New Eating Guide from Harvard Dispels Myths about Diabetes

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 16 2007 1:18 PM

A new report from Harvard Health Publications has dispelled certain myths about diabetes and has explained what people with the disease should eat to keep their blood sugar steady.

The advice for people with diabetes is similar to that for the general population, but with extra emphasis on controlling weight, blood sugar, and risk factors for heart disease, explains the report, Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes.

The basic advice is to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of healthy foods, while watching total calories and engaging in physical activity. What one chooses to eat on a day-to-day basis is up to the person, but the goal should largely be to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, include plenty of fruits and vegetables (but limit white potatoes), reduce saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with healthy vegetable oils.

The report also suggests that healthy complex carbohydrates should be chosen over refined sugars and refined starches and increase the amount of fibre one eats.

The Harvard report also asks people with diabetes to go for healthier proteins, such as beans, nuts, fish, and poultry, instead of red meat, moderate alcohol consumption, limit salt intake, adequate calcium intake and take a multivitamin each day.

Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes, a 48-page report edited by Dr. David Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center and General Clinical Research Center at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital also covers the elements of a healthy diet, meal planning basics, ways to lose weight and diabetes-friendly recipes.