Diet control for Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Food Pyramid

Is a metabolic disorder characterized by the decreased ability or complete inability of the tissues to utilize carbohydrates, accompanied by changes in the metabolism of fat, protein, water and electrolytes. The disorder is due to a deficiency or diminished effectiveness of the hormone insulin.

General instruction for patients suffering from diabetes:
  • Keep strictly to your diet if any change is required then consult the dietician.
  • If you do not feel well or if you are in difficulty about your medicine, consult the doctor.
  • If you are gaining or losing weight, inform your doctor.
  • Test your urine regularly and get your blood examined once a month.
  • Walk at least a mile daily.
  • Keep your skin clean and feet dry. Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks. Consult your doctor on any skin problems.
  • If you have any injury or you are going for an operation, declare to your doctor that you are a diabetic.
  • If any other problem worrying you, see the social worker / counselor.
  • Diet control should be tried at first before the next step (insulin or tablets) especially in obese patients, When diet fails drugs are indicated.
  • Carbohydrate content should be in a fiber-rich diet(e.g. fruits containing fibers as apples), because the fiber content of diet delays absorption of carbohydrates avoiding the rapid elevation of blood glucose levels.

Instructions to patients taking Insulin:

  • Do not alter the dose of Insulin without consulting the doctor.
  • Do not allow more than an hour to elapse between an injection of Insulin and your food.
  • If you get a cold, sore throat or feverish illness, do not stop taking Insulin. Take plenty of milky food instead of solids, if it is difficult to swallow.

Norms for sugar level of Urine and blood:

  • Urine: Blue reduction with benedict solution.
  • Blood: Fasting and two hours after meal below 120 mg per 100 ml.

Dietary Management:

  • Therapeutic diet plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes.
  • Nothing helps a Diabetic more than a Diet, custom-made by his Dietician. The general principle is to control body fat means less sensitivity to Insulin, which keeps the blood sugar level in check.
  • A Proper diabetic diet includes a balance of high proteins, low fat and complex carbohydrates, (Whole grain cereals, whole wheat flour, vegetables) which are digested more slowly and therefore don't cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.
  • The most important consideration in diet is the total amount of calories ingested for an average diabetic; about 60% of calories are derived from carbohydrates, 25 to 30% from fats and 12 to 15% from proteins.

The Diet plan of an individual is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and nature of diabetes.

Following are the essential considerations in planning a diabetic diet:

  • Determining energy requirements.
  • Distribution of energy in terms of carbohydrates, fat and protein.
  • Determining the type of carbohydrate, fiber and the type of preparation.
  • Distribution of carbohydrate.
  • Stage of diabetes with the absence or presence of any complication.

In all diabetics the amount and time of food intake particularly the carbohydrate, should be controlled to prevent the fluctuations of blood glucose beyond the normal range.

Diet should contain:
Carbohydrates : 50 - 55%
Fat : 30 - 35%
Protein : 10 - 15%

Related Links

Diet Control For Diabetes Mellitus (ppt)