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What is the diet for diabetics?

Q: My wife is 74 years old. She is suffering from diabetes for the past 10 years. I would like to know the percentage of carbohydrates and sugar in the daily diet of a person suffering from diabetes.

A:There is a problem with carbohydrate metabolism in diabetes, as the absorbed sugar is not properly delivered to the tissues, due to a lack of insulin. This does not mean one should stop taking carbohydrates altogether. You can combine your carbohydrate intake, with a large amount of fibre. This will ensure a slow absorption of carbohydrates so that the glucose rise is gradual, rather than sudden. Besides, one should avoid foods with high glycaemic index like cornflakes, maida and suji. There is another misconception that favours biscuits above fruits. The role of fruits in preventing heart disease is very well established. Just because certain fruits are sweet, it doesn't mean that they should not be taken at all. Most of the fruits and vegetables have low glycaemic index, except water melon. The idea is to provide for 50 to 55 percent of the energy through carbohydrates, 30 percent from fats and 15 percent from proteins. This can be done by increasing the intake of complex carbohydrates and fibre rich foods. It should be ensured that complex carbohydrates are a part of every meal. The overall fat intake should be reduced by 30 percent. Saturated fats like ghee and butter should be avoided. Besides, one should also monitor the body weight regularly. Processed foods should also be avoided as far as possible.

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