A balanced meal pattern, regular exercise, and drug therapy will form the pillars of diabetes management in most people.
The dietary plan affects glucose levels and has a prominent effect on lipid profile and blood pressure patterns.
Restricting excess energy intake without compromising healthy nutrients and exercise will do wonders in the long term.
Nutrient-dense foods should be minimally consumed with emphasis on the nature of the food.
Processed foods, liquids, and high glycemic index (i.e. glucose-raising potential of a specific item) foods with low fibre should be restricted.
Most guidelines recommend – 40-55% calories from carbs 20-30% from fats and 10-20% from proteins, respectively. The Mediterranean, DASH diet, and plant-based diet are endorsed globally, and general principles are similar in these diet patterns.
- Among carbohydrates, refined cereals (bran and germ removed) like white rice and processed foods with added fat, sodium or sugars to be consumed in modest quantities.
- Whole grains with high dietary fibre (like millets, brown rice, and oats) should be preferred. Atta or powdered cereals have high glucose-raising potential.
- Fruits with a high glycemic index like mangoes, guavas, watermelons, custard apples, and grapes should be taken in moderation.
- Low glycemic index fruits like apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, apricots, berries and cherries can be consumed more often.
- Red meat like pork, beef and lamb has high amounts of saturated fat; harmful nitrosamines may be generated if they are processed, which worsens the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers.
- Skinless poultry (white meat) and fatty fish (which contain essential fatty acids) intake were associated with better cardiac outcomes.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages like cola, fruit juices, and high fructose corn syrups should be avoided.
- Full-fat dairy products, butter and tropical oils like palm oil and coconut oils with high saturated fat content should be replaced by foods rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats like nut butter, whole nuts, olive/canola or safflower oils.
- Salted canned meats and foods should impose a restriction.