NIDDM, or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, is the most common form of diabetes occurring in adults. It is often linked to factors like obesity and a lack of physical activity. In this condition, the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to compensate. However, it may struggle to keep up over time. This can elevate blood sugar levels. It can cause various health complications, including heart disease, kidney issues, and nerve damage.
Lifestyle modifications, such as a healthy diet, weight management, and increased physical activity, play a crucial role in managing NIDDM. Regular monitoring and early intervention are key to preventing complications and maintaining overall well-being. The health complications of diabetes are so prevalent and severe that the National Center for Biotechnology Information published the article NIDDM-The Devastating Disease.
What foods can I eat if I have diabetes?
The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The food groups are:
- Non-Starchy Vegetables: Include broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes in your diet.
- Starchy Vegetables: Consume potatoes, corn, and green peas in moderation.
- Fruits: Opt for lower-sugar fruits like cantaloupe, strawberries, and berries. Limit higher-sugar fruits such as mangoes, grapes, cherries, bananas, figs, pears, and dried fruit.
- Grains: Choose whole grains like rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa. Avoid processed bread and baked goods.
- Proteins: Include lean meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, dried beans, split peas, etc.
- Dairy: Opt for nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Remember to check portion sizes, and it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist for personalized dietary guidance.
What foods and drinks should I avoid?
- Sweets: Avoid baked goods, candy, and ice cream.
- Beverages with Added Sugar: Steer clear of drinks like juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks.
- Fried Foods: Limit consumption of fried foods.
- High Saturated Fat and Trans Fat Foods: Stay away from foods high in saturated fats and trans fats.
- When it comes to beverages, opt for water instead of sweetened options, and consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
- If you consume alcohol, do not consume more than one drink per day.
Obesity and diabetes are interlinked to each other. If you are overweight, the chances of diabetes greatly increase. Similarly, the chances of obesity increase when you have diabetes. Losing weight can be critical to controlling the condition. You can lose weight quickly by eating fewer calories and replacing unhealthy foods with options that contain fewer calories and are low in sugar.
Intermittent fasting, also known as time-restricted eating, proves highly effective for individuals with Type 2 diabetes in weight loss and blood sugar control, as affirmed by a recent study from the University of Illinois-Chicago published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Participants in the study limited their eating to an eight-hour window, from noon to 8 p.m., with no food intake for the remaining 16 hours. Over six months, they achieved a 25% greater weight loss compared to those on a traditional calorie-restricted diet. Previous studies corroborate these findings and indicate that intermittent fasting may reduce or eliminate the need for diabetes medications or insulin. Beyond weight loss, intermittent fasting offers additional health benefits and aids those with high blood pressure. This preserves muscle tissue during exercise and enhances mental focus. Embraced by many for its broader health advantages, intermittent fasting is considered beneficial for individuals not necessarily overweight.
Medications for weight loss
There are certain medications that can be considered for weight loss:
- Semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic): Although it was approved for diabetes, doctors recommend it because the medication has shown significant success in helping both diabetics and non-diabetics lose weight.
- Tirzepatide (Mounjaro, Zepbound): This is another medication initially approved for diabetes but is used for weight loss as well. It has demonstrated effectiveness in aiding weight loss for individuals without diabetes as well.
These medications have been widely used and proven successful in supporting weight loss efforts.
Why should I be physically active if I have diabetes?
- Physical activity helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Regular exercise contributes to reducing high blood pressure.
- Exercise enhances blood circulation throughout the body.
- Exercising helps in weight management by burning calories.
- Physical activity has positive effects on mental well-being.
- It can reduce the risk of falls and enhance memory in older adults.
- Regular exercise can contribute to improved sleep patterns.
Overweight people can reduce their calorie intake along with exercising for better results.
In the Look AHEAD: Action for Health in Diabetes study, overweight adults with type 2 diabetes who followed a weight management program experienced more benefits such as improved cholesterol levels, less sleep apnea, and ease of movement.
Doctors recommend exercising 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. Although it may take some time for the changes to be evident, you will surely notice them. Just ensure you always drink water before, during, and after exercise. For more information, see this review from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases and Kidney Disease.
If you want to consult an expert for diabetes and weight management, get in touch with our team. We are available at 203-348-8805!