What do I eat? Diabetes & Diet
If you are new to living with diabetes (or you’ve lived with diabetes for years and you are looking for information), you’ve likely heard a lot about food and how it can affect your blood sugar.
Your favorite Aunt might have lovingly told you to stay away from “white” food, and your oh-so-helpful co-worker may have said to avoid “Carbohydrates” – it can lead to a lot of confusion. Food is a basic necessity of life – we need to eat – yes, WE ALL NEED TO EAT!! With the right information as well as some self-evaluation you’ll start to learn how food affects your blood sugar. However, it helps to have a place to start. There are plenty of diabetes friendly foods you should continue to eat and some that you might need to add to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. A good list to get you started will help with making a grocery trip a bit easier and give you some results that please you as well.
The foods you eat have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels so eating food to help keep glucose levels in target is key when we talk about preventing complications down the road.
It also helps to understand a bit about how the body works to move the food we eat into our body for energy. After eating our digestive system breaks food down into smaller pieces – the one that affects blood sugar most is carbohydrate. This is broken down into a simple form of sugar called glucose. When our body gets the signal that it has been fed, insulin is released by an organ called the pancreas. Insulin helps transfer the glucose from your blood into the body’s cells and they can then use this as energy. When we live with diabetes, our Pancreas is either not making enough insulin or not making any insulin at all and so we take medication to help our body respond to the food we eat – especially the carbohydrates. It helps to know where to start with the basic foods and how they might impact our blood sugar levels.