Maintaining a good diet plan is crucial for managing diabetes. You need to be careful about what you eat when you eat, and the quantity of it.
A diabetic has to calculate the number of calories, carbs, fats, etc. a meal would add and then think about buying it. However, doing this 365 days a year is difficult. An urge to eat a pastry or a quick bite of samosa or pizza is a common indulgence for others but can prove expensive for a diabetic.
So today, let us look at the types of food that every diabetic can enjoy guilt-free.
But before that, let us understand a bit about diabetes
The cells in your body need glucose to generate energy, and a hormone called insulin helps to get the glucose into the cell. With type one diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin, while with type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make or use the produced insulin well. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in your blood and causes high sugar levels, also known as diabetes.
Your body gets its glucose from the food that you eat, hence what you eat has a direct impact on your sugar levels. So making the right food choices is important to balance your insulin levels.
Eating small frequent meals helps a diabetic person regularize their sugar levels. Another important aspect to remember is hydration and physical activity. Adequate water intake and 30-45 minutes of physical activity are important for managing diabetes.
If you are diabetic you need to make mindful choices about carbs, fats, and all the other essential nutrients.
Food that every diabetic can enjoy:
Opt for millets rather than going for wheat, maida, or any processed grain. Soaking the millets for 6-8 hours before cooking breaks down the phytic acid and makes millets easy to digest. Either substitute millet flours for regular flours or makes millet-based recipes like millet upma, millet idli, millet roti, millet paratha, or porridge. With a variety of millets available, you would be spoilt for choices.
Studies show that replacing regular wheat roti with millet roti for just 30 days brings the blood sugar levels down. In another study by experts, long-term consumption of millet helps to reduce HbA1c.
According to one study, at MV Hospital around 100 patients diagnosed with diabetes were divided into two groups; one group was given rice-based dosa and the other group was given foxtail millet dosa. It was seen that the blood sugar levels came down significantly in patients consuming foxtail millet dosa.
Flax and Chia Seeds
Including flax seeds in your evening, snack routine will be healthy and tasty, as flax seeds are considered beneficial for patients with diabetes. Flax seeds are low in calories and anti-inflammatory in nature, helping improve insulin sensitivity.
Similarly, Chia seeds to are considered good for diabetic patients. Chia seeds are high in fiber and are beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Vegetable and Fruits
In general, most vegetables are good for diabetic patients however a few vegetables should be included in the diet if you are a diabetic. Green leafy vegetables should find a space in your meal plan. Similarly, garlic should be consumed regularly to lower the inflammation in the body, reduce cholesterol, and manage diabetes. Another important vegetable is beans as they are low in glycemic index. In fruits, Jambu and jambu juice are excellent for diabetes.
Healthy fats in oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel are good for diabetes. In a diary, products go for no fat or low-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt.
Proteins are considered the building blocks of our body. Have protein in the form of lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, chana, pulses, nuts, etc.
Now that we have covered the foods that every diabetic can enjoy, let us also look at foods to avoid.
Food to avoid for diabetes:
- Foods high in carbohydrates like candies, sweets, soda, bread, tortillas, and white rice.
- Sugary food like cookies, and ice cream because they increase the insulin level of your body.
- Starchy food like potatoes, corn, peas, and beetroot should also be avoided.
- Keep sodium at moderate levels.
- Avoid junk food, as they cause a sudden spike in insulin levels.
- Avoid alcohol as they are very bad for your sugar level.
Managing diabetes is easier if you eat the right food and have an active lifestyle.