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Basic Components of a Diabetic Diet

Diabetes is essentially not a disease. It is mainly a disorder where in the concept of therapeutic diet has a very important role. Diet for a diabetic is not a deprivation, but a combination of various nutrients in a balanced amount.

Planning Meals

Diet means food in a balanced and proportionate amount that matches with the health condition of the individual. The importance of food is to incur energy in order to maintain the body functions and have a self-rating scale against disease. Food contains the basic components that supply fuel/energy to the body i.e. carbohydrates, for example, wheat, rice etc. Food that protect the body against disease and infections and also promote growth and development i.e. proteins for example milk, meat, dhal and lastly foods that provide concentrated sources of energy to the body i.e. fats for example oil, butter etc.

Understanding Carbohydrates

This are mainly of two types – simple and complex. Those, which are readily utilized by the body are samples carbohydrates, which can increase the blood glucose level quickly. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are sugar, honey etc. Complex carbohydrates are those which contribute bulk (e.g. fibre) in the diet thus delaying the rate of digestion, like wheat, dhal etc. A diabetic person has to give preference to complex carbohydrate in order to stabilize his blood sugar.

Proteins

Which protect our body, are from 2 sources – plants and animals. Some examples of animal sources of protein example dhal, pulses, lentils etc. But animal sources of protein also contain cholesterol, therefore a proper combination of both kids of protein is necessary for an adequate diet.

Fats

This are taken in diet through two sources – visible and invisible. Visible fat is the fat or oil that is used for cooking, in order to make the food palatable, but it is important that the cooking oil used should be within the recommended allowances i.e. not more than 3-4 tea spoons (15g-20g) of cooking oil per day. Apart from the quantity of oil, the quality of the oil is also important. Instead of using only one type of oil, it is recommended to use a combination of oils. Invisible fat is the fat that is already existing in the food i.e. most of the food substances like rice, dhal, egg, milk, meat, fish , some vegetables etc. contain some amount of fat in them. This is known as invisible fat. Fat from vegetable origin like refined vegetable oil contain varying proportions of fat i.e. polyunsaturated and saturated. Whereas from animal origin i.e. butter, ghee, cream, apart from fat content also contains cholesterol, hence it’s important to get guide lines from a nutritionist regarding the fat allowances.

The essence of diet planning lies in a balanced diet in accordance to the caloric diet in accordance to the caloric requirements of patients , individualized accordance of their age, sex, height and weight. The basic criteria of diet therapy are to normalize the blood sugar profile to the permissible extent and avoid long term complications for the individual.