Blood glucose better controlled with diabetes-friendly diet and meal replacements

November 19, 2020
iabetes-specific diet

Some diabetics grapple with proper management of blood glucose, especially keeping to a diabetes-specific diet, which might lead to the onset of complications such as blindness, kidney disease and heart disease. A survey by Abbott Nutrition Malaysia, part of global healthcare giant Abbott, found that 96% of its 158 respondents also experience “diabetes burnout,” essentially a state of emotional or physical exhaustion caused by feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the burden of diabetes self-management; these people want to be empowered over their diet.

Diabetes burnout has been shown to result in poor adherence, reduced self-care and poor glucose control in diabetes patients. Most survey respondents were frustrated with maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy diet, admittedly, following a diet suitable for people with diabetes (72%) and keeping count of calories or carbohydrates daily (73%) were the biggest stressors in dietary management.

This unfortunately contributes to an increasing disease trend among Malaysia’s currently 3.9 million adult diabetes patients.

“Poor glucose control is a major problem among people living with diabetes in Malaysia, as many of them lack knowledge on how dietary behaviour and even slight changes in their eating plan can negatively impact diabetes management ,” said associate professor Dr. Norlaila Mustafa, consultant physician & endocrinologist, and head of department, Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Professor Dr. Winnie Chee from the department of nutrition & dietetics, International Medical University, offers another perspective on the subject: “Knowing the ‘right’ foods to eat that will not raise their blood sugar is a formidable challenge for most individuals, additionally, stress can affect diabetes control, therefore managing the emotional and psychological state is as important as managing glucose readings.”

Dr. Chee suggests a multidisciplinary healthcare team which includes a dietitian to assist people with diabetes learn how to eat well and better manage their stress and disease.

As for those who want to be more empowered over their diet, survey respondents found that convenient and affordable diabetes-friendly meals (88%) and diabetes-specific supplements to replace meals or snacks (91%) would greatly help to reduce the stress of disease management.

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Category: Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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