Prediabetic Diet – Diabetic Diet
Diabetes is a devastating disease.
There are many factors that contribute to developing diabetes. Some things like our genes we cannot change.
Other things like our diet we can.
So what constitutes a Pre-Diabetic diet?
Read on to learn more.
The same principles apply to people with Diabetes.
Carbohydrate should make up 50%-60% of Total Daily Calories
Minimize Simple Carbohydrates
Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient that is an excellent source of energy (measured as calories) for the body and is the preferred fuel for the brain and nervous system. All forms of carbohydrate increase a person’s blood sugar level, depending on the amount of carbohydrate in the food.
Carbohydrate comes in two forms: starch and sugar.
- Starch (complex carbohydrate) is found in foods such as breads, cereals, grains, pasta, rice, flour, legumes, and vegetables.
- Sugar (simple carbohydrate) is found in foods such as fruits, juices, milk, honey, desserts, and candy.
Protein should make up 15%-20% of Total Daily Calories
Proteins are the major structural component of all body tissue. They are necessary for muscular growth and cellular repair. Proteins are also a functional component of enzymes, hormones, etc. They are used for energy only when carbohydrates and fats are not available.
Choose low fat sources of protein such as lean meat, poultry without skin, fish, dry beans and chickpeas. These choices are lowest in fat.
Eat nuts and seeds in moderation, as they are high in fat.
Prepare meats using the following lowfat methods.
- Trim away all the fat you can see.
- Remove skin from poultry.
- Broil, roast, or boil these foods instead of frying them.
Saturated fats should make up < 10% of Total Daily Calories
Saturated fats are those that become hard at room temperature and are found mostly in animal-based foods (such as meat, butter, milk, and cheese) and in coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, margarine, and shortening. Saturated fats should only be eaten in limited amounts because they harm blood vessels, which increases a person’s risk for developing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Most of a person’s fat calories should be from polyunsaturated fats (such as from liquid vegetable oils, corn oil, or soybean oil) or monounsaturated fats (such as from olive oil, avocados, and nuts).
Food labels usually indicate how many fat calories come from saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.
Fiber (20 to 35g Per Day)
Dietary fiber is the part of plant foods that the body cannot digest. Eating foods with fiber helps to keep the digestive tract healthy, stabilize blood sugar levels, and control cholesterol levels.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 g to 35 g.
Fiber in the diet is classified as either soluble or insoluble.
- Soluble fiber. As part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol by about 2% to 4%. Foods high in soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, dry beans and peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries, and apple pulp (the solids left after making apple juice).
- Insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not lower blood cholesterol, but it is important in keeping the bowels healthy and preventing constipation and diverticular disease. Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads, wheat cereals, wheat bran, cabbage, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, and apple skin.
Bran is widely known as a good source of fiber. However, many commercially made bran products, such as muffins and waffles, actually contain very little bran, and they are often high in saturated and total fat. Check the labels for the actual fiber content.
An exercise program is essential. Regular exercise can help prevent diabetes and high blood pressure. Before embarking on an exercise program, take note of the following:
- Use proper footwear and other appropriate protective equipment.
- Ensure that you are adequately hydrated before and after any exercise.
- Do not exercise when you are ill.
- If you have not been active for some time, start with low intensity activities like slow walking for 4 to 6 weeks.
Exercise according to the following guidelines:
- Frequency: 3-5 days per week.
- Intensity: 60% to 85% of your maximum heart rate* OR until you feel warm, sweat and breathe deeply.
- Time: Minimum 20 minutes continuously.
- Type: aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, ball and racket games. Avoid heavy resistance and isometric exercises like lifting weights.
*Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – Age in Years
If you are truly Pre-diabetic, there are medicines that you can take to prevent Diabetes from developing.
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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.