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Dining with a Diabetic


Dining with a Diabetic

Health and Nutrition

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases in the world. The reason why a person becomes afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes is complex and is associated with some irreversible and some reversable risk factors.

Irreversible factors

  1. Age
  2. Genetic
  3. Race
  4. Ethnicity

Reversible factors

  1. Diet
  2. Physical activity
  3. Smoking

Steps have to be taken to focus on reversible factors to help the person with Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes prevalence has been rising at an alarming rate in middle- and low-income countries. Diabetes can be treated and its outcomes avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.

What happens when you realise there is a diabetic in your family?

It has been observed in recent times that a lot of families have at least one diabetic person amongst them if not more. And the day it is discovered that diabetes has made an appearance and has come to stay all chaos breaks loose! Here is a family for whom healthy food is probably the absence of deep-fried foods/desserts 3 or 4 times a week on the dining table.

Diet restrictions

Now suddenly they have been hit with the news that diet restriction is here to stay! Potatoes, rice, sweets, white bread and the list goes on about foods that need to be restricted/avoided.

The doctor would have mentioned that weight management is very important for a diabetic person and that it is also associated with higher risk side of heart problems. Therefore, deep fried foods, high saturated fat containing foods and snacks with a lot of salt etc also go out of the window.

Motivation is the key not sympathy

A diabetic person needs motivation and encouragement to stick to healthy diet and not a constant reminder of what he/she should not be eating.  And sympathy makes it even more difficult. The best way to handle the situation is to adopt a healthy meal plan for the entire family.

What is a diabetic diet?

If examined carefully a diabetic diet is nothing but a fundamentally healthy diet and can be followed by everybody in the family. Nutrition goals for individuals with diabetes and that of people looking for healthy food habits are not that different.

Why should the entire family adopt the diabetic diet?

  1. Genetics is also a factor for diabetes. Therefore, other members in the family need to sit up and look at their food habits too!
  2. Two different diets on the same table one for the whole family and the other for the diabetic (even if the family has the patience to make two) it will never work in the long run.
  3. Once the initial fear of diabetes disappears (human being has the capacity to get used to anything!),eventually the whole family including the diabetic person slips into the old routine.
  4. With help, a wholesome healthy balanced diet can be planned for the entire family instead of isolating the diabetic member of the family. Go into it as a family not as an individual and it will be easier to adhere to healthy diet.

What is the difference between a diabetic diet and a healthy diet?

Most of the components are the same. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, restricted saturated fats and sugars, adequate in proteins, has sufficient quantities of vitamins, minerals and fiber is what a diabetic person needs and so does every other person whose priority is health.

A diabetic person needs support and inclusion not sympathy and isolation!

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