According to the Health Ministry of Malaysia, it was stated that 1 in 5 adults has diabetes here.
To uncover more of this, we have Ms Amnics Kong, a nutritionist of over a decade and is the Founder of New Leaf Consultancy to share with us on the diet you need to prevent diabetes.
1. What is the importance of diet in diabetes?
A healthy diet is necessary to practice to prevent diabetes and for diabetes patients. They should be consuming food that is high in fibre and micronutrients. For example, always go for food replacement instead of food elimination like replacing banana fritters with an apple, and teh tarik with yoghurt.
2. What type of food does a person need to avoid in order to prevent diabetes?
There’s no such thing as good and bad food, but only good and bad diets. Practice ‘suku-suku separuh’ to prevent non-communicable disease such as diabetes.
3. How often should one test for the blood sugar and what should they consume if it is too high or too low?
A home blood glucose monitoring can be used to keep track of the effects of meals and activity level on blood glucose. However, please always consult your doctor for this. For diabetes patients, a regular follow up is necessary with the doctor. Either too high or too low, please do consults a doctor if medication needed and also the healthcare team include dietitian or nutritionist for a proper meal plan which suit the best as the situation may varies from person to person.
4. How much of physical activity does one have to do in order to prevent diabetes?
Exercise is important for diabetics as it helps to reduce blood sugar levels by increasing peripheral uptake and utilization of glucose. However, to stress that exercise should be recommended only after an assessment of the patient’s cardiovascular status and metabolic control. Generally, I will advice at least 150 minutes a week.
5. What foods are good sources of healthy fats?
There’s no such term as ‘Healthy fats’. It’s either saturated or unsaturated fat and everything count on the quality and quantity of consumption.
For example; Unsaturated fats – fish, avocado, nuts, olive and saturated fats- fatty meat, butter, cheese, palm, coconut oil. Eliminate Industrial Trans fat like fast food, processed food, snacks, fried food, pizza.
6. In your opinion, do you think Malaysians should cut down on late night eating? Why?
Definitely Yes. It is not advisable to take food before bedtime. Snacking or eating late night will lead to weight gain, high blood glucose level, high cholesterol, increase cardio metabolic risk, disorder digestive system and etc. As undigested before bedtime makes it harder for your body to relax, drift off to slip and affect the quality of sleep.
7. What advice can you give to diabetic people in general?
Simply practice food elimination diet is dangerous. Unbalanced diet or malnutrition can lead to more sickness and disease. Please work hand in hand with a nutritionist to determine which type of meal planning approach will work best for you but not friends nor neighbor and Google.