Diabetes is a lifestyle disease associated with very high blood sugar levels. Common types are; diabetes type 1, which occurs in children, and type 2, which occurs in adults. Type 1 requires insulin injection for treatment, and type 2 requires oral drugs.
Medication treatment in diabetes is to maintain the sugar levels to near normal; the ultimate treatment remains a strict diet plan. What you consume determines your level of blood sugar.
Nutritionally three main food types are carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. Carbohydrates include; ugali, rice, potatoes, etc.; proteins include; milk, fish, and chicken. Vitamins include vegetables and fruits.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of sugar in the body, a starchy diet may elevate your blood sugar levels despite medication.
Persistent high sugar predisposes to complications such as nerves and vision impairment.
Ruth Kerubo, a nutrition expert, explains that a normal adult requires about 2000Kcal of energy per day, which comprises; 260g carbohydrates, 50g proteins, 70g total fats, and 20g saturated fats. Increased intake of saturated fats, e.g. sausages and icecream, raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
She advises that a diabetic patient should aim at 45-60g carbohydrate intake per meal. A slice of bread has 15g carbohydrates same as a glass of milk, rice long grain 26.3g and ugali 26g per 100g size. Brown chapatti contains 20g carbs.
A typical ultimate diabetic meal plan will be composed of;
Breakfast- total carbohydrate -50g – 1 cup of tea, milk or porridge (no sugar), 2 slices of bread or 1 chapatti, 1 egg or 1 sausage or ¼ cup beans
Lunch/Dinner- total carbohydrates 55g – 1 bowl 150g rice or ugali/potatoes, 1/2 cup beans, beef, chicken & vegetables 2 servings
water intake of about 2000ml or 8 glasses per day is advised.