July 9, 2021

Diabetes nutrition, which is the most correct to follow


If you have diabetes, a well-balanced diet is essential. Here are some suggestions.

Nutrition and diabetes

For those suffering from diabetes, following a controlled and healthy diet serves above all to keep the blood sugar level under control, through a correct dietary intake of all the nutrients necessary for the health of the organism.
An excessive diet compared to real needs, in fact, increases the need for insulin, forcing the pancreas to super-activity. However, the production of this hormone may be insufficient to meet the demands generated by a diet of this type.
In these cases, therefore, achieving and maintaining the ideal weight with an appropriate diet is often sufficient to achieve good control of the diabetes itself.

The calorie intake in the diet of those suffering from diabetes

The ideal diet for diabetes is by no means complex or restrictive.
The person with diabetes in fact needs a daily caloric intake equal to that of the non-diabetic subject, in relation to factors such as physical constitution, sex, age, height and work activity, with the aim of achieving and maintaining the ideal body weight.
If there is no need to achieve rapid weight loss, with a reduction of about 900 calories per day, a weight loss of about 3 kg per month can be achieved, which can be further increased with the usual daily practice of moderate physical activity (walking or cycling on a flat surface, walking the dog, not using elevators, walking to work, etc.).

The breakdown of calories between foods

In the daily diet, the intake of fast-absorbing simple sugars (glucose and sucrose) must be carefully evaluated, giving preference to slow-absorbing complex sugars (starch).
The total daily quota of carbohydrates must not exceed 50-55% of the total calories, provided that at least 80% of it is made up of starch and the remaining 20% ​​of non-insulin-dependent sugars and fibers.
The fibers must be taken in high quantities, especially the water-soluble ones, able to slow down the intestinal absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol.
Proteins must make up about 15% -20% of total calories and at least one third must be made up of animal proteins, rich in essential amino acids.
The remaining calories (25% -30%) must be provided by fats, possibly of vegetable origin, with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, useful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
The intake of vitamins and minerals must also be adequate.

The exchange between foods and equivalents

Each food can be replaced by others, as long as they belong to the same group; it is also possible to substitute foods belonging to different groups, as long as they have similar nutrient content.
In the diabetic diet, the system of exchange between foods allows you to plan meals according to various tastes.
One way to exchange foods while keeping the calorie intake unchanged is to group them according to their sugar content.

Three main amounts of carbohydrates (equivalent) were chosen

– Milk equivalent (for milk): 10 g of carbohydrates
– Fruit equivalent (for fruit): 10 g of carbohydrates
– Bread equivalent (for cereals and legumes): 25 g of carbohydrates

Within the various groups, the weight of various foods that provide the same amount of carbohydrates was determined.
In each group of equivalents all the foods that are part of it can be substituted for each other because they all have the same value.
For example:

– 200 ml of low-fat milk and a jar of natural yoghurt are milk equivalent;
– fruit is equivalent to 100 g of pear, 130 g of peach and 80 g of grapes;
– 50 g of white bread, 100 g of cooked spaghetti and 70 g of pizza are equivalent to bread.

Equivalent meat and protein in the diet of those suffering from diabetes

For meats and cheeses the equivalence concerns proteins and fats.
An equivalent lean meat (e.g. sole) corresponds to 100 g of edible part and can be replaced by 80 g of semi-fat meat (e.g. sirloin of beef) or 60 g of fatty meat (e.g. salami) or 60 g of cheese (eg ricotta or parmesan).

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