What are the nutritional recommendations for diabetic patients during confinement?
During the period of confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to highlight the following recommendations for diabetic patients:
- Maintain a meal schedule: Diabetic patients must maintain a fixed schedule of the three main meals, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner; apart from these, the early evening snack and two other snacks, one at midday and one before bedtime (the latter is of great importance in those patients treated with insulin, to maintain an optimal level of glycemia during the early morning).
- At breakfast During confinement it is remarkable for diabetic patients whole wheat bread or whole grains without sugar, since they are slow absorption and help control the speed with which blood glucose increases after eating (blood glucose postprandial).
- Snacks during confinement: We recommend a fruit mid-morning, and a glass of skim milk before going to bed. A snack with a low glycemic index would be advisable, as for example, a skimmed yogurt with a fruit (apple).
- Plate method: It is about using a plate of about 23cm divided into 3 parts, at lunch and dinner:
– Another quarter for carbohydrates, such as potatoes, rice or pasta (if possible wholemeal, due to the benefits they contribute to maintaining blood glucose), also recommending the consumption of legumes in this section.
– Half a plate for vegetables such as salads and sauteed vegetables, among others.
– Accompany with a glass of water, bread (whole grain) and dessert, if possible fruit of the season.
– It is recommended to cook with virgin extra olive oil.
– Insulin patients should consider that 1 serving of carbohydrates corresponds to 10g of carbohydrates, which must be taken into account for insulin treatment.
Physical exercise is compromised during confinement. It is advisable for those diabetic patients who cannot exercise a lot due to other comorbidities to walk the hallway at home in series of 50 steps and those patients who can do more physical activity, which is of great importance in type 1 diabetics, the recommendation from them is that they do some aerobic physical activity that supports their own weight, such as dances, for example.
In these special moments, diabetic patients must pay close attention to their glycemic controls, checking more often or checking with the continuous glucose monitoring sensor (those who have it), to avoid imbalances in glycemia, which can cause hyperglycemia. or hypoglycemia.
“I advise diabetic patients to remember to have medication, test strips, lancets, equipment for sensors or insulin pumps, insulin needles and something very simple but indispensable, such as spare batteries for glucometers, during confinement”.
Laura Sánchez Soiza
Nutrition and Diabetes Education Specialist.
April 20, 2020
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