Whole-grain breads with high-fiber ingredients, like oats and bran, may be the best option for people with diabetes.

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One of the most widely consumed foods is bread, it is easily accessible and cheap, however, it can also be a food that poses a health risk for people with diabetes. Whole-grain breads with high-fiber ingredients, like oats and bran, may be the best option for people with diabetes.

People with type 1 diabetes are known to have difficulty producing insulin, which is a hormone that “captures” blood sugar (or glucose) and transfers it into cells. Glucose is the preferred energy source for cells. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. This type of diabetes is also the easier form to prevent and manage with lifestyle changes and medication. According to the World Health Organization, over 422 million people have type 2 diabetes worldwide.

In the earlier phase of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin, but cells have become insensitive to its effects. This is sometimes due to poor diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits. Because of this, cells cannot access blood sugar following a meal. Nutrition plays a crucial role in diabetes control. It is only through putting proper dietary planning into practice that good blood sugar management can be accomplished. A good diet must also be combined with lifestyle changes and medication.

A carbohydrate is one of the three major nutrients essential to human health. However, carbohydrates also raise blood sugar and can reduce effective diabetes control. This is mainly because carbohydrates break down into blood sugar. One way to keep blood sugar in check following a meal is to choose food items that contain quality carbohydrates. Quality carbohydrates are those that rate low or medium on the glycemic index.

The glycemic index is a measurement of individual foods and their effects on blood sugar. There are three basic categories of the glycemic index: low, medium, and high. Low-glycemic foods are those that contain little to no carbohydrates. These include:

Green vegetables

Nuts and seeds

Meat

Small berries

Medium-glycemic foods include:

Most fruits

Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat

High-glycemic foods include:

White bread

Refined grains

White potatoes

Sugar

For people who want to make their own diabetes-friendly bread and are using a standard bread recipe, there are ingredients that can be added to the mix to lower the glycemic index of the final product. High-fiber, high-protein, and high-fat ingredients may be important additions to reduce the impact the bread has on blood sugar.

These ingredients include things like:

Flaxseed meal

Chia seeds

Wheat bran

Oats

Once the bread is baked, the glycemic index can be reduced further. People can spread on healthy fats like avocado or flaxseed oil to replace mayonnaise and other sugary, high-glycemic spreads. Unless instructed by a doctor or dietitian, patients with diabetes do not necessarily need to eliminate bread or bread products from their diet. Using low-carbohydrate or multi-grain, whole-grain bread options may be the best bet for keeping bread in the diet without posing a great health risk.

Continuing an exercise program, using doctor-prescribed medications, and consuming mostly low-glycemic foods are also the most effective ways for controlling blood sugar while allowing people with diabetes to continue eating the foods they enjoy.

 



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