Diabetic diet is a special type of diet which is recommended for persons with diabetes. The diet recommended for people who suffer from diabetes is one that is high in dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, but low in fat (especially saturated fat). Patients may be encouraged to reduce their intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index. However, in cases of hypoglycemia, they are advised to have food or drink that can raise blood glucose level quickly, followed by a long-acting carbohydrate (such as rye bread) to prevent risk of further hypoglycemia.
After diagnosis of diabetes, consultations with a dietitian are necessary to develop a plan of diet which should take into account the person's lifestyle, medication, favorite foods, weight and any other medical conditions.
Certain points should be kept in view while planning a diet suitable for people with diabetes. Certain type of foods should be avoided, and certain types of foods should be preferred. Some general considerations are:
- Fried foods should be avoided, and quantity of fats and oils should be restricted.
- Salads are preferred food but without dressings; green vegetables are fine.
- Alcohol consumption, particularly excess consumption, should be restricted.
- Foods containing sugar in any form should not be preferred.
- Food rich in fiber are preferred. Soluble fibers are still better, and they are found in many fruits, vegetables, and some seeds like legumes (for example, kidney beans). Fibers reduce the asorption of glucose from the intestines, and help in maintaining blood sugar level. Moreover, insoluble fibers, present in bran, whole grains and nuts, work as intestinal scrubbers by cleaning out the lower gastrointestinal tract.