It can be difficult for people to know what they should and should not eat to achieve optimum nutrition. Food ingredients, and the labels that explain them, can be very confusing for some. People affected by diabetes should be aware of what they are eating at all times, as well as how some foods may affect their diabetes.
It is estimated that 30.3 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. Of those affected, over 2 million are suffering from a diabetic foot ulcer right now. Proper nutrition plays an important role in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as the associated comorbidities. With diabetes being one of the leading causes of chronic wounds, it is important that diabetics understand some of the key aspects of nutrition. Eating the right foods can help a wound heal.
What to eat
A key to good nutrition is knowing what to eat and what not to eat. Fruit, non- starchy vegetables and fat-free dairy have a low glycemic index and provide key nutrients. The American Diabetes Association developed a list of diabetes superfoods including beans, leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish high in Omega-3, whole grains, nuts and fat-free milk and yogurt.
There are three types of carbohydrates: starches, sugars and fiber. A proper amount of carbohydrates can be good for anyoneās diet, but people with diabetes need to be especially careful with carb intake. Carbohydrates are directly related to blood glucose. The glycemic index measures how carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods can have a low, medium or high glycemic index. A food with a high glycemic index should be mixed with a low or medium glycemic index food.
In addition to eating healthy, it is also important to live an active lifestyle if you have diabetes. Regular activity can help lower blood glucose. When youāre active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin so it can work more effectively. Your cells also remove glucose from the blood using a mechanism totally separate from insulin during exercise. Physical activity can help with other health conditions and overall well-being.
If you or a loved has a suspicious looking wound that defies healing, call the Cottage Wound Healing Center at (309) 345-4563. You donāt need a referral to seek treatment and most types of insurance are accepted.
For more information about living a healthy life with diabetes and how to prevent non-healing wounds, contact the Cottage Wound Healing Center at 695 N. Kellogg St. in Galesburg or call (309) 345-4216.
Audra Baker, MSPA, is program director at the Cottage Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center in Galesburg.