Expert recommends proper food combinations for diabetics

Mrs Olufunmilola Adewumi, Principal Nutritionist at Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre (AOMCC) has advised diabetics to consider a lifestyle modification, particularly eating a proper combination of foods, to avoid further complications to their health.

Adewumi gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

She said that the modification in lifestyle should also include avoidance of sedentary living, regular exercising, glucose checks and food sensitivity checks.

According to the nutritionist, most diabetics are no longer placed on food restrictions, depending on the outcome of the result of their glucose level test.

She noted that those with a glucose level higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) might be placed on restriction.

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“Diabetics need to know how to manage life and prevent complications. It is important that they adhere to instructions; a proper combination of food is very important.

“Get your glucometer; ensure you check your glucose level first thing in the morning. Preferably before nine 0’clock, when you’ve not burned off energy or you’ve not done any strenuous physical activity.

“Take time to really know what you’re sensitive to. Consider that some foods are high glycemic; they contain lots of sugar; it depends on how your body will utilise the sugar in it.

“There are some with low sugar content and others that don’t contain any, which are basically your vegetables,’’ Adewumi said.

Stressing the importance of proper food combinations, the nutritionist said discipline and determination were necessary if diabetics are to plan their diet well.

“Ensure your staples, which are majorly carbohydrates are in the right proportion.

“This should be combined with vegetables. It can also be combined with proteins, depending on what you are eating,’’ she said.

Adewumi recalled that one of her patients was able to get her glucose level down by avoiding eating rice or sometimes replacing it with Ofada rice, a local variety of rice.

Other foods include cucumbers, garden eggs, carrots and green vegetables.

The nutritionist noted that some of the ways to prevent diabetes are for everyone to know his or her family history and be disciplined with food.

She cautioned against a sedentary living, eating junk foods and eating meals late at night.