Diabetes is one of the chronic endocrine diseases prevalent across the world. The disease is directly linked to metabolism, which is a process of breaking down food for growth and development of tissues and organs in the body. The body needs energy and this is why we eat. Most of the food is broken down to sugar, known as glucose that is to be transported through the blood stream to various parts of the body cells.
The transportation of glucose to cells and tissues around the body cannot be possible without insulin. Insulin is secreted by pancreas which lies behind the stomach. The hormone is responsible for opening up cells to allow entry of glucose. Any defect in form of low production or failure to secrete insulin blocks glucose from entering the cells. In this case, glucose continues to ‘aimlessly’ flow in the blood. Brain cells also need glucose for proper functioning and communication with the nerves; meaning they are also affected with insulin deficiencies.
One study indicates that 1 out of 3 diabetic people don’t know they have diabetes and thus it can go unnoticed for months or years. It is therefore very important to be aware of some warning signs of diabetes for early diagnosis, prompt treatment and prevention of complications.
Common warnings signs of diabetes include:
– Increased thirst.
– Increased hunger (especially after eating)
– Dry mouth.
– Frequent urination or urine infections.
– Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
– Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
– Blurred vision.
A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that’s naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
– Fresh fruit (a few of your favorites)
– Fresh vegetables (a few of your favorites – focus mostly on non-starchy vegetables)
– Skim milk, 1% low-fat milk, or unsweetened soy milk (whatever you prefer)
– Nonfat or low-fat yogurt
– Eggs or egg substitute
– Cottage cheese
– Reduced-fat cheese
– Fresh meat, poultry, or fish that you’ll use in the next few days
– Trans-free margarine or margarine with plant sterols or stanols
– Frozen fruit
– Frozen vegetables
– Frozen fish fillets or shellfish
– Frozen chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
– Balsamic vinegar or other vinegars that you cook with (for example, white wine, rice, or cider vinegar)
– Salt-free spices – your favorites
– Salt-free dried herbs or spice blends
– Cooking spray
– Vegetable oil
– Olive oil
– Canned vegetables
– Canned fruit (canned in juice, if available)
– Canned beans
– Fat-free refried beans
– Canned tuna or salmon
– Instant oatmeal or quick oats
– Whole grain cereal (unsweetened)
– Brown rice or other whole grains (such as quinoa, bulgur, or whole grain barley)
– Pasta (try whole wheat)
– 100% whole wheat bread or pita bread
– Dried fruit
– Unsalted nuts
– Natural peanut butter or another nut butter
– Seeds (sunflower, flax)
– Popcorn (light, microwave)
– Potatoes (white or sweet)
– Spaghetti sauce