Diabetes mellitus commonly known as Diabetes is a chronic disease. Millions of people in the world suffer from this wide spread disease. According to a global survey 347 million people all over the world suffer from diabetes. This post is written for promoting awareness about meal planning for diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is condition in which body has an increased level of blood sugar. This condition is also known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia may be caused due to two reasons.
- Inability of Pancreas to produce Insulin. (Type 1, 5 to 10% of all cases)
- Inability of body cells to effectively use the insulin produced. (Type 2, 90 to 95% of all cases)
Diabetes and Physical activity/weight
Activity planning is also necessary like meal planning for diabetes control. There is a direct relation between diabetes and weight. People who are overweight and obese are more prone to this chronic disease. Similarly, physical inactivity also is risk factor in the incidence of this disease. According to a research, insulin sensitivity increases with losing weight towards normal. So, persons having hyperglycemia should engage in physical activity to lose weight and diabetes. A 150 minute walk per week is recommended.
What is Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
Glycemic index (GI) is rating scale from 0 to 100. It tells us the ability of a food to increase gylcemic level. So, glycemic response of a food is measured by its GI. High Glycemic Index foods have GI greater than 70. Low Glycemic Index foods have GI less than 55.
There are some limitations of Glycemic Index. To overcome these, Glycemic load is used. GL takes into account typical portion of food consumed.
Glycemic load = (GI of food/100) * Grams of Carbohydrates in a serving of that food
Food Recommendations & Meal Planning for Diabetes
Following points must be considered as food recommendations. Meal planning for diabetes includes the following guidelines.
- A mix of fat, protein and carbohydrate diet is recommended.
- Monitor carbohydrates to be in normal limit of glycemic index.
- Add whole grains in diet.
- Dietary fiber is very beneficial for diabetics. Add 14g fiber per 1000 calories.
- Reduce sweetened beverages and sweet dishes.
- Less than 7% saturated fat in ratio with total calories. Similarly minimize trans fat.
Many nutrition books have been reviewed on this website. These have special chapters for diabetic patients. Meal planning for diabetes can also be done by reading these books.