Diabetes and Diet: What's the Connection?

About 40 years ago, the connection between diabetes and diet was not clearly understood. Doctors were more concerned with fat levels rather than carbohydrates and blood sugar levels. They didn't want diabetics to end up with a heart attack and heart disease.

Today however, with all the studies on diabetes, diet, diabetes complications, medications, and natural healing, things have drastically changed. With Glycemic Index research hitting the scientific journals in the 1980, we now know that it's the type of carbohydrates in the diet that matters most if you're diabetic.

Understand the Diabetes and Diet Connection

If doctors really wants to see improvement in their patients with diabetes, they will pay close attention to carbohydrate levels as well as fat levels in the diet.

They now realize that if carbohydrate levels rise too rapidly and high in a Type 2 diabetic, they will see a spike in insulin levels and the person will start cycling into hard-to-manage blood sugar levels.

You and I know that junk foods, especially sweets can be irresistible and if gone unchecked they can even cause a person to develop an addiction to where cravings will occur, even in the morning when you first wake up.

The sugar and carbohydrates start a feeding frenzy that is difficult to stop

Understand the Glycemic Index

One of the most important things a diabetic can learn is how the Glycemic Index relates to diabetes and diet.

The Glycemic Index is a scale from 0 to 100 whereby carbohydrate foods are rated and how fast their sugar content ends up in the bloodstream.

Foods such as sugar, corn sweeteners, and potatoes have a high Glycemic Index, which is considered to be 69 and higher on the scale. Avoid these foods as much as you can. You may not have to cut them out entirely, but avoid them.

Foods such as breads, pastas, some starchy vegetables and some fruits are in the moderate Glycemic Index range between 55 and 69. These foods don't release sugar into the bloodstream as fast as the High Glycemic foods do.

Low Glycemic Index foods are those with a rating of 0 to 54. These foods release sugar into the bloodstream very slowly and the ones you want to eat the most.

Learn the Foundations

Diabetes and diet knowledge is the foundation for how to select foods you are eating for your meals. By selecting mostly Low Glycemic Foods - whether you are vegetarian or a meat-eater, you can maintain certain amount of blood sugar control and in turn the diabetes. And it all starts by watching your fork.