Nearly 8 percent of the population in the United States suffers from diabetes. Diabetes is a condition in which the body's ability to process glucose is impaired, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels. High levels of glucose in the blood can damage arteries and contribute to heart disease.
Defense and Treatment
The first line of defense and treatment for diabetes is a diet that limits carbohydrates and sugars. Breads are high in carbohydrates, which the body quickly converts into glucose, the form of sugar used by the body for energy.
Most diabetic diets will encourage the patient to limit carbohydrate intake. However, this does not mean a diabetic must eliminate carbohydrates completely. Instead, limit carbohydrate intake to 45 to 65 percent of your daily recommended calories. Bread can be eaten if its made from a complex carbohydrate base like whole-grain flour.
The label on your bread will tell you how many carbohydrates there are in a serving, but if you'd prefer to check before you go shopping, or if you want to make bread at home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a Food and Nutrition database that allows you to search foods and determine their nutritional value. (See Resources 1)
The complex carbohydrates in whole grains are more difficult to break down in the body and therefore slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. This creates a more stable blood sugar level.
Avoid refined versions of the more natural products like refined white flour. The process of refining creates a product high in simple carbohydrates rather than complex carbohydrates, which means a quick release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Keep in mind that every diabetic's situation is unique. A diabetic needs to consult with a physician or dietitian when making dietary decisions.
- Photo Credit Image by Fotolia.com, courtesy of Emmanuel Bergère
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