Diabetes, a modern lifestyle disease that is on the rise can be managed and in some cases even reversed by making healthy changes in your lifestyle. A change in your diet is one of the most important aspects of dealing with diabetes. A diabetic diet should be introduced gradually. Taking small steps towards altering your daily diet usually works better than suddenly bringing in a drastic change in your eating habits.
Healthy diabetic diet pointers
- Eat in small portions, at regular intervals through out the day
- Do not starve yourself and munch in between meals
- Eat balanced meals and fix your proportions; never over indulge
- You daily diet should include foods rich in dietary fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients.
The most important thing is bringing in healthy variations in your diet and enjoying what you eat. Enjoying your diet helps you stick to it and prevents over-eating.
Diabetic diet varies for each individual depending on various factors like gender, age, height, weight and other factors. But there are some food items that should be completely restricted or taken in very less quantities by any individual suffering from diabetes irrespective of the aforementioned factors.
- Fried and fatty food items need to be hugely restricted or rarely consumed only in small proportions
- Intake of sugar should be highly restricted to control the blood glucose levels in diabetes.
- Red meat is a strict no-no for diabetes patients, while other non-veg items and eggs should be consumed in moderation.
- Food items like rice, potatoes, bananas etc. have a high glycemic index. Foods with high glycemic index increase blood sugar levels, and hence should be avoided by diabetics.
- White flour or maida and its preparations should not be included in a diabetic diet. They can be replaced with the healthier items like whole wheat, soya and unpolished rice.
- High fat and rich creamy milk products should be replaced with low fat milk products like yoghurt or low fat cottage cheese.
- A person suffering from diabetes should limit the intake of tea or coffee to only 2 cups a day. Switching to herbal tea is a better option.
- Alcohol should be avoided. If you cannot completely stop drinking start reducing gradually and limit your alcohol intake.
Food items that help you manage your diabetes:
While you avoid certain items in your diet, there are also food items that help a diabetic person to lead a healthy life, control weight and keep diabetes in check. Here’s a list of what diabetics should include in their diet:
Vegetables are packed with nutrients. A plate full of veggies is not only rich in dietary fibres but is filling too. If you want to please your taste buds, toss them in olive oil to add some flavour. Bitter gourd is a vegetable that has a natural plant insulin, which helps to lower the blood sugar levels effectively. Including this vegetable in your daily diabetic diet can help fight diabetes.
Fruits are the healthiest food items that can be included in a diabetic diet. They are full of nutrients, antioxidants and dietary fibres that help to maintain a healthy body. Include fruits like apples, oranges, sweet lime, strawberries and black berries in your diet. Whole fruits are always better and healthier than their juices.
Add beans to your bowl of salad or include them in your meals. Beans prevent blood sugar from spiking after meals. They make you feel full, and are the best sources for dietary fibres.
Cereals are great sources of dietary fibres, and are the best option for breakfast. Including fruits in your breakfast bowl of cereals can be an added advantage.
Nuts are loaded with good fats that fight heart disease and diabetes but as they are high in calories, they should be eaten in moderation. Nuts are rich in antioxidants and the best source of vitamin E and dietary fibres.
Cook your vegetables in olive oil. It keeps blood sugar levels steady, and is way better than tossing you veggies in butter or any other vegetable oil. However, since it contains 119 calories per tablespoon, moderation is necessary.
If you are diabetic and obese, yoghurt, which is rich in protein and calcium is the best dietary option for you. It can be eaten alone or added to your bowl of salad and fruits.