Diabetes can be a dangerous and debilitating disease if not controlled properly. It is of paramount importance to keep your sugars under control or you risk experiencing symptoms like heart disease, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, kidney disease, gum disease, and nerve damage which can lead to loss of sensation or pain and burning in the feet. Diabetes that is completely out of control can even lead to death. Fortunately, there is a way to get this whole-body disease under control before symptoms and complications take over your life: Nutrition.
The Glycemic Index
We hear a lot about the glycemic index and how it helps type 2 diabetes and a variety of other conditions, but not many people really understand what it is or how it’s calculated. Most nutritionists and dieticians will simply give you a list of good and bad foods for a low-GI diet.
The glycemic index is a ranking to determine how the carbohydrates in foods affect the glucose/sugar levels. It’s a complicated formula, which is why most of us can’t figure it out in the store while shopping. Not all carbohydrates react the same way, which is why some people on a low carbohydrate diet can have diabetic complications. Low GI foods don’t raise the insulin levels significantly, which is why they are better for controlling diabetes.
Getting on a Low-GI Diet
If you have the opportunity, meet with a dietician who specializes in diabetes. If this isn’t an option, however, there are a plethora of good, reliable sources out there that can help you get onto a low-GI diet. Go through these sites and make your own list of foods you’ll enjoy. Any food with a glycemic index above 55 is considered high, so stay under that as much as possible. Medium GI foods (between 35-55) should be limited to once a day. All other foods should be under that 35 GI marker.
This may seem a bit daunting at first, but you will notice that there are a great deal of good food choices in the low GI end of the scale such as organic peanut butter or almond butter, seed and grain breads, quinoa, cherries, berries, beans, sweet potatoes, hummus, and Greek yogurt just to name a few. When making your list, it’s helpful if you make a “green list” and an “orange list” to help keep you on track. Include the GI next to the food choice. Green would be the low GI foods and orange would be medium.
Get moving. Walking 30 minutes a day or going to a gym will go a long way in helping you get your diabetes under control. Don’t smoke or drink. These are detrimental to your health enough as it is, but can worsen diabetes.
You don’t always need medication to control diabetes. Take control of your life and your body by eating right and exercising.
Web MD – 6 tips to get your diabetes under control
Web MD low GI diet for Diabetic control