Diabetes affects the body’s ability to make or properly use insulin. This leads to high blood glucose, or sugar, levels in the blood. There are three types of Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 and 2 and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.
The most common form of Diabetes Mellitus is the Type 2 diabetes which is associated with certain risk factors that place some individuals at a higher risk than others for developing the disease. Type 2 Diabetes is associated with certain risk factors, including older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity and race/ethnicity. African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino-Americans, American Indians, and some Asian-Americans and Native-Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for Type 2 diabetes and its complications.
Research suggests, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity. When you take steps to prevent diabetes, you also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.
Managing Your Diabetes through Nutrition:
For many people with diabetes, smart eating, weight loss and active living are enough to control their blood sugar level and prevent the complications of the disease. General healthy eating tips to help manage diabetes include:
- Limit foods that are high in sugar.
- Eat smaller portions, spread out over the day.
- Make your carbohydrates count by choosing whole grains, fruit and vegetables over sugary drinks and refined, processed foods.
- Eat a variety of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables daily.
- Eat less saturated fat and focus on healthy fat such as avocados, olive oil, canola oil, and nuts.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol.
- Use less salt.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian can create a tailored eating plan, taking into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle and other health problems, while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs.
Ms. Danah Quintana
Bahrain Specialist Hospital