Diabetes control is governed by following the right diabetic diet. What to eat and what not to eat is important for diabetes control and diabetes cure or diabetes reversal.
These are the top 15 diabetes diet tips from diabetologists and nutritionists. Even if you are pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic, or diabetes is part of your family, it is important to follow a diabetic diet to prevent diabetes.
Diabetologist, Dr. Sanjiv Bhambani with Moolchand Medcity suggests, “A diabetes diet should be high on fibre, must contain milk without cream, buttermilk, fresh seasonal fruits, green vegetables, etc.” But remember to consume these components in moderation.
Diabetes diet for Indians should have the ratio of 60:20:20 for carbs, fats and proteins. The doctor explains, “Per day calorie intake should be between 1,500-1,800 calories with a proportion of 60:20:20 between carbohydrates, fats and proteins, respectively.” He adds that a diabetes diet should “have at least two seasonal fruits and three vegetables in a diet plan.”
Though dry fruits may seem like a healthy snack, it is not a good option for diabetics, as the fructose can spike your sugar level. Go for fresh fruits rather than dry fruits for diabetes control. But you can still opt for nuts as a healthy snack.
The doctor shares his recipe for diabetes diet for Indians:
- One teaspoon of methi seeds soaked overnight in 100 ml of water is very effective in controlling diabetes.
- Drink tomato juice with salt and pepper every morning on an empty stomach.
- Intake of 6 almonds (soaked overnight) is also helpful in keeping a check on diabetes.
Rekha Sharma, President and Director of Indian Dietetic Association, shares some major diabetes diet pointers that one should follow at home or at a restaurant.
Whole grains, oats, channa atta, millets and other high fibre foods should be included in the meals. If one feels like consuming pasta or noodles, it should always be accompanied with vegetable/sprouts.
Milk is the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins and helps control blood sugar levels. Two servings of milk in a daily diet is a good option.
High fibre vegetables such as peas, beans, broccoli and spinach /leafy vegetables should be included in one’s diet. Also, pulses with husk and sprouts are a healthy option and should be part of the diet.
Pulses are important in the diet as their effect on blood glucose is less than that of most other carbohydrate containing foods. Vegetables rich in fibre help lowering down the blood sugar levels and thus are healthy.
Good fats such as Omega-3 and mono unsaturated fats (MUFA) should be consumed as they are good for the body. Natural sources for these are canola oil, flax seed oil, fatty fish and nuts. These are also low in cholesterol and are trans fat free.
Fruits high in fibre such as papaya, apple, orange, pear and guava should be consumed. Mangoes, bananas, and grapes contain high sugar; therefore these fruits should be consumed lesser than the others.
A large meal gives rise to higher blood sugar in one’s body, therefore it is essential to take small frequent meals to prevent both higher and very low blood sugar values and keep them constant. Small in between snacks can be dhokla, fruit, high fibre cookies, butter milk, yogurt, upma/poha with vegetables etc.
A person with diabetes should follow a diet which is low in carbohydrates, high in fibre and contains adequate amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals; and avoid fatty foods and sweets. He/she should also take frequent small meals (5 meals pattern).
Artificial sweeteners can be used in cakes and sweets for diabetic people (in moderation). Have lots of fluid. Limit intake of alcohol.
Should you have non-veg? In non-vegetarian diet, seafood and chicken can be taken rather than red meat as red meat contains higher amount of saturated fats. Also, patients with high cholesterol should avoid egg yolk and red meat.
The diabetes diet for Indians includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As always, a balanced and planned diet can build and improve personal health. A controlled diabetes diet may seem like a drag and bore, but a good cook can add life to a diet. Time to call up mom and experiment with diabetes diets!
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