Eating Healthy - Diabetics Diet is the Best

Diabetes is on the increase throughout the world. The statistics do not look encouraging. It is affecting young children and also older people. For young people once diagnosed with diabetes they have to live on insulin for life. This can be very expensive in countries where it is not part of the free medical care. Type 1 diabetes which is what young people have is more virulent and more difficult to manage but it can be done, just requires a lot more discipline. Type 11 diabetes  comes later in life and is often associated with SOMETHING: genetics, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, work related stress, social stress, pregnancy, smoking etc. I have lived with a sister who has had Type 11 diabetes and high blood pressure for more than 20 years. She is a medical person and quite disciplined. With my own training in food Science and nutrition and having observed the way she uses particularly diet to manage her condition, I have come to conclude that all of us would be so much better off healthwise if we adapted to this type of diet. Her diet is low in fat, almost sugar-free, rich in vegetables especially the type high in roughage, limited in fruits because of the easily absorbable sugars, no alcohol, no nicotine, little caffeine and plenty of water and exercise. As much as possible you try to avoid infections as the immune system tends to be compromised and any injury must be attended to immediately as it can easily turn into a chronic wound. Remember, blood circulation is not at its best in a diabetic/high blood pressure person while oxygen flow to various parts of the body tends to be impaired. Look, I am not a medical doctor, but if you have any of these conditions, or anticipate them, you better treat yourself to as much reading as possible. After all, you as the affected person will feel as good as you treat yourself based on your understanding of the condition. Many times we are told more of the don’ts than the dos. Knowing the why of every piece of advice is very important. A recent epidemiological study  revealed that African diabetics are more likely to suffer complications such as heart, kidney, gangrene that could lead to limb amputations  and so on, than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Yet this is the same part of the world where there is little public education materials and programs simplified enough for those affected to understand. Many patients of diabetes and some coupled with other conditions such as high blood pressure go into crisis and succumb soon after diagnosis and mostly because of poor care and management; it is also an expensive condition and can easily drain a family of all its resources.

Maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels  is a constant challenge for diabetics. For non-insulin dependent diabetics, any of the following spices and herbs can be effective in lowering blood sugar levels: turmeric, cinnamon, ginseng  and flaxseed. As well as help lower blood sugar, these spices and herbs also serve to add flavour to the often very boring food. This measure is not so much recommended for Type 1 diabetics.

Medical insurance schemes more often than not exclude conditions associated with diabetes and do not even cover the treatment. Yet, diabetes is a condition one can invisibly live with for years. At the end of the day though, it is up to the person with it, to manage him or herself.

Compiled by:
Ruth Oniang’o