Essence of Nutrition in Diabetics

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, Essence of Nutrition in Diabetics

As per the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three individuals have diabetes mellitus, which totals up to 86 million people across the world. However, the ratio of pre-diabetics is different, which is estimated to be up to 30% of the total population. They are primarily at a risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes mellitus within 5 years, if ignored. Recent researches show that this increased risk is largely influenced by the overall eating patterns of individuals. 

Diabetes is a costly disease which places a high financial burden on the patient, healthcare system and the society. If poorly managed or mistreated; it can lead to kidney failure, blindness, as well as neuropathy disorders. Reports suggest that it is also one of the major cause of heart disease, stroke and death. 

However, as per the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large study of people with high risk of diabetes has benefitted with appropriate nutritional intervention, which was feasible and cost effective. This therapy focuses on caring for the person, treating and preventing the disease as well as empowering patients to create conditions for optimal health. 

As per the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels which begin with insulin resistance, majorly prevalent in adults. On the other hand, type 1 diabetes mellitus (juvenile onset DM or Insulin dependent DM) is more prevalent in children. 

Various environmental factors trigger this. Studies have revealed that starting from lack of breast feeding/introduction of cow’s milk at an early stage till poor lifestyle patterns are the culprit behind the same. This is because it might influence weight and metabolic risk independent of calories. 

Different types of foods have different effects on satiety, glucose-insulin responses, liver fat synthesis, craving and reward responses in brain as well as in creation of visceral fat. According to the best nutritionist in Delhi, cutting the calories, especially carbohydrates will definitely help in losing weight but will leave a person deficient of the nutrients that is required for his/her overall health. It is generally recognised as eating more vegetables, no fruits, whole grain, artificial sweeteners and meat will help with diabetes management and cardiovascular health risks. However this pattern might not be true and vary in individuals based on several factors like age, weight and the severity of the disease. 

The saying that ‘Quality is better than Quantity’ is applicable in case of carbohydrate intake in diabetics. It is the glycaemic response of the carbohydrate which matters the most rather than the quantity of it. People usually cut down the carbohydrate source in a fear of worsening their diabetes without realising that it affects the hunger and appetite hormones of the body. Moreover a misconception that protein increases the blood glucose levels leads to its usage during the hypoglycaemic treatments by many patients.

On the other hand, it is advisable to modify the type of fats used by diabetics rather than just consuming fat burning substitutes. Therefore the Medical Nutrition Therapy recommended to adults needs to be carefully planned ONLY as per the individual requirements, where the goal is to bring down the HbA1c levels. 

Drastic dietary changes are always difficult to maintain. Low/Very low carbohydrate diet has shown short term effects only while not targeting towards lifetime improvements. On the other hand, a sudden reduction/increase in the protein intake might be pressurizing for the kidneys. 

As per the educators of the American Diabetic Association, an informed decision making and active collaboration with the healthcare professionals is extremely important. This is the most cost effective way to improve the clinical outcomes as well as the quality of life of diabetics across the world. 

Nutritionist at Qua nutrition- The signature nutrition clinic with the best nutritionist in Mumbai follows an extremely systematic approach to bring down the HbA1c levels to acceptable ranges. The major aim here is not only to cut down the weight of an individual, but also to educate them and improve their overall health status. This will not only help them to maintain an optimal nutritional status but will inculcate habits which can be cherished lifelong. 

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