Friday, February 10, 2006

Diet For Diabetics

Dietary Guidelines :

Foods that can be used freely :
*Green leafy vegetables
*High-fibre foods

Foods to be used in moderate amounts :
*Milk Products
*Artificial sweeteners

Foods to be avoided :
*Jam and Jellies
*Cakes and Pastries
*Sweetened juices and soft drinks.

Importance of Fibre for Diabetics :
Dietary fibre is that portion of plant foods that is not digested by enzymes in the intestinal tract. Different types of plants have varying amounts and kinds of fibre. Fibre can be classified as two types:
1.Soluble Dietary Fibre – It is water soluble, found inside plant cells and slowdowns the passage of food through the intestine. It has water binding capacity. Beans, grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, condiments and spices are all good sources.
2.Insoluble Dietary Fibre – The fibre content in the cell walls of plant foods are water insoluble. It increases faecal bulk and helps in easy elimination of waste, thus counteracting the tendency to constipation. Wheat bran, whole grains, whole pulses, legumes, fruits and vegetables are good sources.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), ’Lack of adequate dietary fibre in diet containing refined foods leads to constipation and colon cancer. Some of the dietary fibres have shown to lower blood cholesterol in Hypercholesterolemic subjects in addition to lowering the blood glucose levels in diabetics.’

How Fibre Helps Diabetics ?
Fibre intake is effective in reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease, noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus and obesity. Results are based on experimental evidences and epidemiological data. The mechanism through which fibre helps is as follows:
1.Fibre binds to large quantity of water and becomes viscous in stomach.
2.It delays secretion of intestinal tract to reduce digestion of food and hence delays glucose absorption in the body.
3.Hence the blood sugar level is lowered.

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Football and Diabetes

Today, Tony George is a 24-year-old professional football player for the New England Patriots. But when he was a sophomore in high school, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,a medical condition he would have for the rest of his life.
"At the time, all I could think of was 'Oh, no! Shots! No candy! No sweets!," George told Medianext05.
A very important check-up
George, then a star high school athlete, recalls experiencing some fuzzy thinking in class as well as a dry mouth, sweaty palms and frequent urination. Football season was quickly turning into basketball season so it seemed like a good time to get checked out by a physician.
"I figured all my workouts brought on the symptoms," says George. "But when I started drinking three or four gallons of water, juice and milk daily?and was still losing weight?I knew it was time for a checkup."
Dealing with the news
When his diabetes test came back positive, George spent a week in the hospital and learned as much as he could about the condition by grilling his doctors with nonstop questions. In addition, he now had to take a daily insulin shot and check his blood sugar daily. George first thought his dream of college and professional football was over...."until I got a grip on myself and made up my mind that nothing would stand in my way."
Change is good
With guidance from his physicians, George changed his diet for the better. He ate three square meals daily that included plenty of fruit and vegetables and breakfast at 6:00 a.m. To maintain his blood sugar, he worked in two snacks at school and another at home. All the while, George continued training for his sports.
"Suddenly, my mind was clearer and more alert and I found myself doing better in the classroom," George says. "And then, the next year, I noticed a difference on the football field. I felt more energy, could move faster and was stronger."
"When I look back, I can see the diabetes actually helped me in every respect," George says. "I think my mind snapped into focus because when your blood sugar is too high or too low, you just can't concentrate."
The All-American
On the football field, George became a Parade magazine All-American with 17 interceptions, 187 tackles and 17 touchdowns as a wide receiver.
With a 3.3 grade point average, he also became an All-American in academics and landed a four-year football scholarship to the University of Florida where he played all four years while earning a degree in therapeutic recreation and leisure service management. George worked out with weights to boost his 5'11" frame from 165 to 210 pounds and won All-Southeast Conference honors as a defensive back.
The pros question his health
When the professional teams came calling, some scouts were leery about George's long-term health prospects. But in April, 1999, the Patriots took George in the third round of the NFL draft.
During the 1999-2000 season, George was assigned to the punting and kicking units and to be a backup in the free safety position. When the starting free safety suffered an injury and George started in the final game of the season, several sportswriters noted the rookie's enthusiasm, speed and thundering tackles.
A day at the office
George tests his blood sugar just before games and often at half time. If it is too low, he eats a small snack of orange juice, peanut butter or cheese and crackers. If it is too high, he sometimes requires an insulin injection. He takes no other medications.
"My day at the office is a little different than other players because I must take extra care in just about everything I do," George says. "For instance, in the locker room, I make sure I don't step on anything that could cut my feet. It may not be a problem now but it could develop into one ten years down the road."
George doesn't drink alcohol but says that most diabetics handle alcohol and sweets with the utmost in moderation.
"I also must watch out for headaches," says George. "Headaches can be a sign of low or high blood sugar, while dizziness or shakiness is usually a symptom of low blood sugar. Any time a diabetic starts to feel unlike his normal self, he should test his blood. I carry a testing kit with me at all times."
Keeping fit
George's off-season workout regimen may have a lot to do with his hard-hitting tackles. He works out for about four hours daily, working with free weights and dumbbells, doing bench presses, squats, curls and the military press. He finishes with wind sprints and jogging.
Playing the role of teacher
"I also take it upon myself to educate people about diabetes," George says. "Other players see me in the locker room with a syringe or testing my blood so I explain I'm diabetic and that I require extra insulin. Back during the draft, I remember some pro scouts asking if diabetes was contagious which shows you how little some people know about the condition."
In his role as educator, George often speaks to young people and volunteers his time to the American Diabetes Association. Says Joyce Waite, regional executive vice president for the Eastern and New England region of the American Diabetes Association: "It's wonderful that Tony George has gone public with the way he handles his diabetes because there are so many closet diabetics who won't talk about their medical conditions at all. Coming forward will make a tremendous difference, especially for children, because so many look up to and admire professional athletes."
George usually concludes his talks to young people by telling them to never let anything stop them from reaching their dreams. "Something like diabetes may seem like an obstacle at first, but you never know; it just might be the thing that catapults you to your goal," George says. "It sure was for me."