Nutrition Q&A: What causes diabetes?

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.
This week’s answers:

1. Hello Madam, I’m Srinivas from Vijayawada Andhrapradesh, I’m 32 years old and working as a Sr.Customer care Executive.
I am a Type II diabetic since 1999 , I has a worry about my Eating habits as I am 32 years old I’m unable to restrict on food items, so can you please advice what type of diet should I want to take , I use to do regular exercise , of doing exercise regularly , can diabetic can eat anything as normal person. Please advice.
Thank you

You should exercise daily at least 30 minutes a day. If you are overweight you may need to exercise more. You cannot eat unlimited just because you exercise. You should avoid sweets, sugars, honey, maida, bakery items, fried foods but eat all vegetables, fruits, pulses, whole wheat atta, etc as normal. When you are a diabetic, the quantity you eat in each meal is important too.

The diet has to be decided according to your height and weight. You should approach a dietician close to you home and get a proper diet plan.

2. res sir/madam , I’m 36 yrs male having high blood pressure , diabetes on insulin, thyroid morbid obese wt 156kg pls help i wanted to loose wt and to control diabetes and BP . PL SUGGEST MY BEST DIET THAT SUITS ME IN SUGAR AND CONTROL WT PLS REPLY I AM WAITING THANKS . BHARAT SACHDEVA
Since you are on insulin you will need to reduce the dose before going on a caloric restricted diet. You have not mentioned your height. Yet a diet of 1800 to 2000 kcal should be good to start with. Start the diet first. Do no start diet and exercise together as it may lower your blood sugar. Once you have reduced some weight you can start a walking program.

Your diet plan will also depend on the kind of insulin you take. If you let me know the type and dose of insulin, your height, which Indian state you are from, I can give you a diet plan.

3. i am a 40 years old female and my blood sugar is always between 11 – 13, please help me in deciding how to plan my diet. i met with dietitians but they tell me according to north American foods; i eat indian food so very difficult for me to decide what to eat and how much to eat. i am not on any sort of medication.
You have to mention your present weight, height and eating plan in order to plan a diet. You can start by cutting out on fast foods, fried foods, sweets, sugar, honey, refined flour, and include more of vegetables raw and cooked in your diet. eat whole grains, legumes, fruits on a daily basis. You if eat non veg then go for lean meat.

If you are overweight then simply reducing your weight will control your blood sugar.

Eat small meals. You can start with reducing one serving of carbohydrates from your dinner and breakfast and space your main meals with 6 hours gap . In between these you may eat a fruit.

If assume from your mail that you have been to dieticians in US. They must have told you about food servings. On the diet plan that they have given you, just exchange one serving of carbohydrate with any of your traditional foods. For example, if there is one slice bread, then it equals one small idli. You can also request them to give you exchange lists for Indian foods. The ADA has extensive lists of Indian food exchanges which will help you convert your diet to an Indian one.

4. I kindly require daily diets table and precautions to be taken for diabitic person. I am45yrs old 89kg, I want control my diabetic routines food habits including fatness(ldl, triglyserides) please kindly suggest me the regular routines
Please read the articles in sify/bawarchi site – How to reduce cholesterol in the Indian diet, Diabetes management through diet modification and Spacing carbs and meals for better glycemic control. These will help you get tips to control blood sugar and fats. You need to reduce your weight too. Reducing your weight is the single strategy that will control your fats and diabetes.

5. whats the main reason that will cause the Diabetes.
Causes of Type 1 are multi factorial. Both due to environmental factors and genetic susceptibility. Type 2 is caused due to resistance of cells to action of insulin. Being overweight is a strong reason for this cell resistance. Diabetes in pregnancy is due to the increased hormones in the body that causes resistance to insulin action.

Since the job of insulin is to keep the blood sugar controlled, any lack of it causes high blood sugars. And since it is food that provides these sugars, we primarily aim at eating right (and not overeating), exercising as this reduces resistance of cell to insulin action and medications that help to keep the blood sugars normal.

Send in your questions on nutrition to now! And don’t forget to include `Nutrition FAQ` in the subject line. Please provide complete details of your age, sex, height, weight, location and medication if any, if a diet is required for specific ailments.