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Oman diet: Dietary requirements for diabetes.

by Jishy Seby It is better for a diabetic to have calorie intake less than a normal individual.

Diet and exercise is very important in the management of diabetes. A completely different diet is not needed for a diabetic. The nutrient requirement for a diabetic is same as that of a normal person. But a diabetic has to reduce the intake of certain food stuff in order to reduce the sugar level in blood. The calorie intake should help the individual to lose or gain weight as required. It is always better for a diabetic to maintain the body weight 10 per cent lower than the ideal body weight. If the disease is mild a diet restricted in calories and devoid of refined sugars such as sweets, jams, and jellies is adequate. It is better for a diabetic to have calorie intake less than a normal individual. A diabetic should derive 60-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 15- 20% from protein, and 15- 25% from fat. Carbohydrates Diabetics should be careful while choosing the type of carbohydrate food. Cereals and pulses are complex carbohydrates that have to be broken down to simple sugars before they are absorbed from gut. Whole wheat is better than rice because of greater fibre content. But refined carbohydrates like sugar, honey, jaggery, and jam, contain simple sugars which are directly absorbed. Diabetics should restrict the intake of these foods. Fruits and milk contain sugars which raise the blood sugar in a slow rate. Diabetics can take them in limited quantity. The total amount of carbohydrates should be divided into 4-5 equal parts. One third (33%) should be served during lunch and one third during dinner. Of the remaining 25% should be served during breakfast and 9% during evening tea or bedtime. Protein Diabetics should derive more protein from vegetable sources than animal protein as they contain more fibre and less cholesterol. Fat High fat diet increase body weight, serum lipid level, and adversely affect diabetes. So a diabetic should be careful with the amount and nature of fat they consume. There are commonly three types of fats. Ghee, butter, vanaspathi, and coconut oil contain high amount of saturated fats which increase serum cholesterol. They should be taken only in small quantities. Vegetable fats like sunflower oil, safflower oil contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are considered good for health. Monounsaturated fatty acids present in groundnut, palm oil, and olive oil are not harmful to the body. All these are considered as visible fats. Apart from these, foods like cereals, pulses, milk and milk products, egg, flesh foods, and nuts contain invisible fats. Fats from vegetable sources are better than those from animal sources. Non vegetarians can consume fish or chicken without skin instead of egg, mutton, liver, and brain which are high in cholesterol. Fatty acids in fish are helpful for body. Diabetes can take 20g visible fat based on their serum lipid levels. Dietary fibre Soluble fibre present in vegetables, fruits, and legumes are more effective in controlling blood glucose and serum lipids than insoluble fibre present in cereals and millets. In addition to soluble fibre, vegetables, fruits, and legumes also provide anti oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary fibre is also beneficial in the prevention of heart diseases and colon cancer. High fibre foods have low calorific value and low glycaemic index and they improve glucose tolerance. Excess dietary fibre may interfere with mineral absorption and may initially cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence and diarrhoea in few. It is better that diabetics take 40g dietary fibre per day. Fruits Fructose is the main sugar in fruits and they can be consumed by diabetics in moderate amounts. Fruits are also rich in anti oxidants and soluble fibre. Partially ripe fruits are better than fruit juices. Fibre rich fruits like guava, amla, papaya, pomegranate, and apple are preferred than fruits such as banana, mango, and custard apple. Musk melon and water melon have high water content and consumption of such fruits provide satiety without adding calories. Fenugreek seeds Fenugreek seeds that contain high fibre are useful for diabetics. It contains an alkaloid trigonelline which helps to reduce blood sugar level. Fenugreek also lowers the levels of serum lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Diabetes can be kept under control by making certain changes in lifestyle. Diabetics should take care of his food intake. Exercise should be made a part of life. Diabetics should avoid alcohol. Along with this, use of prescribed medicines help them to keep diabetes under check. [emailprotected] Jishy Seby, is diet consultant, at KIMS Oman Hospital.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 12, 2016
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