According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 24 million Americans, three percent of the US population, have diabetes. A further 57 million people have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts them at risk of contracting diabetes. The good news is that the risk of diabetes can be controlled through diet, exercise and medication-if it is taken early
A Brief Overview of Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that affects the way people use glucose or blood sugar. Type I diabetics can not use the glucose in the blood due to the lack of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps cells process glucose. Type II diabetics often make sufficient amounts of insulin, but the cells in the body resistant to insulin, so they can not use glucose.
Type I diabetics are usually prescribed medication to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. While Type II diabetics may also be prescribed tablets, favors treatment usually following specific dietary guidelines and add exercise to their daily routine.
Sixteen million Americans have pre-diabetes because of their diet and lifestyle. Pre-diabetics are at high risk of contracting Type II diabetes within five to 10 years if no measures are taken to minimize the risk.
Diet Recommendations to prevent diabetes
Diabetes can often be avoided by following the same recommendations of other heart-healthy programs with emphasis on carbohydrates consciousness. These include eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eat fish two to three times a week, eat lean meat, pork and poultry, use liquid oils instead of stick margarine and butter, remove or cut down on drinks with added sugar, high calorie snacks and reduce portion sizes.
Pre-diabetics also need to learn the importance of meal planning and monitoring of the quantity and quality of carbohydrates they eat. Carbohydrates are foods that are quickly broken down into glucose in the blood. Three simple ways to plan meals based on Diabetes Food Pyramid (not to be confused with the USDA Food Pyramid) Create a Plate and carbohydrates
The Diabetes Food Pyramid parts food into six groups: 1) corn starch and 2) vegetables, 3) fruit, 4) milk and milk products, 5) meat and meat substitutes and 6) fat, sweets and alcohol. The largest group, corn, sitting on the bottom and should be the bulk of the diet. The smallest group, fats and sweets, is on top of the pyramid, so they should be eaten in smaller amounts.
The main difference between the Diabetes Food Pyramid and USDA food pyramid is their approach to the carbohydrates in your diet. The Diabetes Pyramid groups foods according to their amount of carbohydrates and protein instead of general classifications. For example, the Diabetes Food Pyramid, is potatoes grouped with grains, beans and starchy vegetables instead of vegetables group because of their carbohydrate content.
Thurs the 2nd good meal planning approaches are Make Your Plate and carbohydrate counting. With Make Your Plate approach, share a dinner plate into 3 sections. A large portion is filled with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots or green beans. The two smaller parts are each filled with starchy food (such as pasta or grains) and meat or meat substitutes, respectively. Carbohydrate counting involves learning how many grams of carbohydrates are in the foods you love. The meals are limited to a specific number of grams of carbohydrates.
Another important approach involves using the glycemic index of food. Glycemic index (GI or) is an assessment that addresses how quickly foods raise glucose levels in the blood. For example, a French baguette a high GI of 95. Corn has a medium GI of 48 and plain non-fat yogurt has a low GI of 14.
Treatment of this disease
Knowing what to eat and how to plan meals are good but not completely prevent type II diabetes. In many cases, exercising and taking prescription medication is as important as diet. According to a 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study participants able to reduce the incidence of diabetes by 58 percent through exercise and lifestyle intervention. Taking prescription drug metaformin reduced incidence by 31 percent.