Nutrition and Diabetes
For many people, nutritious eating and weight loss are optional. For diabetics, most of whom are overweight, it is not. Studies show that appropriate nutrition and weight loss can reduce both short- and long- term complications of diabetes. The great news is that in this lesson, you'll learn how to use nutrition to improve your diabetes, control your blood sugar and generally feel better on a daily basis. Really, could you ask for anything more?
Get ready to learn a whole heap about the following:
- How do I determine my total calorie needs?
- What distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats are healthful?
- How can alcohol affect my diabetes?
- What do I need to know about sugar and sugar substitutes?
- Are there any special dietary considerations for type 1 diabetes?
- What about for type 2 diabetes?
- Do I really have to lose weight to help my diabetes?
Ready...set...go! To the quiz that is. You know the drill. See what you already know before we've even begun.
How'd it go? Were you pleasantly surprised by all that you already knew? If not, then get excited about all of the new information you'll have a chance to absorb.
Will weight loss really help my diabetes?
You'd better believe it. If you have diabetes, or have a family history of the disease, do yourself a huge favor and maintain a healthy weight. Refer to the table in lesson 3 to determine an appropriate weight range for your height. If you're overweight, you and your diabetes symptoms will benefit from even a small weight loss. Some of the benefits you'll be able to feel proud of are:
- A greatly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in those who already show signs of impaired glucose tolerance.
- Increased response to helpful diabetes medication, especially if you once responded and are failing to do so now.
- Reduced risk of death resulting from diabetes.
- Increased life expectancy for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Help in reducing hypertension and abnormal blood fats.
The weighty issue of calories
Recall from lesson 3 that weight loss results from more calories being spent than consumed. This deficit can result from lower calorie intake or more exercise, preferably a combination of the two. Just in case you forgot your daily caloric needs for weight maintenance, here's that handy tool again to help you figure it out. If you aren't overweight, try to keep your caloric intake near that number. If you need to lose weight, try to eat fewer calories and increase your activity level. Refer to the last lesson to get some great tips on weight loss plans. So, with that said, your nutritional concerns as related to diabetes need to be how do I distribute my allotted calories among the various foods?
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