Food for Diabetics – What Are the Best Foods?
Food is any material consumed in order to supply nutrition to an organism. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and often contains essential elements, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals, for a complete, balanced diet. The type of food one eats determines his / her nutritional needs, which in turn determine the amount of energy or other nutrients the body requires to function normally. It is through the food eaten that energy is stored, and what is more important, the right food is digested and used to provide the body with all the nutrients it requires to function properly. It is a well known fact that most people are not getting enough food to satisfy their basic needs, and are at increased risk of becoming overweight or obese, with the chances of developing various illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as many other chronic conditions increasing dramatically.
Carbohydrates, sugars, starches, unsaturated fats and polysaccharides are the common constituents of food. These compounds are split into simple sugars or starch-based sugars, which provide only a small amount of nutritional benefit when eaten in large quantities. When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into simple sugars or starch-based sugars, which provide the body with a small but important amount of energy. Most people consume less than 1% of their daily calories through food.
There are many food types, some of which are rich in natural nutrients, while others are lacking in these vital elements. One of the highest calorie producing foods is animal fat, with all its variations, including white or brown fat, rendered fat, etc. Animal fat is also considered a high density carbohydrate, which means that it takes more energy to break it down than it does to absorb it. Therefore, the animal meat, particularly red meat, is a good source of protein and energy, but the animal products should be eaten in moderate quantities, especially if one is trying to lose weight. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, saturated and trans fats and cholesterol from meats are some of the high carbohydrate sources that should be consumed in moderation, while grains and cereals are better alternatives for diabetic patients, and who prefer foods that have a low Glycemic Index (GI).
Diabetic nutrition includes a balanced diet that provides a wide range of carbohydrates and proteins for everyday use and for maintenance of health. For the purposes of fulfilling the daily need for carbohydrates and proteins, foods can be categorized in four categories: starches, vegetables, fruits and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are the richest in vitamins, minerals and fiber, while legumes contain protein and fiber as well as potassium, iron and calcium. In order to meet the daily requirement of carbohydrates and proteins, a diabetic patient should have access to at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and legumes can be included in this number. The variety of carbohydrates and proteins in a diabetic diet is important in order to maintain regular insulin levels and to prevent excessive amounts of glucose from being deposited in the blood.
Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are calling protective foods. Foods that are considered to be protective foods include those that contain Vitamins A, C and E, riboflavin, choline, folic acid and phytochemicals, including flaxseed oil, soybean oil, almonds, pecans and hempseeds. Other nutrients that are important in the diet of diabetics include magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, silicon, iodine and niacin. Foods that are fat-soluble contain vitamins A, D and K, whereas those that are soluble contain water and essential fatty acids. Diabetic nutrition requires a careful balance between these types of nutrients.
The fat-soluble vitamins are divided into two categories: omega-3s and monounsaturated fats. Omegas are fats that come from fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds and meat. Monounsaturated fats come from seeds and nuts, dairy products and vegetable oils, and sunflower and safflower oils. Both omegas and monounsaturated fats are necessary for healthy blood sugar regulation, but only omegas are found in sufficient amounts in the diet to reduce the risk of diabetes. Sources of fat are important for diabetic nutrition. For more information, contact your physician.