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Proper Diet Fights Diabetes: Doctor

Before diabetes sets in, early intervention with diet and exercise might delay the onset of the disease, a doctor said Thursday.

People with diabetes should be aware of three important points, said Dr. Taing Tek Hong, on “Hello VOA”: Hemoglobin A1C, which measures average blood glucose level over the previous 2to3 months, should be less than 7; blood pressure should be less than 130/80; and LDL cholesterol level should be less than 100mg/dl.

Patients should avoid sweets such as sugar, candy, pies and cakes. Watch the intake of starches, like bread, and carbohydrates, like pasta and rice. These turn into sugar in the blood.

“Drink plenty of water or diet soda instead of soft drinks with sugar, and avoid fatty foods, like anything breaded, fried or creamy,” the doctor said. “Choose lean meats or fish with fresh vegetables.”

Read food labels, look for sugars, such as corn syrup, glucose, sucrose and fructose, and avoid them, he said.

Diabetics should understand food groups, servings, carbohydrate counting, and a food group or exchange system, he said.

“Daily food intake should include a variety of foods selected from each food groups, and different food should be chosen every day,” he said.

Overweight men and women should keep their calories restricted, as well, he said.

Taing Tek Hong also suggested eating in proper proportions: six to 11 servings of grains, beans or starchy vegetables; three to five servings of vegetables; two to four servings of fruit; two to three servings of milk and yogurt; two to three servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts; and only “very small portions” of fat, oils and sweets.

Before people develop type two diabetes, they almost always havepre-diabetes. Type two diabetes can cause serious healthcomplications. Pre-diabetes means blood glucose levels that are higherthan normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.Taing Tek Hong said that recent research has shown that some long-termpre-diabetes damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatorysystem, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes.Type two diabetes due to high blood sugar may include increasedthirst, increased hunger, especially after eating, frequent urination,fatigue, blurred vision, decreased vision, numbness and tingling ofthe feet.