Learn about the important concepts and principles on diabetes and nutrition.
Diet modification or nutritional therapy is key to good diabetes control. There is no food that a person with diabetes cannot eat but rather he or she needs to understand how different foods affect blood sugar levels differently.
If you have diabetes, the key is to keep track of your daily carbohydrate intake and maintain a balanced diet. Try to distribute your carbohydrate intake consistently throughout the day to prevent uhealthy peaks and dips in your blood sugar levels.
A common misconception is the need to cut down on rice intake, or completely avoid carbohydrate foods (such as rice, pasta, starchy vegetables, noodles and bread). This is wrong. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy and should be included as part of a healthy meal plan. But portion control is important.
Consumption of more refined carbohydrates (such as sguar) can cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. Starchy food, on the other hand, provide a slower, more stable increase in glucose for better appetite control.
Brown rice and white rice contain almost the same amount of carbohydrates but brown rice has more fibre.
Fruits, although high in sugar content, are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Vegetables (particularly the leafy ones) provide fibre, but starchy vegetables (like potatos) are high in carbohydrates, hence increase blood sugar levels.
Lastly, avoid skipping meals. Depending on the type of diabetes medication that you are on, having irregular eating times can put you at risk of Hypoglycaemia (or low blood sugar).
If you are unsure about how to go about developing a sensible eating plan, speak to a dietitian.