Using a calorie counter with type-2 diabetes

November 12, 2012

Using a calorie counter with type-2 diabetes

If you have diabetes, you can use diet as a form of control over it. Many people find cutting out some carbohydrates helps, but simply controlling your calorie intake can make a huge difference.

More and more people are being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes on a daily basis. One of the contributing factors for this increase is the total disregard being shown by many of us towards eating a healthy diet. Eating a healthy well balanced diet greatly reduces the risks of contracting type-2 diabetes but it seems that today’s busy lifestyle doesn’t allow us the time for food shopping and preparation and even thought most foods now come with a calorie counter integrated with its labeling many of us still eat far too much of the wrong kinds of foods.

Recommendations following diagnosis

Anyone hearing the news that they have developed type-2 diabetes will, no doubt, want to know as much as they can about their condition and how to live with it. The first thing your medical practitioner will advise is a change in eating habits with proper attention to nutrition. It may be that in the initial stages of living with diabetes a calorie counter will be useful to help in re-learning good eating habits. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is always important but for those with type-2 diabetics it is an essential component of managing the condition.

Healthy diet – not just for diabetics

There is no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’ but rather a healthy diet which is suitable for all of us. Tips for healthy eating include the following -

  • Eat at least six portions of healthy starchy food each day – including bread, cereal, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables, choose whole grain where possible.

  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – and more if possible. Choose a variety of colors and eat the whole fruit rather than choosing a smoothie or juice.

  • Reduce, or eliminate, sugar especially processed sugar which is present in many processed foods. Check the calorie charts on food labeling for sugar content. Sharing a dessert or chocolate bar is a great way of reducing sugar intake whilst still enjoying a treat.

  • Avoid junk food and processed foods which tend to have high levels of transfats, saturated fats, and salt.

  • Decrease alcohol intake

  • Stop smoking

  • Increase exercise – doing more physical activity helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

Do I need a calorie counter?

When working to control diabetes a calorie counter may be a useful tool along with good food management and weight control. Much of what we eat is eaten without thinking about the portion size or calorie content – if we have developed type-2 diabetes this needs to change. In order to re-educate ourselves about food content it may be useful to check a calorie counter before we eat, even if it is an item we have eaten many times before – calorie content of food cannot be estimated since it varies so widely. Calorie counters are widely available and will help to keep track of daily calorie intake which has many benefits for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly when used in conjunction with the dietary advice and plan provided by your medical practitioner.

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