Nutrition for diabetes

nutritional features in diabetes mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by metabolic disorders due to 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 should consist of in diabetes mellitus.

Types of diabetes

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

  • type I diabetes, insulin dependent;
  • type II diabetes, usually occurring 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 initial 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, slurred 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 not able to accomplish 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 people and the elderly. However, in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young patients with type II diabetes. And an alarmingly large number of children and adolescents with this condition who are overweight and obese.

Hyperglycemia what is it

the need to follow a diet for diabetes

Hyperglycemia - the blood glucose level is above 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 as a result of 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 malfunctioning of various organs - the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.

Proper nutrition for diabetes

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

Eating diabetes mellitus is one of the main factors influencing diabetes outcomes.

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

what can and can not be eaten with diabetes


  • monosaccharides - glucose and fructose are found in fruits and honey;
  • sucrose disaccharide is sugar from a sugar bowl;
  • polysaccharides - flour products, cakes, cookies 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 total demand. Much depends on the form and structure of carbohydrate origin. Carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract are digested and broken down into simple sugars - mainly glucose.

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

As our sugar levels rise, our pancreas secretes insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter cells. Simple sugar, like glucose, is quickly transported into cells in about an hour.

Unfortunately, insulin is a hormone that lasts for several hours and does not like to be "out of work". Thus, elevated insulin levels cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels and carbohydrate hunger.

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

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

how to eat right 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 to fat, leading to 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 enter the cell only with the help of insulin, which distributes simple sugar in the body. However, insulin deficiency, for example, causes an increasing increase in blood sugar levels, followed by severe cellular metabolism. A general lack of insulin leads to diabetes in children and in young people - type I diabetes.

Protein in diabetes mellitus

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

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

Diet for diabetes mellitus do's and don'ts

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

During this time, you should significantly reduce or eliminate from the diet: egg whites, lean meats, fish, poultry and nuts.

People with diabetes should not eat meals or foods high in protein in the evening. At night, the body is unable to use it. Because the pancreas does not 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 the most energy. They can only cover 30% of the daily energy consumption. In excess, they contribute to the development of obesity.

Spices such as cinnamon, garlic, cloves, turmeric, and bay leaves lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

Can Diabetics Eat Fruits and Vegetables? Yes, because they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh vegetables, including broccoli, are ideal for diabetics as a great source of chromium. An onion that can work to release insulin. Skin-on potatoes (boiled potatoes raise blood sugar too quickly), asparagus, raw carrots, fresh cucumbers, sauerkraut, elderberry leaf and stem tea, and garlic.

allowed and prohibited foods 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 anti-diabetic agent - fresh blueberry leaves, which are harvested before the fruit is ripe. Blueberries May Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy - Studies have shown significant improvements in vision in people suffering from eye diseases during diabetes. This disease leads to changes in the fundus, which significantly impairs blood flow to the eye.

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

Food Glycemic Index

Blood glucose is influenced not only by the amount of carbohydrates, but also by their type. Therefore, it is necessary to control the amount 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 raise blood glucose quickly, and do not stimulate insulin secretion. A low GI 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 GI boost like blood glucose. Slow absorption and gradual increase and decrease in blood sugar after eating low GI foods helps control blood sugar in diabetics. It is best to eat foods that have a GI of less than 60.

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

Diabetics are also advised to abstain from alcohol.