Presently, the standard treatment for diabetes includes a healthy diet, weight-loss if necessary, and regular exercise. In addition, insulin may be prescribed orally or by injection. Other medications may also be given in conjunction with this treatment plan. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, your next stop will be to a nutritionist or certified dietitian to learn how to adjust your eating habits to the demands of your disease.
The good news is that some people have been able to reduce or drop their insulin by strictly controlling their new diet. Because of the seriousness of this disease and the potential side effects, you will need to understand that this is a diet plan for the rest of your life, and it must be adhered to consistently for the best results.
One of the first things that you will notice on your new diet for diabetes will be the loss of some of those extra pounds that you may have accumulated. Since diabetes is definitely connected to obesity, it makes sense that your new diet will trim away those unwanted pounds by being lower in daily caloric intake. Add in some regular exercise, and you will start to see the weight fall off.
In fact, other than your insulin needs, you may find yourself in much improved health because of your new diet and exercise lifestyle. While there is some debate about the best diabetic diet, the American Diabetes Association continues to promote a heart healthy version, primarily because heart problems are the primary reason for diabetes-related deaths.
Under this plan, the foundation of your diet will be whole grains that have been processed as little as possible, as well as a variety of beans and lentils. You will also be encouraged to eat fresh fruits and vegetables regularly. The standard recommendation of lean fish twice a week and lean meats occasionally is also suggested as part of the diet for diabetes.
Nonfat dairy products are encouraged, and drinking lots of water is also recommended. Other drinks should be calorie-free, and that means staying away from sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda pop, beer, wine, and alcohol. Of course, sweets such as cakes, cookies, sugary snacks, and candy are to be avoided. Cooking is to be done with liquid oils instead of fats that are solid at room temperature.
Once you understand what you can and cannot eat on the diet for diabetes, you also need to be able to judge the size of your portions. Eating too much of a good food is only slightly better than eating too much of a bad food. Will power is definitely a factor in sticking to your diet, but the benefit lies in the possibility of reducing your need for insulin supplements.
Adjusting to a new way of eating, a diet for diabetes, will not necessarily be easy, and at times you may be tempted to give up on this new regimen. However, until a better treatment is discovered, this is the only way to control a disease that has the potential to shave 13 years off your life, and to inflict blindness, heart disease, and many other serious health issues upon you. In a very real sense, you are now eating as if your life depends upon it, because it does.