Diabetes diet advice is contrary and confusing. The current diabetes diet advice is that there is no special diabetes diet, and that a diet for diabetics should be based on the same principles as a healthy diet for everyone else. However, for people with diabetes, diet is an absolutely essential part of blood glucose management. In this Diet.co.uk guide, we examine contemporary diabetes diet advice, and give our readers the option of commenting about diabetes diet in the forum.
Why is diet essential for people with diabetes?
Diabetes diet is essential for people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes for reasons relating to blood glucose. Controlling blood sugar levels accurately over a long period of time control diabetes and minimises the risk of diabetes complications. Increased body weight can cause high blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes is much easier to control when your weight is normal.
What did the previous ‘special’ diet advice for diabetics focus on?
Previous diabetes diet advice focused primarily on carbohydrates. The amount of carbohydrates and the point at which they were eaten was considered, and all carbohydrate foods were given a value per portion, also called an exchange. These levels were considered when developing a diabetes diet.
What is current thinking regarding diabetes diets?
Modern thinking has moved away from the idea that people with diabetes have to have a special diet. Although having diabetes means that one must always take care with a diet, current diabetes dietary thinking indicates that eating a healthy diet should be sufficient for diabetics.
This view has come about due to the fact that all foods have an energy value, and affect blood sugar levels at different rates. Focusing purely on carbohydrates, current logic dictates, ignores the fact that a healthy diet is a balanced diet.
This is the advice currently given by the National Health Service and Diabetes UK, the leading UK diabetes charity. However, many diabetics still favour a low-carb diet to maintain good blood glucose control.