Nutrition for diabetes

nutritional characteristics in diabetes mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by metabolic disorders due to the absolute or relative lack of insulin. The pancreas is the only organ, weighing 70-100 grams, located in the abdominal cavity in the arch of the duodenum. It plays a key role in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It also produces insulin, which regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body. In the article we will talk about what nutrition in diabetes mellitus should consist of.

Types of diabetes

Doctors distinguish between different types of diabetes, due to the cause and course of the disease:

  • type I diabetes, insulin dependent;
  • type II diabetes, which usually occurs later in life, especially in obese patients.

Type I diabetes is usually the result of damage to the pancreas. That is, primary damage to beta cells (those that produce insulin in the pancreas) and an absolute deficiency in insulin secretion.

The first signs of type I diabetes are intense thirst and hunger, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination of large amounts of urine, blurred vision, fatigue, chronic infections. In some cases, the onset is accompanied by convulsions, confusion, confused speech, loss of consciousness. Type I diabetes mellitus is considered an immunological disease.

Type II diabetes is more common in obese people. The disease can be congenital or acquired and is characterized by a decrease in insulin secretion by the pancreas, as well as insulin resistance. This means that even the right amount of insulin in the body is unable to perform the task.

The disease is accompanied by excessive thirst and profuse urination, slowly increasing blood sugar levels. The patient feels weak and sleepy. The disease often begins in middle-aged and older people. However, in recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of young patients with type II diabetes. And an alarming number of children and adolescents with this condition who are overweight and obese.

Hyperglycemia what it is

the need to follow a diabetes diet

Hyperglycemia: Your blood glucose level is higher than normal. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include excessive thirst, dry mouth, urinary frequency, weight loss, excessive daytime sleepiness.

The most common cause of hyperglycemia is undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes. In people with diabetes, this situation can occur due to insufficient insulin.

Less often, hyperglycemia is the result of infectious and endocrine diseases (acromegaly, Cushing's syndrome). There is a high risk of developing late complications, especially in the cardiovascular system.

Chronic hyperglycemia is associated with dysfunction and malfunction of various organs: eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.

Proper nutrition for diabetes

In the prevention of diabetes, diet is a very important part of therapy. Adequate blood glucose and lipid levels and optimal blood pressure must be maintained. A well-chosen diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes complications and minimizes the risk of developing vascular disease. An appropriate dietary model for diabetes plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic diabetes complications. Including microvascular complications, retinopathy, nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy and others.

The consumption of diabetes mellitus is one of the main factors influencing the outcomes of diabetes.

Sugar is essential for life, but in this case it is better to remove the sugar bowl! In diabetes, mainly carbohydrate metabolism is impaired. People diagnosed with diabetes should limit their sugar or carbohydrate intake.

what can and cannot be eaten with diabetes


  • monosaccharides: glucose and fructose are found in fruit and honey;
  • the disaccharide sucrose is the sugar of a sugar bowl;
  • polysaccharides: flour products, cakes, biscuits and bread, potatoes, bananas, noodles, dumplings, pasta, pancakes and more.

Carbohydrates for diabetes

Carbohydrates are part of our diet. Their consumption should cover 55-60% of the total demand. Much depends on the shape and structure of the origin of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract are digested and broken down into simple sugars, mainly glucose.

Note that excess carbohydrates cause continuous stimulation of beta cells in the pancreas to produce and secrete insulin.

When our sugar levels rise, our pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter cells. Simple sugar, such as glucose, is rapidly transported to cells in about an hour.

Unfortunately, insulin is a hormone that lasts several hours and doesn't like being "out of work". Therefore, elevated insulin levels cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels and carbohydrate starvation.

A hungry person opens the refrigerator and starts eating to satisfy the feeling of this hunger. The adrenal glands receive information: fluctuations in blood sugar. All of these reactions are signals for the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline. This creates a vicious circle that leads to stress, depression and autonomic neurosis (neurasthenia).

Therefore, it is advisable to minimize carbohydrate intake. In such a situation, fluctuations in blood glucose levels and excessive production of the hormones insulin and adrenaline do not occur.

how to eat well with diabetes

Glucose passes through the walls of the digestive tract and with the blood enters various organs, where it is converted and becomes a source of energy. In the absence of sufficient exercise, the need for energy decreases, glucose is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver.

When in excess, glycogen is converted into fat, resulting in fatty liver and further accumulation of excess body fat. The metabolic process of glucose is controlled by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas.

Carbohydrates as the main energy material can only enter the cell with the help of insulin, which distributes simple sugar in the body. However, insulin deficiency, for example, causes an increasing rise in blood sugar levels, followed by severe cellular metabolism. A general lack of insulin leads to diabetes in children and young people - type I diabetes.

Proteins in diabetes mellitus

Proteins should cover 10-15% of energy needs. A larger amount is needed for children during the growing period, for pregnant women. The most valuable: animal proteins are found in lean meat, cottage cheese, eggs and sour milk.

Since our body can produce 56g of sugar per 100g of protein, it is also important to limit protein intake. In order not to harm the body, you need to eat high-quality proteins (yolks, offal). The sources of vegetable proteins are: soy, legumes, black bread made from wholemeal flour.

Diabetes Mellitus Diet: Dos and Don'ts

In the diabetes mellitus diet, the first stage of treatment should include foods such as egg yolk, butter, sour cream, milk and unsweetened vegetables.

At this time, significantly reduce or eliminate from your diet: egg whites, lean meats, fish, poultry and nuts.

People with diabetes should not eat protein-rich meals or foods in the evening. At night, the body is unable to use it. Because the pancreas doesn't release enough insulin, blood glucose levels rise in the morning. In this case, a dinner consisting mainly of carbohydrates and fats is recommended.

Fats contain more energy. They can only cover 30% of the daily energy consumption. In excess, they contribute to the development of obesity.

Spices like cinnamon, garlic, cloves, turmeric and bay leaf lower cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood.

Can diabetics eat fruit and vegetables? Yes, because they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh vegetables, including broccoli, are ideal for diabetics as an excellent source of chromium. An onion that can work to release insulin. Peeled potatoes (boiled potatoes raise blood sugar too quickly), asparagus, raw carrots, fresh cucumbers, sauerkraut, elderberry leaves and tea with stem and garlic

foods allowed and prohibited for diabetes

Vegetables you can eat without significant restrictions:

  • tomatoes;
  • fresh and pickled cucumbers;
  • raw and sauerkraut;
  • chicory;
  • kohlrabi;
  • radish;
  • paprika;
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms;
  • zucchini.

An excellent antidiabetic agent: fresh blueberry leaves, which are harvested before the fruit is ripe. Blueberries May Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy - Studies have shown significant vision improvements in people suffering from eye disease during diabetes. This disease leads to changes in the fundus, which significantly impair blood flow to the eyes.

Diabetics who are overweight (BMI over 25) are advised to limit their calorie intake to reduce weight.

Food glycemic index

Blood sugar is influenced not only by the amount of carbohydrates, but also by their type. Therefore, it is necessary to control the quantity and quality of carbohydrates in the diet, but it is also desirable to calculate the glycemic index of the product.

Low-GI foods are slow to digest and absorb, do not rapidly raise blood glucose, and do not stimulate insulin secretion. A low glycemic index diet reduces the risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes.

The higher the GI value of a food, the higher the blood glucose level after consuming that food. Foods with a high glycemic index such as blood glucose. The slow absorption and the gradual rise and fall in blood sugar after eating low-GI foods helps control blood sugar in diabetics. It is best to eat foods that have a GI below 60.

The GI of foods is significantly lower when consumed in their natural form, i. e. raw and unprocessed.

Diabetics are also advised to abstain from alcohol.