DIABETES: LIFESTYLE CHANGES SPELLED OUT: DIET

DIABETES: LIFESTYLE CHANGES SPELLED OUT
January 19, 2019
DIABETES: BASIC DIET INSTRUCTION
January 22, 2019
Show all

In my opinion too many doctors make major mistakes in the diet they recommend to their diabetic patients. Since the greatest risk for these patients is cardiovascular disease. There is a large amount of fats in Indian people’s diet. Therefore, the diet many dieticians & nutritionist support is a high – carbohydrate, low fat diet.

As we know more than 80 percent of diabetics are dying from cardiovascular disease. Shouldn’t this warrant some reconsideration of our approach?

Once we understand that we need to treat the underlying resistance to insulin, we recognize that carbohydrates are the main concern. This is contrary to dietitians who believe that “a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate” and that the source does not matter (now a day’s some dietitians are bit aware of this). This thinking completely ignores the glycemic index (the rate at which the body absorbs various carbohydrates and turns them into simple sugar).

Numerous studies demonstrate that some carbohydrates release their sugars more rapidly than others. The more complex carbohydrates (ones with a lot of fiber) like beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and the apples release their sugars slowly. When these low glycemic carbohydrates are combined with good proteins & good fats in a balanced meals, the blood sugar does not spike. This is critical in controlling diabetes. If the blood sugar doesn’t rise significantly after a meal – a major factor in diabetic control – there is no problem of having to bring down with drugs.

Dr Walter C. Willett, member of nutrition & preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School, proposed in his book Eat, Drink and be healthy that we must rethink the food pyramid. The bottom rung should be low glycemic carbohydrates, while high glycemic foods (white bread, white flour, pasta, rice and potatoes) belong at the top of the food pyramid with all sweets (P. A. Low, “The roles of oxidative stress and antioxidant treatment in experimental diabetic neuropathy”)

Everyone realizes how bad sweets are for diabetics. But few realize that high glycemic foods raise blood sugar much faster than eating does. When I finally convince my diabetic patients to eat low glycemic carbohydrates combined with good protein and good fat, their diabetic control improves dramatically, and their bodies become more sensitive to their own insulin.