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Dietary Management

Date: 18 May 2009

There is presently no cure for diabetes but you can live a healthy life by following a life-long self-care plan. Diabetes management depends largely on satisfactory blood glucose control. The diabetes self-care plan is all about achieving and maintaining good control of your diabetes while continuing to live as normal a life as possible.

Studies of people with diabetes show that good blood sugar control helps them to keep healthy and feel good. Your target blood glucose levels should be:

  • Fasting - 4.0 to 6.0 mmol/l
  • After food - less than 8.0 mmol/l
  • HbA1c - not more than 6.5 (HbA1c is a blood test to measure the amount of glucose bound to the red blood cells in the last 3 months. The higher your blood sugar levels, the higher will be the HbA1c values).

Meal Planning Guide For Diabetes

  • Meal spacing and timing should be an important consideration for type 2 diabetes
  • Eating meals for 4 - 5 hours apart allows post prandial glucose level to return to base line.
  • Type 2 diabetics will be able to maintain appropriate blood glucose levels and maximize drug effectiveness by eating meals of approximately the same composition at approximately the same time every day.
  • The total carbohydrate intake for the day must be consistent from day to day. This means that the same amount of carbohydrate should be taken for each breakfast, each lunch, each dinner and each snack. In other words, the portion of food must be consistent.

 The Time Taken For Food To Digest

  • Vegetables - emphasis is on green leafy vegetables, salads, ulams, and other vegetables
  • Complex carbohydrates that are minimally-refined such as wholemeal bread and biscuits, rice (especially brown or unpolished rice) maize, oats, bran, capati, tosai, idli, putu mayam and noodles take a longer time to digest and do not cause a sudden rise in blood glucose
  • Fruits (to be taken in moderate amounts because of their sugar content). Examples of fruit servings are - 1 small apple, 1 large plum, 3 medium prunes, 1 thin slice watermelon or honeydew, 8 duku langsat or mangosteen, 2 medium seeds of durian, ½ a small mango, 4 pieces of jackfruit or chempedak, and ½ medium jambu batu.

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