The following guest post is written by Catherine Santos who is writer for CRNA Schools, a resource for students interested in becoming a nurse anesthetist.
Living with diabetes does not necessarily mean that a person has to restrict himself or herself from having enjoyable foods. It simply means that the individual has to eat on a schedule as to keep his or her blood sugar levels in safe zones. This requires healthier choices for meals that promote wellness, higher energy levels and weight loss in some cases. Individuals with diabetes must create meals according to the nature of the illness. They must take time to plan each meal in a strategic and safer way. Instead of thinking of this special diet as a restriction, diabetic individuals could look at food experimentation as an exciting process.
Tips for Type 1 Diabetes
The goal of a person with type 1 diabetes is to avoid low blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important for an individual with this type to have snacks in between meals. A snack before bed is a requirement. Having small snacks will prevent hypoglycemia and cause an energy surge. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, oats, and legumes are crucial to maintaining proper insulin levels. Fruits are an excellent choice for the snacks throughout the day.
Type 1 diabetics should also consume high amounts of protein. Examples of protein rich foods are salmon, tuna and mackerel. Foods with low fat and cholesterol such as cheese and pork can help to manage the disorder. Each meal should include one item from each area.
Tips for Type 2 Diabetes
Carbohydrates are important for people with type 2 diabetes because they add fuel to the system. They spike the blood sugar level. Fruit, vegetables and bread are beneficial carbohydrates. The individual should count carbohydrates to figure the amount that is necessary for keeping his or her blood sugar level at a normal level. Figuring out the amount of carbohydrates to ingest involves taking notes on a daily basis. Individuals with type 2 diabetes also need to take in fiber rich foods like beans, peas and vegetables. The individual could also limit his or her exposure to fat. Fat increases the risk for heart disease in diabetics as well as non-diabetics.
Tips for Gestational Diabetes
Since gestational diabetes is very likely to disappear after childbirth, the individual may only need to adjust her diet for the duration of the pregnancy. However, there is nothing wrong with continuing a healthy diet after the diabetes symptoms subside. Anyone with gestational diabetes should consume eight cups of water per day. Water helps to break down foods and is very nutritious for both mother and child. The individual should also consume fewer carbohydrates at breakfast time than with other meals. Insulin is very resistant at this time. At other times of the day, it is important that the woman consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates.
Women with gestational diabetes should have three small meals and three snacks throughout the day. A pregnant woman with this condition should also pay close attention to her vitamin intake. She should take the appropriate amount of prenatal vitamins every day. She should also consume foods with plenty of calcium, iron, vitamin C and folic acid.
Regulating one’s blood sugar level with dieting is a learned process. It requires planning, paying careful attention to the body’s reactions and a slight amount of note taking.