Nutrition for diabetes

nutritional characteristics in diabetes mellitus

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by metabolic disorders due to a relative or absolute 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 various types of diabetes, due to the cause and course of the disease:

  • type I diabetes, insulin dependent;
  • Type II diabetes, which usually appears 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 severe 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 seizures, confusion, slurred speech, loss of consciousness. Type I diabetes mellitus is considered an immune disease.

Type II diabetes mellitus is more common in obese people. The disease can be congenital or acquired and is characterized by decreased secretion of insulin by the pancreas, as well as insulin resistance. This means that even the correct amount of insulin in the body cannot do the job.

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

Hyperglycemia, what is it?

the need to follow a diabetes diet

Hyperglycemia - 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 commonly, 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 preventing diabetes, diet is a very important part of therapy. It is necessary to maintain adequate levels of glucose and lipids in the blood and an optimal blood pressure. A well-chosen diet reduces the risk of developing diabetes complications 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 for life, but in this case it is better to remove the sugar bowl! In diabetes, carbohydrate metabolism is primarily impaired. People diagnosed with diabetes should limit their consumption of sugar or carbohydrates.

what you can and cannot eat 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, meatballs, pasta, pancakes and more.

Carbohydrates for diabetes

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

Note that excess carbohydrates causes continuous stimulation of the beta cells of 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 rapidly transported into cells in about an hour.

Unfortunately, insulin is a hormone that lasts for several hours and you don'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 begins to eat to satisfy the feeling of 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 that leads to stress, depression, and autonomic neurosis (neurasthenia).

Therefore, it is recommended to minimize your 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 the liver.

When in excess, glycogen turns into fat, leading to a fatty liver, as well as 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 increased blood sugar levels, followed by severe cellular metabolism. Generalized lack of insulin leads to diabetes in children and young people: type I diabetes.

Protein in diabetes mellitus

Proteins should cover 10 to 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 proteins (yolks, meat offal). The vegetable protein sources are: soybeans, legumes, black bread made with whole wheat flour.

Diet for diabetes mellitus, dos and don'ts

In the diet of diabetes mellitus in the first stage of treatment, foods such as egg yolk, butter, sour cream, milk and vegetables without sugar should be present.

At this time, you need to 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 at night. At night, the body cannot use it. Since the pancreas does not release enough insulin, blood glucose levels rise in the morning. In this case, a dinner composed mainly of carbohydrates and fats is recommended.

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

Spices like cinnamon, garlic, cloves, turmeric, and bay leaf 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 great for diabetics as a great source of chromium. An onion that can work to release insulin. Potatoes with skin (boiled potatoes raise blood sugar too quickly), asparagus, raw carrots, fresh cucumbers, sauerkraut, elderberry leaf tea and garlic stems.

allowed and prohibited foods for diabetes

Vegetables you can eat without major restrictions:

  • tomatoes;
  • fresh and pickled cucumbers;
  • raw and sauerkraut;
  • chicory;
  • kohlrabi;
  • radish;
  • paprika;
  • lettuce
  • fungi;
  • 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 improvements in vision in people suffering from eye disease during diabetes. This disease leads to changes in the fundus, which significantly disrupts blood flow to the eye.

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

Glycemic Index of Food

Blood glucose is influenced not only by the amount of carbohydrates, but also by their type. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor 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 increase blood glucose rapidly, 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 will be after consuming that food. Foods with a high GI such as blood glucose. Slow absorption and the gradual rise and fall of blood sugar after eating low-GI foods help 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 refrain from alcohol.