Thursday, March 13, 2014

Diabetes: Making the right choices

Does having diabetes mean you have to forgo all that delicious food? 

MALAYSIA is renowned as a food haven. We have a diverse range of cuisines to tease our palates.
Can delicious food still be a choice for people with diabetes? To answer this, let’s review how diabetes is managed with dietary modification over the past 30 years.

Healthy eating is part of an important component of a healthy lifestyle for people with diabetes. Do they need to choose foods differently from the general population? Not really.

If you were to compare the dietary recommendations for the general population and those for people with diabetes, you will find that they are actually similar.

Both recommend foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar, and high in fibre. Foods are to be chosen from all major food groups – grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein-rich foods. The key principles in making healthy food choices are balance, variety and moderation.

A major difference between the two dietary recommendations is people with diabetes must regulate their carbohydrate intake carefully.

Carbohydrate from food gets digested to form glucose, and this results in an increase in blood glucose.

Food rich in carbohydrate include grains, rice, noodles, bread, starchy vegetables, fruits, beans, milk and sugary foods.