Dietary tips for diabetes sufferers
The most important treatment basis for diabetes is training the patient and his or her relatives. Diabetes sufferers who need insulin (insulin-dependent diabetes sufferers, mainly with type 1 diabetes) have to adjust their diet precisely to the insulin dose or the insulin dose to their diet.
Because type 2 diabetes can primarily be ascribed to overweight, the first line of treatment is to reduce body weight and organise more mobility in the person's daily life.
It is now known that diabetes is not purely a blood sugar disease, but also involves fat and protein metabolism disorders. Therefore individual dietary plans and sufficient exercise (at least 30 minutes per day) is necessary to lose weight. In addition, blood fat, blood pressure and body weight must be particularly monitored.
Under treatment it should be possible to achieve normal blood sugar levels, optimum blood fat levels, normal blood pressure and a normal body weight.
The ability of the body's cells to absorb insulin improves with exercise and the insulin produced naturally in the body becomes more effective again.
Drug treatment is only indicated if these measures have been exhausted.
Diabetes specialists or nutritionists can help you to convert your diet to a balanced one over the long term.
- Eat a balanced and varied diet and choose wholegrain products that contain fibre.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. They provide important vitamins and minerals, fill you up and help absorption.
- Skimmed milk and milk products should become an important part of your diet.
- Take care to drink enough (water, fruit and herbal teas).
If you have insulin with you when travelling and have to inject, it is important to have information in the appropriate language, as well as your diabetic passport. Take enough insulin with you for your trip.
In case of low blood sugar, take some glucose, snacks or bars with you in your hand luggage.
It is also helpful to have friends with you when you're travelling who can call help in an emergency.
If you have to inject insulin at work and have colleagues whom you trust, let them know. Then help can be called quickly in an emergency.
Always take glucose with you. This works quickly when there is a threat of low blood sugar. Take care to eat a balanced diet and to eat regularly when you are at work. And make sure you drink enough. When you are in a restaurant or the canteen, choose salads or wholegrain alternatives.