Diabetes or madhumeh is a lifestyle disorder not a disease. Being diagnosed with diabetes can bring with it a rollercoaster of emotions and lot of confusion on what to eat? It cannot be cured completely, but can be controlled with some lifestyle modifications.
When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. High blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that is a key to your cells to flow the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels. Some of the early symptoms of the disorder include increased urination, thirst, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision and sudden weight loss. If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia), if persists for long duration, may lead to long term complications such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.
Certain foods cause massive spikes while others actually lower blood sugar levels, and this helps them play a major role in controlling diabetes. Diet plays an important role in the management of Diabetes Mellitus. Eating the right foods at the correct time is crucial. The disorder and its symptoms can be brought under control by following a well-planned diabetic diet chart. When you are trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary, but still you do need to pay attention to some of your food choices. One can help keep blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and tracking one’s eating habit. A smart diabetes diet looks a lot like the healthy eating plan.
A diabetes diet is a healthy eating plan that’s naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. A diabetes diet is based on eating three large meals and three small meals at regular intervals. Key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A calorie diet plan depends from person to person. 1200 to 1600 calorie diet per day is recommended to keep blood glucose levels and weight within the normal range, but this may vary according to age, gender, body weight, physical activity and metabolism.
Important dietary tips for diabetics
1. Replace refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates. Instead of using maida , rice, consume quinoa, maize, millets, jowar, makki ka atta, dalia, oats, whole wheat bread. 50 % to 55% of carbohydrates should be consumed from the total calories per day.
2. Include high protein Diet like milk and milk products, roasted channa, peanuts, eggs, lean meats like chicken, fish, sprouts, legumes, nuts, soya and soya products.Protein is considered a must in diabetes food plan as it has minimal to no effect on blood sugar levels. 20% to 25% of protein should be consumed of the total calorie intake per day.
3. Take unsaturated fats which are the healthiest form of fat for maintainingblood glucose levels. Fats are nutrients that play a vital role in brain and heart health and the absorption of vitamins into the body. Healthy fats mostly found in vegetables, seeds, nuts, olive oil, canola oil and pure ghee. Avoid fried foods, fast foods, foods rich in trans fatty acids
4. Include fibre as it is a star nutrient to stay full. Take plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, whole pulses and nuts as it helps reduce diabetes like cauliflowers, carrots, broccoli, beans, darky vegetables, brinjals, onions, tomatoes, apples, apricot, kiwi, oranges, raspberries, strawberries, papaya, bajra, buckwheat,jowar, corns, rajmah, channa, lobiya, sabut dals. Fibresare the most efficient nutrients that stabilize high blood sugar and cholesterol. Avoid starchy vegetables, pasta,noodles.
5. Avoid added sugar in the food; instead add natural sugar like dates, fresh carrots, fresh fruits, berries, raisins, pure jaggery. Avoid cream cakes, pastries, ice creams, candies, rich desserts, mithai, sugary drinks, flavouredyogurt and processed foods.
6. Take plenty of water as water helps regulating blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes. Consume other healthy sugar free beverages like coconut water, clear soups, cinnamon water, fenugreek water, butter milk, haldi milk, vegetable juices, green tea, cucumber, mint and lemon water to detoxify your body. They are high in vitamins and minerals and also refreshing. Avoid fruit juices, carbonated drinks, packaged juices, squashes, sugarcane juice, cocktail,mocktail and alcoholic drinks as they are high in sugar.
7. Consume healthy snacks in between the meals like hard boiled eggs, rajma or channa or boiled peanut or sprouted salad, handful of mixed nuts, fresh green salad with added seeds or dry fruits, peanut butter or vegetables whole wheat sandwiches, makhana chaat.
8. Consume low glycemic foods like green vegetables, raw carrots, fruits, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans oats, multigrain as it will help in maintain your blood glucose levels.
Super foods for diabetics are leafy vegetables, mixed salad greens, whole grains, yogurts ,chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, garlic, cinnamon, berries, fishes, foods rich in omega 6 fatty acids.
1. Losing weight just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy and sense of wellbeing.
2. Take your diabetic medication regularly with regular mealtimes and regular quantity of various foods. Take 3 small and 3 large meals with correct distribution and balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat amount.
3. Indulge yourself to some physical workout like walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, and yoga for 30 to 40 minutes in a day. Regular exercise is crucial to the health. Exercise can help lower your blood sugar and A1C levels, which can further help you to avoid complications.
4. Always keep yourself hydrated as people with diabetes are prone to getting dehydrates and may worsen the effect of diabetes. A minimum of 10 to 12 glasses of water is required.
5. Focus on eating healthy rather than counting calories as empty calories can also help you meet your required calorie intake but following a diabetes diet plan for Indians by eating clean will promote a good blood glucose levels and optimum weight.
6. Focus on mindful eating as it involves slowly chewing, eating small portions. Each bite should be small so that you are not gulping down food and most importantly you are enjoying and appreciating what you are eating. Eating your meals at proper intervals is also necessary to lose weight and keeping your diabetes in control. Eating at right time and mindfully regulates body cycle, boosts metabolism and detoxify the body.
7. Never step out from home on empty stomach. Always have good and healthy meals before going out. Keep something sweet like chocolate or candy with you while going outside. Keep your prescription and medicines handy.
8. Go for regular Health checkup, blood checkup to avoid complications.
The best way to plan a diet chart for diabetic people is to consult a qualified and experienced Dietician or Nutritionist. As Dietician or Nutritionist will develop a diabetic plan by keeping in the mind few factors like age, gender, weight, BMI, lifestyle, health goals, preferences, other medical conditions, any other history of diseases, any food allergy or food intolerance to any food. With right kind of support and determination, a person with diabetes can lead to live a normal and a healthy life.