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What Diets Should People With Diabetes Follow?

Should diabetics be following a specific diabetes diet plan different to that of the non-diabetic population?

Not always. In spite of being insulin deficient, following a normally-balanced, healthy diet is still advisable to ensure that their blood sugar stays within a tight range, which reduces the need for top-up insulin.

It's tough to make the right choices when, as a diabetic, you are encouraged to buy 'diabetic safe foods' which are often packed full of unhealthy sweeteners, synthetic flavours and pure rubbish.

What exactly are diebetics supposed to eat?

Short answer: A diabetes diet plan is not much different from a good non-diabetic diet plan: Start with low GI foods, make sure your meals contain plenty essential proteins; add food with a high biological value (containing all essential amino acids); eat complex carbs and lots of fresh veggies

The objective is lowering the need for more insulin, through eating less food containing refined carbohydrates and sugars. No-one needs these sugars, whether you suffer from diabetes or not! It is not a food and has NO nutritional value, it contains empty, unnecessary calories - we are able to get enough of energy from non-sugar based food.

What do others say?

Prof Pankaj Joshi, director of Diabetes Care Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, wrote a good article on this topic in a South African medical journal. The medical profession, according to Prof Joshi, is guilty of conveying mixed messages when it comes to weight loss and healthy lifestyles. He correctly highlights, for instance, that unhealthy lunches are frequently served at global diabetes conferences.

Prof Joshi states: "If medical professionals and health workers are not committed to the ideas that they propagate to patients, and if our hearts are not in it, then it is obvious that we will fail dismally in helping our patients."

Many medical professionals are bad role models. And the problem doesn't stop there - wider failings in the profession's fight against diabetes are evident. Doctors will need to switch their methods to focus on holistic diabetes management and increase the efficiency of their preventative and therapeutic strategies.

A new sense of purpose is required: Diabetes is in part a genetically-transmitted metabolic disorder, without a remedy apart from lifestyle modification - and sticking to a smart eating plan is an important part of it.


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