Diabetes mellitus scares people not only with terrible consequences, but also with dietary restrictions. After all, complications may not happen, and sweets are not allowed right now. Yes, the diet food is boring. Is it so? Not really! Nutrition for diabetics can and should be tasty and varied.
What can you eat with diabetes
Diabetes mellitus imposes some restrictions. Nutrition in this disease is based on the principles of the treatment table (diet) No. 9 according to Pevzner. In accordance with this diet, the amount of quickly digestible carbohydrates and animal fats should be limited, the calorie content of the menu should be reduced, and the amount of vegetable fiber and dietary fiber should be increased. You need to eat small meals and often (5–7 times a day) to keep your blood glucose levels stable. It is allowed to cook food in all ways that do not increase its calorie content — bake, stew, boil. The amount of salt in the diet should be limited.
- Limit animal fats.
Since diabetic patients often also have a violation of fat (lipid) metabolism, they need to limit the intake of animal fats. Fats are also excluded because they “prevent” insulin from working effectively and reducing blood glucose. Meat, fish, dairy products should be low in fat. The exception is red fish — its meat contains omega‑3 acids that improve lipid metabolism, so this fish must be in the diet. Butter should be excluded from the menu, and among cheeses, preference should be given to low-fat Adyghe. The number of eggs should be reduced to one per day, as they are rich in cholesterol.
- Replace “fast” carbohydrates.
Instead of “fast” carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, long-digesting (“complex”) carbohydrates are offered, since they do not cause blood sugar spikes. Complex carbohydrates include:
- cereals (excluding rice),
- gray flour pasta,
- vegetables (except potatoes, carrots and beets),
- some fruits and berries.
The best fruits for diabetics are apples and pears, which contain pectin. Pectin promotes the removal of cholesterol and toxins, normalizes metabolism, lowers blood glucose levels. Many people think that with diabetes you can safely eat watermelon and melon, but this opinion is erroneous. Melons and watermelons have a high glycemic index, and therefore their amount in the diet should be limited.
Vegetables are mostly low glycemic and rich in vitamins. The fiber contained in them improves the digestion process, slows down the absorption of glucose and removes cholesterol. In addition, vegetables are low in calories, and you can eat a lot of them without risking weight gain. But potatoes, carrots, and beets should be consumed in moderation, as they have a high glycemic index. A large amount of glucose contained in them leads to a jump in sugar levels and an exacerbation of hunger.
Nutrition in diabetes allows fructose, as it is absorbed slowly and does not cause a sharp increase in blood glucose. Despite this, fructose is high in calories, and therefore sweets based on it should be eaten in moderation. If fructose is consumed in large quantities, it is not utilized by the liver and is deposited in fat stores. And one more “but”: when using fructose, the brain does not receive a satiety signal, since the hormone leptin, which suppresses appetite, is not produced.
Dietary restrictions in diabetes
The diet for diabetes has a number of restrictions, and they are different for different types of diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce its own insulin, and the introduction of an artificially synthesized hormone should replace the natural production. Therefore, in the diet of a type 1 diabetic, carbohydrates should be present in a uniform amount throughout the day. You need to control their number in order to calculate the correct dose of insulin for injection. In addition, nutrition should be high in calories and prevent weight loss, which patients with the first type of diabetes are prone to.
In type 2 diabetes, patients must monitor their own weight and fight obesity. Therefore, the calorie content should be reduced, as well as the amount of carbohydrates consumed — there should be as many of them as the body is able to digest due to its own insulin.
What is strictly not recommended for diabetics? Diet in diabetes prohibits foods that contribute to the rapid increase in blood glucose levels. They have a high glycemic index:
- Sugar, jam, honey.
- Goods and pastries.
- Juices and sparkling water.
- Grapes and bananas.
Alcohol in diabetes is also prohibited, because it not only dramatically changes the amount of sugar in the blood, but also prevents glycogen stores in the liver from being broken down into glucose.
Diet for diabetes: a possible menu
Contrary to the well-known myth about bland and tasteless food for patients, a diabetic diet can be varied, and dishes can be appetizing. What can diabetics cook and what should a daily diet look like?
The list of possible meals for diabetes looks like this:
- Breakfast — low-fat cottage cheese with berries or cottage cheese casserole, scrambled eggs from 1 egg and low-fat milk, oatmeal.
- Second breakfast — apple, pear, berries (except grapes). Milk jelly or souffle on fructose.
- Lunch: pickle with pearl barley, fish soup, borscht with meat. Beef goulash, liver stew. Buckwheat, durum wheat pasta, boiled cauliflower or broccoli. Black or whole grain bread. Vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes), stewed with turkey.
- Snack: yogurt, kefir or an egg. Fruits (except bananas). Fruit salad with yogurt.
- Dinner: steam cutlet, stewed chicken, stewed cabbage, barley porridge. Vinaigrette (a little). Ragout of cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant.
- Before going to bed — kefir, yogurt, yogurt, rosehip broth or compote without sugar.
Since the diet for diabetes should be followed for life, in order to avoid breakdowns, try to diversify your diet with mouth-watering, beautiful dishes. Healthy must be delicious! Meatloaf, fish steaks, puff pastries of meat and vegetables, grilled meat and chicken, some fructose sweets, jellies and whole grain flour-based berry pies will help to make your menu tasty and varied.
Endocrinology. national guidance / Ed. I.I. Dedova, G.A. Melnichenko - 2012