Diabetes Diets and Fats

Diabetes Diets and Fats

Ms. Jaya Patil,
(Dietician, Dept Of Endocrinology & Metabolism,
M S Ramiah Medical college, Bangalore.)

Fats are an important component of our diet and serves a number of functions in our body. Fat is an concentrated source of energy.

Fats in our diet include - oil, ghee, butter, vanspati. These are called as "visible fat". Small amount of fat is also present in all other foods like cereals, pulses, milk etc. These are called as " invisible fat".

What role fat has in our body? Firstly fat gives a lot of energy. Fats give good taste to our food. It helps in digestion and absorption of some vitamins.

All fats are made up of "fatty acids" which are arranged in chains. Some fats have long chains while some have short chains of fatty acids. These fatty acids are made up of 1 carbon molecule and 3 hydrogen molecules. In some fatty acid chain 1 hydrogen molecule is missing, such fatty acids are called Unsaturated fatty acid. Some of the unsaturated fatty acid are not produced in our body. Hence they are essential and must be present in our diet. If all the hydrogen molecules are present, then they are called saturated fatty acids. Our body can make this kind of fat. So our diet should have less of saturated fatty acid.

All fats have a combination of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid. Fat from vegetable source like oils have a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acid while fat from animal have a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids.

How much fat should our diet contain and which is the best oil? Our fat requirement depends upon age, sex and physical activity. In our day's diet only 20% of our energy should be from fat, that is if a person is on 1500 k calorie diet, his fat intake should be 35g /day (7 tsp) All fats are equally good and equally bad. So a combination of oils and fats should be used of the 7 tsp; 2 tsps could be ghee or butter and the remaining could be any of the vegetable oil.

Cholesterol is a type of fat which is present in only animal fat. Cholesterol can also be produced in our body also. So our diet should provide minimum of cholesterol. Daily intake of 250 mg is sufficient.

If we consume excess amount of fat everyday, the only thing that will happen is "Obesity". If a person is obese, he is a high risk candidate for diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterol, heart problem, cancer and many other diseases.

But a diabetic patient is in turn at a higher risk of hypertension, hypercholesterol and heart problems.

In diabetes, not only sugar regulation is distrubed but also fat and protein regulation is distrubed. Because of this a diabetic may also have hypercholesterol problem (dyslipidemia) which may lead to heart problems. So a diabetic should control his diabetes well.

  1. Proper Diet.
  2. Regular Exercise.
  3. Reduced Alcohol Consumption.
  4. Stop Smoking
  5. Regular Diabetic Medication.

There is a slight reduction in fat intake. It is reduced to 15% of day's energy intake. That means if a normal individual is taking 7 tsp of fat /day,a diabetic should take 5 tsp /day.

First of all, very less oil should be used for cooking. Cooking methods like steaming, baking or roasting should be used to reduce the oil consumption during cooking. Fried food, bakery products, food that contains lot of oil or fat should be reduced.

All animal fat contains high proportion of saturated fat and also it is rich in cholesterol. Animal fat is divided into White meat and Red meat. White meat is also called as lean meat because of its low fat content. Eg- chicken, fish and sea food. Because of its low fat content, white meat is preferred. Small quantities of white meat twice a week is recommended.

Red meat has high proportion of fat and most of it is saturated fat and hence should be avoided. Eg- mutton, beef, pork, organ meat like liver, kidney.

What about cereals and pulses which contain some amount of fat? Cereals and pulses contains very small amount of fat and will not increase your blood cholesterol. Infact, cereals and pulses, fruits and vegetables which are good source of fiber help in reducing your blood cholesterol.

All diabetics should have good amount of vegetables (both cooked and raw) and one fruit that is allowed everyday. A high fiber helps in controlling your diabetes, high BP and also high cholesterol.

Cholesterol Content (cholestrol mg /100g)
Butter 250
Cheese 120
Margarine 65
Whole milk 11
Skimmed milk 3
Ice cream 45
Egg Yolk ( 1) 250
Fish 70
Lamb 70
Pork 70
Mutton 65
Chicken 60
Lobster 200
Crab 125