Diabetes is a disease that is increasing at an alarming rate across the world. Diabetes generally occurs when the pancreas find it difficult to produce enough insulin or it can also occur when the body cannot efficiently use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone. Its task is the regulation of blood glucose levels. Diabetes is known to affect many parts of the body and can become the cause of severe complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation among other conditions.
In such a scenario, the high cost of diabetes treatment and related complications can be stressful. Health insurance for diabetic patients can come to the rescue at such times as diabetes medical insurance plans can cover hospitalization expenses for Type1 and Type2 diabetes and other related complications.
Diabetes is broadly categorized as Type1 and Type2-
- Type 1 diabetes is a result of the inefficiency of the body to produce adequate amounts of insulin. Thus, daily administration of insulin is required through an insulin pen injector or insulin pump. Though the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is still unknown, researchers believe that genetics and other environmental factors might be contributing to this condition.
- Type 2 Diabetes occurs due to the body’s inefficient use of insulin. This is the most prevalent between the two types of diabetes that people suffer from. Excess body weight and lack of physical activity are the main causes of Type 2 diabetes. Earlier only prevalent in adults, it is now increasingly occurring in children.
As such, there is no specific diet for individuals with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. A healthy and balanced diet proves to be the key. Increasing green veggies like spinach, collard greens, kale, and broccoli in one’s diet is key. Many patients also ask- is beetroot good for diabetes management?
Beets being rich in antioxidants and nutrients are healthy and beneficial for everyone. Consuming beets is especially beneficial for diabetic patients. Beets can aid in lowering the risk of complications arising from unmanaged conditions, including eye and nerve damage. Consumption of packaged and fast foods, sugary snacks, white bread, and rice should be avoided or minimized as much as possible.
With insulin intake, it is recommended for people with Type 1 diabetes to balance what they eat and drink in order to maintain a healthy blood glucose range. This can help in the prevention of further health complications. Along with maintaining a moderate weight, a healthy diet can help individuals with Type 1 diabetes keep their cholesterol and blood pressure within target.
It is advisable to include healthy protein foods, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, legumes whole grains, and healthy fats. It is of utmost importance to keep oneself hydrated as less water contingent in the body can mean more sugar concentration.
This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy when blood glucose levels are above normal but well below that of diagnostic of diabetes. With gestational diabetes risk of complications during pregnancy and at the time of delivery increases. Prenatal screening helps to diagnose this diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is often manageable without medication. With an appropriate balanced diet and lifestyle changes, one can just walk out of it unharmed. Diet for individuals with gestational diabetes should include lean proteins (chicken, egg), non-starchy vegetables (onions, peppers), healthy fats (avocado, nut butter), and complex carbohydrates (greek yogurt, sweet potatoes). Sugary beverages, processed foods or snacks, and breakfast cereals are best avoided.
Lifestyle changes are crucial to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. It is specifically important for someone who is at an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes owing to obesity, a family history of diabetes, or high cholesterol. These few changes might be helpful to avoid serious health complications related to diabetes-
Losing extra weight
Losing weight naturally reduces the risk of diabetes. Maintaining a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) helps in reducing the chance of diabetes. This can be achieved through a balanced diet and exercise.
Being more physically active
This can significantly aid in losing weight, lowering blood sugar levels, and boosting sensitivity to insulin. Aerobic exercises (swimming, biking, running, brisk walking) and resistance exercises (yoga, calisthenics, weightlifting) are extremely beneficial. Also, limited inactivity like light activity every 30 minutes can go a long way in helping one stay physically active.
Skipping fad diets
Fad diets like glycemic index, paleo, or keto diets may help in losing weight but their efficiency in long-term benefits or in preventing diabetes is still not proven. So healthy dietary decisions considering lifelong habits should be the goal.
It is always advisable to share your concern about diabetes prevention with your physician who will not only appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes but will also offer valid and authentic suggestions after studying your medical history and other related factors.