As the diabetes epidemic in this country continues, doctors like our Elmhurst podiatrists are working hard to fight off diabetic complications like limb loss.
In our practice, we encourage diabetic patients to come in for monthly foot exams. That way, we can catch problems early on, before they become infected and form limb-threatening ulcers. We also encourage people with diabetes to examine their own feet. Every day. And to call us if they notice any changes like rough or red skin; bumps or lumps; and especially if they find a cut or fissure in the foot.
But proactive foot care is not enough if you want to avoid diabetic complications. As it turns out, your diet can make a huge difference—of course, we’re not just talking about a low-carb, healthy eating plan, as that goes without saying. What we’re suggesting? According to new research, choosing specific foods and supplements may make a big difference in your diabetic health.
Controlling Diabetes through Diet
As we just noted, creating a healthy-eating plan is key to controlling blood sugar levels when you have diabetes. Not only does this mean choosing healthy options. It also means carefully monitoring your portion sizes. And, as a diabetic, you should commit (and stick to) regularly scheduled meal times.
Once you’ve got those three factors under your belt, you can start to be more proactive about your food choices. Studies show that certain foods are highly beneficial to diabetics. The best foods to eat are:
· Loaded with nutrients.
· Low in fat
· Low in calories
Some of the best options to meet these requirements are fruit (although watch out for super sweet ones that may throw off sugar levels), veggies and whole grains. You might consider adding a dietician to your diabetic-treatment team, so he or she can join your endocrinologist and podiatrist in helping you make the best choices for your health.
Always keep in mind that foods high in fat and/or calories will raise your blood glucose, possibly to dangerous levels. If your blood sugar remains elevated for an extended amount of time, your kidney, nerves, or even your heart may sustain damage.
One More Tool to Combat Diabetes
New studies suggest that probiotics can help people with diabetes prevent complications. In several studies, probiotics were able to make a significant drop in both fasting blood glucose and insulin levels for people with diabetes. In non-human studies, some probiotics also lessened insulin resistance in rats who’d been eating a high fat diet. Of course, probiotics can also help regulate bacteria in your gut, helping improve your overall digestive health. Before taking any supplements, or changing your diabetic diet, make sure to clear any additions or substitutions with your treatment team. But for those who have their doctor’s permission, adding probiotics may just make a difference in preventing new or further diabetic complications!