Anyone newly diagnosed with diabetes will soon find that while there is no cure, there are ways to keep this condition and its potential effects in check. Like a tightrope walker above a crowd, a diabetic must strive to strike a careful balance. In the diabetic’s case, the balancing act involves blood sugar levels and food intake. Carbohydrate control is essential for maintaining the act.
Carbohydrates are found in many foods and are also considered important for a sound diet, even a diabetic’s diet. With this in mind, diabetics often find themselves needing to learn carbohydrate control measures to ensure the intake doesn’t exceed recommended amounts or cause them to fall off balance. The American Diabetes Association recommends that carbohydrates, even for diabetics, account for about 50 to 60 percent of total daily caloric intake. What works for an individual diabetic, however, will go back to that balancing act. If that amount raises blood sugar levels too high, cutting back is likely in order.
Carbohydrates, which turn to glucose in the body, are found in a variety of foods; some are even a little surprising. To help diabetics get a handle on carbohydrate control, points systems, carb counting and even exchange programs have all been set up. What works for one diabetic might not be the best route for another to take. The key in carbohydrate control is to be able to identify the foods that have carbohydrates in the mix and learn to limit or avoid intake depending on how the tightrope walk is going at that moment in time.
The American Diabetes Association has created its own version of the nutrition pyramid that really helps illustrate the continued importance of carbohydrates in a diabetic’s diet. Drawn in the last and largest space of the pyramid, the bread, cereal, rice and pasta family is considered vital for daily nutrition. In a diabetic’s case, however, healthier choices are necessary.
When looking to master carbohydrate control, the association’s simple formula is helpful. It recommends between six and 11 servings from the grain group daily. The catch, however, comes in on the actual serving size. What people tend to eat as a serving and what a real serving actually is tend to be two very different things. For example, a single slice of bread, a quarter of an average size bagel, a half-cup of cooked cereal and third-cup of rice or pasta all qualify as single servings.
To exercise the tightest carbohydrate control possible, it is wise for diabetics to learn which foods contain carbs and what the correct serving sizes are for each item. When making choices about what to eat, it is also smart to go for healthier options. Whole grain breads, pasta and even rice are almost always better for a diabetic than processed choices. This isn’t to say white bread, regular pasta or even a slice of cake can’t be enjoyed once in a while. When the balancing act is kept in check, a little splurging now and again is generally just fine.
Some Basic Diabetes Type Two Info
Diabetes Type Two info is provided here because sometimes accurate information is difficult to find. There are a number of sources for Type 2 diabetes diet info, but some of these are fad diets that may not be helpful and could even be dangerous.
The Diabetes Type Two info provided here is up to date. It is backed by scientific research and applies not only to people who have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, but also to people who have “pre-diabetes”, insulin resistance or a family history of the condition.
Type 2 diabetes is sometimes referred to as adult-onset, maturity-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. This condition is different from Type 1, insulin dependent, childhood or juvenile diabetes in several ways. First, there are no known preventative measures for Type 1, but Type 2 may be preventable.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that allows glucose to enter and energize the cells. Without insulin, the glucose is “stuck” in the blood stream and cannot be used by the cells.
In type 2 diabetes, the body produces less than normal amounts of insulin and the insulin that is produced is not used properly. Failure of the body to recognize and properly use insulin is referred to as insulin resistance.
According to the diabetes type two info, facts and figures provided by national health organizations, of the 20.8 million people in the United States who have been diagnosed with diabetes, 90-95% have type 2. Another 54 million have pre-diabetes.
In pre-diabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2. Without preventative measures, pre-diabetes can eventually lead to type II.
The recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program showed conclusively that changes in diet and increasing physical activity can prevent pre-diabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. This study is one reason that many people look for type 2 diabetes diet info. It is important to be able to distinguish the fad diets from the healthy diets. The American Diabetes Association is currently working to create more materials to help people understand the difference.
There is one simple way to tell the difference between a fad diet and a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that you could follow for the rest of your life, without concern about nutritional deficiencies. A healthy diet provides adequate intakes of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Some of the latest type 2 diabetes diet info promotes a “low-carb” diet. The American Diabetes Association has this to say:
“The long-term effects of diets high in protein and low in carbohydrate are unknown. Although such diets may produce short-term weight loss and improved glycemia, it has not been established that weight loss is maintained long-term. The long-term effect of such diets on plasma LDL cholesterol is also a concern.”
The general expert consensus is that in a healthy daily diet 40% of calories should come from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from fat. You can safely reduce carbs to 35% and increase protein to 35%, but to avoid weight gain and increase in LDL cholesterol, 30% fat is enough.