Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in the United States today. It is when the body has too much sugar floating around in the blood, and can cause damage to the body. It is because of this simple feature that diet is the most important piece of treatment in prevention and treatment of diabetes.
The whole problem with diabetes is that there has been too much “sugar” consumption for too long, causing a decreased ability for the body’s cells to absorb sugar for energy.
A frustrating fact about treating diabetes is understanding what sugar actually is and where it comes from. Sugar is a simple molecule that virtually every cell in the body needs to work properly. Sugar comes from the macronutrient group of carbohydrates, which consist of foods like breads, pastas, pastries, crackers, dairy products, etc. Which basically seems like every good food.
When it comes to diabetes, even some healthy foods can have increased carbohydrate content, and that will spike your blood glucose and set your back in your goal A1c.
Nutrient intake in diabetes should focus on maximizing protein and fiber intake, limiting simple carbohydrate intake, and increasing complex carbohydrate intake, which are your vegetables. Vegetables are carbs, but they are a complex form of carbohydrate that make it harder to break down, and won’t spike your blood glucose
Diet must always be individualized when dealing with diabetes. IT is also very important to remember that depending on where you are at in your HbA1c, sometimes additional medications must be incorporated in your treatment regimen to ensure more efficient glucose absorption.
Diabetes is a common condition that most American’s still struggle to comprehend. Type 2 Diabetes is the form of diabetes that can develop over time with high intake of simple carbohydrates. Type 2 diabetes is basically the inability of human cells to absorb sugar into the cells for fuel. The longer sugars remain in the blood, the more difficult it is for cells to respond to insulin, the hormone that signals sugar to go into the cells and out of the blood. As this occurs, Hemoglobin A1c, a diabetic marker, increases and the more uncontrolled your diabetes becomes. The most important method of treatment for Diabetes is diet and exercise. Diet for Diabetes type 2 should focus on maximizing protein and fiber intake, and decreasing simple carbohydrate intake. A fact about human metabolism is that human cells need carbohydrates to survive. A fact about Type 2 diabetes, is that it struggles to use carbohydrates properly.
It is important to understand the difference between complex and simple types of carbohydrates, and how to maximize dietary utilization of these nutrients to manage diabetes. The easiest answer is that simple carbohydrates, foods like pastas, breads, pastries, are easy and quick to break down and will spike your blood glucose quick, further adding to insulin resistance. Complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables, are harder to break down, and won’t raise your blood glucose as quickly. It is important to capitalize your intake of good diabetic friendly nutrients, and avoid the simple carbohydrates that can further decline your control of diabetes. It is also important to understand that often times, diet alone is not enough to control diabetes. Sometimes medications are necessary for diabetic control, and should be taken consistently to help the body function properly. Without proper diabetic control, severe side effects and symptoms can develop, such as immune-suppression, ulceration, obesity, cardiovascular disease, blindness, and even nerve damage.
Dr. Meagan Moore
This blog was written by Dr. Meagan Moore. For more information on her, visit her page by clicking here. You can also schedule a free 15 minute consultation with her by scheduling online or calling our office!