Medical Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 15, 2012

Medical Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) prescribes a plan of eating for diabetes patients with a view to regulate their blood sugar level. It is designed to be a nutritious diet which does not put too many restrictions on the patients, but still improves their condition. This is because of the basic fact that the needs of nutrition of a diabetic are much the same as a non-diabetic, but they need to watch out for foods that do not adversely affect their blood sugar level.

Features of a medical nutrition therapy for diabetes treatment are:


Focus on taking balanced meals


The ideal meal plan for diabetics should include three balanced meals along with two or three snacks daily. A balanced meal would include reasonable portion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. This is important for keeping the blood glucose level in check. Some of the foods to include are broccoli, raw carrots and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. When it comes to taking snacks, should prefer light string cheese or apple. Fruit juices are not recommended as their fibre is removed and they can raise the blood sugar level. Whatever fruit you choose to eat, eat it whole.

Choose the right carbohydrates


As carbs have the greatest impact on your blood sugar level, controlling them would help you manage your blood sugar level better. For that you need to learn about the right carbohydrates to choose for eating. There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates of which, the former has an adverse affect on your blood sugar level. As simple carbs, which are various sugars that break down immediately in your body, cause sudden increase in blood sugar level, they should be avoided. Sodas, high-sugar cereals, full cream milk products, rice, white bread, candies, fruit juice with added sugar and white pasta are some sources of simple carbs.

Complex carbohydrates take a long time to break down and thus, do not bring about a spike in blood sugar level. So, having more of complex carbs would help the diabetics maintain their blood sugar level. Some good options of foods rich in complex carbs are brown rice, kidney beans, oatmeal, navy beans black-eyed peas, whole-grain bread, lentils, and whole-grain pasta.


Fats and proteins

You should be very careful in taking the right amount of fats and proteins. More importantly, the sources of these nutrients should not cause a sudden rise of blood sugar level. If you are fond of red meat, get rid of the habit. Take to vegetarian diet or stick to tuna, cod and salmon.


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