Controlling and monitoring nutrition are fundamental to a diabetic .
A good diet is as important as physical activity and medication, to limit the progression of your diabetes and prevent possible complications.
The general principles of diabetic nutrition
- Eat a varied and balanced diet
- Have 3 main meals a day and limit yourself to only 1 or 2 snacks
- Ensure you start the day with a god breakfast
- Eat smaller portions
- Do not count calories obsessively
- Drink at least 1.5 - 2 litres of water
- Try to keep to the following proportions at every meal::
- 40 to 50% carbohydrate
- 15% protein
- 30 to 45% fat
- Monitor your weight
- Follow the advice of a nutritionist or a dietician, as recommended by your GP or specialist
- Reduce consumption of ready meals
- Avoid foods high in sugar
- Choose lean meats
- Eat fish at least 2 or 3 times a week
- Fruits: 5 portions per day
- Eat poultry as opposed to red meat
- Use vegetable oils rather than butter or cream
- Steam or grill dishes
- It is still possible to eat desserts, but in a limited quantity and try to choose less creamy options
The glycaemic index
Carbohydrates in different foods are not absorbed at the same speed : In fact, each food has its own glycaemic index.
- The glycaemic index measure how quickly carbohydrates are absorbed and so can be used to measure the hyperglycaemic effect of food
- The more a certain food increases your blood sugar, the higher the glycaemic index
- Foods with a low glycaemic index make glucose rise gradually
- Food with a high glycaemic index cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar.
- You must try to limit your consumption of foods with a high glycaemic index on a daily basis.
- Your dietician or doctor can advise you further, but some examples are given below:
- Foods with a high glycaemic index: sugar, bread, potatoes, couscous, carrots, honey, candy, jam, pastry ...
- Foods with a moderate glycaemic index: fruits, pasta, fruits such as cherries, plums, apples, oranges
- Food with a low glycaemic index : dairy, green vegetables, beans, lentils
- For example, it is still possible to eat bread which has a high glycaemic index, but in reasonable quantities as the sugar produced from 50 g of bread is equivalent to that provided by 5 pieces of sugar.
You can eat fats but be careful as they have twice the amount of calories than carbohydrates. Some suggestions for your diet include:
- Reducing cured meats
- Eating leaner meat like white poultry
- Choosing fish over meat
- Increasing your intake in vegetables
- Avoiding creamy or sweet sauces
- Decreasing your cheese intake
- Learning to cook without fat; so to try to steam, bake, grill, or microwave food
Protein intake should provide about 15% of overall calories.
- Animal protein: meat, fish, dairy products ...
- Plant Proteins : cereals, pasta, rice, bread
- Some plants also contain proteins such as legumes, soy
Foods to avoid
- Sugars with a high "glycaemic index": such as sugar, sweets, jam, honey, pastry, ice cream, sorbet, sugared fruit, fruit pulp, sweetened milk, fizzy drinks, syrup, artificial fruit juices
- Animal fat: butter, heavy cream, lard, fatty meat, cheese, egg yolk
- Foods high in salt: such as sausages, biscuits, aperitifs
- Fried foods and sauces
- Excess alcohol
When you're feeling peckish, it is advisable to choose these snacks:
- 1 plain or reduced sugar yogurt
- 1 slice of ham
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 1 or 2 tomatoes, carrots, radishes
- A piece of fruit
Some useful tips
- Mushrooms contain little carbohydrate
- Basmati rice which has a lower glycaemic index than white rice
- Season dishes with lemon juice, which lowers the rate of glucose absorption (dishes and salads)
- Remember to eat fibre as it reduces the speed of passage of sugar in the blood
- Some "sugar free" products contain almost as much sugar as the normal version so you must try to study the labels on food.
- Water: drink at least 1.5 litres per day. Increase consumption in hot conditions or during sporting activity
- Choose "light" or "diet" versions of fizzy drinks
- Avoid sugar in coffee or tea, or try to use sweetener
Diabetes and Alcohol
- Alcohol contains sugar, which causes glucose levels to increase in your blood
- It is still possible for you to consume alcohol with diabetes, by keeping to small quantities and some rules.
- Drinking alcohol in the evening increases the risk of hypoglycaemia until noon the following day, especially if have not eaten.
Alcohol, even in small quantities, contains a significant number of calories, and hence contributes to weight gain.
- Beer and liqueurs contain more sugar than whiskey or vodka.
- A non-alcoholic beer contains more sugar than regular beer and is very rich in carbohydrates.
- It is recommended to drink a maximum of 21 units a week if you are a healthy male and 14 units if you are female. This limit needs to be reduced if you are also diabetic.
- A pint of normal strength beer or a large glass of wine contains 3 units each.
Contraindications to alcohol
If you are diabetic and have the following conditions, you need to abstain from alcohol if possible:
- If you are breastfeeding
- History of alcoholism
- History of severe hypoglycaemic episodes
- History of pancreatitis
- High triglycerides (a type of cholesterol) in your blood
Régime pour diabétique
Alimentación, régimen y diabetes
Ernährung bei Diabetes