What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an illness in which the levels of glucose in the blood are higher than normal. There are two types of diabetes:
- Insulin dependent
- Non-insulin dependent
Person suffering from diabetes should follow a special diet that aims at:
- Bringing the glucose levels in the blood to normal.
- Achieving and maintaining an optimal body weight.
- Forestalling other chronic medical complications that tend to be more severe in persons suffering from diabetes.
To be consumed daily: legumes, vegetables, fresh fruit of all kinds, pure juice. Pasta and rice without fatty sauces, boiled or baked potatoes without oil. Breakfast cereals rich in vegetable fibres. Bread, preferably wholegrain. Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, non-fat yogurt, drinks without added sugar or honey.
To be consumed in small quantities: non-fat meat and chicken and all kinds of fish. Low-fat cheese, eggs. Margarine or low-fat margarine. Dry fruits, pure fruit juices, diet ice-creams, olive oil.
To be avoided: foods rich in fat and sugar. They should be completely avoided or their consumption should be reduced to a minimum.
Products high in sugar:
Sugar, marmelade, honey, chocolates, sweets, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals high in sugar, preserves, syrups, refreshments, squash, juices and fruit drinks.
Products high in fat:
Fried foods, fresh cream, fatty cheeses, butter, pate de foie gras, sausages, delicatessen, dry nuts, mayonnaise, bakery items.
Briefly what you should remember:
- Eat vegetables in unlimited quantities.
- Eat up to three portions of fruits a day. One portion of fruit is any fruit of the size of a medium apple.
- Include in each meal bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, wholegrain breakfast cereals (with little or no sugar).
- Choose whole meal products whenever possible.
- Prefer meat or chicken without fat, non-fat milk products. Eat more fish
- Reduce fat, salt and avoid sugar.
- If you are going to drink alcoholic drinks don’t drink on an empty stomach but only together with the food. Don’t consume alcohol often.
- Use special products suitable for diabetics only after a nutritionist’s advice.