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Diabetes

Learn about a host of diabetes-related topics such as how many Americans suffer from this disease to how to easily adjust to a new diet after diagnoses. This section will provide you with the information you need to make informed dietary decisions regarding diabetes.

A Diabetic Diet: Maintaining a Balanced Diet

A balanced diabetes meal plan does not translate to a life of boring food. BistroMD may just be your answer to enjoy flavorful foods while ensuring good diabetes management.

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Diabetes is a chronic condition that impacts almost 1 in 10 U.S. adults, while also ranking seventh as the leading cause of death in the United States based on the most current 2015 data.

However, maintaining a balanced diet can be extremely valuable in reducing the risks that come with diabetes. And while individuals envision a bland diet after being diagnosed with diabetes, a diabetes meal plan does not translate to a life of boring food.

But how can eating flavorful foods while ensuring proper diabetes management be achieved? BistroMD may just have and be the answer...

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to efficiently utilize glucose from carbohydrate sources, mostly related to the absence or resistance of insulin.

Insulin is produced from cells in the pancreas. It can be thought of as a key holder to the cells, allowing glucose to exit the bloodstream and enter into cells for energy use.

Without insulin or the "key," glucose (the body's primary source of energy) starts to build up in the blood. This is why diabetes is also described as having "high blood glucose" or "high blood sugar."

There are two primary types of diabetes, including types 1 and 2.

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body's own immune system destroys the cells responsible for producing insulin, the hormone required to assist glucose from the blood into the cell.

Due to the destruction and complete loss of insulin, insulin therapy is required for its management along with careful, close attention and monitoring.

It was once previously known as juvenile-onset diabetes, as symptoms of type 1 diabetes generally start around childhood.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and due to the complete loss of insulin produced from beta cells, insulin therapy via injection or infusion pumps are required. Without close attention and monitoring of insulin administration, type 1 diabetes can lead to severe complications and be fatal.

Type 2 Diabetes

Developing type 2 diabetes is mostly related to insulin resistance, a condition in which cells do not use insulin effectively and causes blood sugars to rise.

Type 2 diabetes is commonly developed in individuals carrying excess weight, which may due to lifestyle choices such as poor diet and inactivity.

But unlike type 1, type 2 diabetes may be reversed through healthy lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise.

Diagnosing Diabetes

Diabetes can be diagnosed based on a blood tests, including fasting blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance, and hemoglobin A1C.

"How long do such diagnostic tests take?" and "What is hemoglobin A1C?" you may wonder.

Below briefly explains the diagnostic tests and differentiates between normal, prediabetes, and diabetes. Values are indicated as milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) unless noted otherwise:

Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
During this test, you will be in a fasted state, or absent of food intake for eight hours. It is generally performed after an overnight fast.

• Normal: Less than 100, or encouraged to be within 70 and 100
• Prediabetes: 100 to 125
• Diabetes: Greater than 126

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
Also recognized as OGTT, you fill start by taking the fasting test mentioned above. A sugary, or glucose, beverage will be consumed and a blood test will be taken two hours later.

• Normal: Less than 140
• Prediabetes: 140 to 199
• Diabetes: Greater than 200

Hemoglobin A1C
Further known as glycated hemoglobin, average blood sugar, and HbA1C, this blood test measures average blood sugar up to three months.

• Normal: 5.6% or less
• Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
• Diabetes: 6.5% or greater on two separate occasions

If diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to work with a doctor, dietitian, and other health professionals to ensure safe and effective management. They will likely encourage making healthier lifestyle choices, including adopting a diabetic diet.

A Diabetic Diet

If diagnosed with diabetes, following a diabetic diet can help manage blood sugars, lipids, and weight. Truly, too, about everyone can benefit from a diabetes diet, as it is essentially a healthy eating pattern balanced with nutrient dense-foods.

Additional considerations include the timings and portions of meals to best keep blood sugars stabilized. One is also encouraged to limit and moderate the intake of products laden in refined flour, sugar, salt, and other ingredients that lack nutritional value.

Also worth mentioning, diabetic meal plans do not have to be boring! And with the nation's leading weight loss meal delivery service, blood sugars will improve while satisfying the taste buds!

BistroMD's Diabetic Program was specifically created to help maintain blood glucose levels, in which each entrée contains no more than 25 grams of net carbs. There is also the option of EATS (essential and tasty snacks), which supply 15 or less net carbs, to help stabilize blood sugars and curb cravings throughout the day.

What's more, meals are crafted by seasoned chefs using only the freshest ingredients! Also offering 200 recipes and a customizable menu, there is always a find something to satisfy personal taste buds!

And with options including chicken mushroom crepes with sweet potato hash, salmon with bell pepper coulis, hatch green chile and pork stew, diabetic diet meals are far from boring!

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on October 11, 2013. Updated on May 01, 2019.

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