Type 2 Diabetes – Nutrition Basics
In order to manage your diabetes, it is important to understand nutrition basics more than the average person. The diabetic body must maintain a careful balance of chemicals from food in order to stay healthy and continue to function normally.
The Mathematics of Nutrition
Proper nutrition comes down to basic mathematics. Despite what many fad diets suggest:
Around 55-60% of your calories need to come from carbohydrates (1,100 – 1,200 Calories) – the most important food group.
- Less than 30% should come from fat (600 Cal.)
- 10-15% should come from proteins (200 – 300 Cal.).
For the average person maintaining a 2,000 calorie per day diet, here is an easy way to break down your recommended daily food intake based on servings:
- Bread (whole grain is best)- 10 servings per day
- Vegetables (raw or steam is best)- 5 servings per day
- Fruits – 4 servings per day
- Meats (low saturated fat & cholesterol) – 2 servings per day
- Milk (low saturated fat)- 3 servings per day
- Fat (monounsaturated & polyunsaturated are best) – less than 67 grams per day
Why Low Carbohydrate Diets Are Dangerous
Carbohydrates are the only source of energy for the human body. Protein is the only food group without carbohydrates.
Many diets recommend eating a high amount of protein and a low amount of carbohydrates. The body simply cannot function without an energy source, so while you may lose weight on such a diet, your body will start to break down its own muscles to turn them into carbohydrates, resulting in muscle loss.
As a result, you may lose weight in the short term, but in the long term, you will suffer from energy loss, decreased brain function (the brain needs energy too!), and organ failure.
In order to prevent serious consequences of a low carbohydrate diet, it is important to incorporate a variety of different carbohydrates into the diet, including nuts, whole grains, milk, fruits, and vegetables.
Eat the Right Amount!
Fat is Good
Fat is an essential part of the daily diet. Fat not only helps to keep the body warm in colder temperatures, but it also provides a cushion for the organs and tissues. Fat also helps the body absorb many essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins A and D. Just be sure most of the fats you eat are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are mostly plant-based fats and fish oils. Avoid saturated fats (mostly animal fats) Therefore, depriving the body of fat can lead to serious long-term damage to your organs, joints, bones, and blood.
Calories Matter Most
If you are trying to lose weight, understand that calories are the essential element that you need to control. Calories are units of energy that are either used by the body for daily functioning or that are stored as fat. Therefore, if you intake more calories than you burn, those extra calories will be stored as fat, resulting in weight gain.
Conversely, to lose weight, simply reduce the amount of calories that you take in so that you take in fewer calories than you burn. Keep in mind that you should consume enough calories to give you energy throughout your basic daily functions or else your body will take that energy by “eating” your muscles.
Supplements and Risks
From Creatine to Ephedrine, Synephrine to Nitric Oxide, there is a huge variety of supplements available on the market that are designed to enhance athletic performance, increase energy, and boost weight loss.
Many of these supplements actually deliver on what they say they will – but only for the short term and not without serious consequences. Each of these supplements has its own set negative side effects that can lead to long-term bodily damage and even death.
In fact, some supplements, such as Ephedrine, have been taken off the market due to their negative side effects. Even common supplements, such as caffeine have their limits (no more than 600 milligrams per day). Before you take any form of supplements, be sure that you research the negative side effects and weigh the risks carefully.
Here is a short list of some of the common side effects of some supplements:
- Heart failure
- Increase heart rate
- Stomach issues
- Blood clots
- Abnormal bone growth
- Loss of libido