Diabetic diet

Synonyms

Adult-onset diabetes, exchange lists, food pyramid, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), insulin resistance, juvenile-onset diabetes, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), sugar-free diet, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes,

Background

A diabetic diet follows a specific set of dietary guidelines that have been developed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association to improve the management of diabetes. The goal of this diet is weight management through the reduction of calories, daily intake of dietary fat (specifically saturated fat) and individualization of carbohydrate intake based on the type of diabetes a person has and the level of control over blood sugar levels.

There are two primary types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes. This type usually starts in children, whereby the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. In this type, the pancreas will produce insulin, however, the body's tissues do not respond well to the insulin signal to metabolize glucose properly, a condition called insulin resistance.

The nutritional goals for type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different. Type 1 diabetes focuses mostly on matching food intake to insulin. With type 1 diabetes, studies show that total carbohydrates have the most effect on the amount of insulin needed to maintain blood sugar control. There is a delicate balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin, and physical activity that is necessary for optimal blood levels of a sugar. If these components are not in balance, there can be wide fluctuations in blood glucose levels. For those with type 1 diabetes, on a fixed dose of insulin, the carbohydrate content of meals and snacks should be consistent from day to day.

With type 2 diabetes, the main focus is on weight control, because 80-90% of people with this disease are overweight. A meal plan, with reduced calories, even distribution of carbohydrates, and the replacement of some carbohydrates with healthier monounsaturated fats helps improve blood glucose levels. Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fat include peanut or almond butter, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts. These can be substituted for carbohydrates, but portions should be small because these foods are high in calories.

A diabetic diet follows a specific set of dietary guidelines that have been developed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association to improve the management of diabetes. The goal of this diet is weight management through the reduction of calories, daily intake of dietary fat (specifically saturated fat) and individualization of carbohydrate intake based on the type of diabetes a person has and the level of control over blood sugar levels.

There are two primary types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes. This type usually starts in children, whereby the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. In this type, the pancreas will produce insulin, however, the body's tissues do not respond well to the insulin signal to metabolize glucose properly, a condition called insulin resistance.

The nutritional goals for type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different. Type 1 diabetes focuses mostly on matching food intake to insulin. With type 1 diabetes, studies show that total carbohydrates have the most effect on the amount of insulin needed to maintain blood sugar control. There is a delicate balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin, and physical activity that is necessary for optimal blood levels of a sugar. If these components are not in balance, there can be wide fluctuations in blood glucose levels. For those with type 1 diabetes, on a fixed dose of insulin, the carbohydrate content of meals and snacks should be consistent from day to day.

With type 2 diabetes, the main focus is on weight control, because 80-90% of people with this disease are overweight. A meal plan, with reduced calories, even distribution of carbohydrates, and the replacement of some carbohydrates with healthier monounsaturated fats helps improve blood glucose levels. Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fat include peanut or almond butter, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts. These can be substituted for carbohydrates, but portions should be small because these foods are high in calories.

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