician if you are unsure which diet is most suitable for you and your diabetes condition. It is also important that you tailor your diet plan to the medication you are taking.

If maintained correctly you can effectively manage your diet and diabetes and still continue to enjoy a normal quality of life.

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