Posted on Jun 17, 2018, 12 a.m.
Keeping blood sugar levels in check is important for individuals with diabetes, one of the easiest ways to do this is through dietary changes, and maintaining a healthy balanced diet.
Diabetes is managed primarily through injections of insulin or lifestyle changes which aim to re-establish control of glucose levels and reduce risks of serious consequences. Cutting back on sugar intake is a possible way to achieve this that will aid in weight loss and successful blood glucose metabolism.
Sugars can occur naturally in food such as milk, fruit, and vegetables, these sugars are important in a normal healthy diet and aid in a variety of important biological processes. It is the added sugars and “free” sugars present within food products added by manufacturers under different names that must be avoided to tackle both obesity and diabetes alike. Labeling often uses words such as honey, glucose, syrups, treacle, molasses, maltose, and sucrose to indicate the presence of added sugars. Numerous guidelines are in place to help individuals ensure that too much of these sugars are not ingested, overall stipulating that one should not exceed 5% of daily energy intake.
Top “sugar free” diet contributors tend to be within foods such as fizzy drinks, sweets, and chocolates. Cola as an example has an alarming 9 cubes of sugar in one 330ml can, making it easy to minimize sugar intake by switching soda to water. These types of sugar are also found in ready made meals, alcohol, sauces, and many other items, some may even be unexpected.
Cutting down on sugar intake can be easy, such as using reduced sugar jam in place of sugary honeys, marmalades, or chocolate spreads; and wholegrain cereals contain less sugar in place of frosted or honey alternatives is also beneficial. Switching out full fat milk for semi-skimmed milk; and fruit rather than fruit juices can dramatically reduce sugar intake.
Snacking can be one of the main ways to control sugar intake, it can be tackled by making healthier choices such as apples, pears, grapes, avocado, celery, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, and other vegetables. Nuts are another good option but are high in calories. Hummus, tzatziki, guacamole are also good snack alternatives.
Other ways to cut down “free sugar” in general are reducing alcohol intake, avoiding fast foods, avoiding high sugar snacks, avoid frozen or premade meals, avoid soda/pop and sugary drinks, increase fruit and vegetable intake, increase fiber intake, eating beans and eggs, always check nutritional labeling to ensure items are low in sugar and added sugars including “sugar free”.
Naturally low sugar foods being the bulk of a diet can dramatically improve any diet which includes items such as celery, carrots, onions, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, oats, brown rice, and quinoa. Items such as lentils, and soybeans are completely sugar free. Items such as melon, raspberries, blueberries, olives, and rhubarb contain sugar but in low quantities and can be beneficial.
Diabetic symptoms can be better managed by cutting down on added sugars consumed, along with insulin injections and medications this can be enough to successfully reduce risks of serious life threatening complications such as eye problems, heart failure, and neuropathy.
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