A Perfect and Healthy Diabetes Diet

A perfect Diabetes Diet

‘Not this. Not that.’ Diabetics are restricted like this a lot of times by anyone who is concerned with their health. What then is a perfect Diabetic diet?

Before we get into those details, let’s have a low down on Diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that arises from malfunctioning of endocrine gland pancreas which produces the hormone, insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the absorption of glucose by the body. Impaired pancreases creates less insulin and results in more glucose in the blood stream. This is unhealthy for the body as it affects the organs over a long period of time. Diabetes has no known cure in conventional or alternative streams of medicine. Once, one has been diagnosed with the condition, the way to quality life is in the management of the condition through healthy diet, medications and an active lifestyle.

Diabetes types:

1. Type I Diabetes: The body is unable to produce any insulin. External insulin has to be injected or pumped into the body.

2. Type II Diabetes: The body produces insulin but not enough for normal functioning. Medications, Diet and active life helps manage the condition.

3. Gestational Diabetes: Glucose tolerance is impaired in some pregnant women which may result in child birth problems. Women who have had gestational diabetes are more prone to develop Type II diabetes later in their lives.

Dieticians and medics around the world agree on couple of things when it comes to prescribing a perfect diet. Their suggestions are aimed at increasing the insulin pumping capabilities of the body, decrease and delay the release of glucose into the blood stream, facilitate better digestion for release of toxins and fortify the vital organs and body in general. For type I diabetes, the body is dependent on external insulin but the other things hold good in this condition too. Type II diabetes is connected to obesity and overweight. Therefore, losing weight will bring down the blood sugar levels.

Remember to eat regularly. Try not to skip meals especially if you are taking medicines or insulin shots. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a balanced meal at all times with carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients. Drink a lot of water. Having more number of meals in lesser quantities is also advised.

The amount of calories an individual requires may vary depending on the activity level, health, body size, sex, age and the intensity of diabetes of the person. But generally speaking, an ideal diet should have about 1,200 -1,600 calories per day. Tips for a perfect diabetic diet:

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Include a large portion of fresh, in season vegetables and fruits in the diet. Avoid very sweet fruits (mango, banana, chikoo, etc). Frozen vegetables are also acceptable but don’t eat canned and processed vegetables like in brine or pickles, if possible. They contain high levels of sodium which again is harmful. Steamed vegetables are really good for dinner.

Leafy vegetables

Have a generous amount of these in diet. They are nutrient rich and fiber rich food.

Whole grain Cereals

Switch to whole wheat breads instead of white breads and brown rice instead of polished white rice. They have more fiber and thus are better digested. They contain nutrients like magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate. These starch rich carbohydrates supply energy and to help maintain and control blood glucose levels.

Lean meats

Lean meats and fish are more suited for diabetics as it contains less fat and it is also a good source of protein. White meat is harmless. Processed meats like sausages, bacon etc should be completely avoided.

Onions and Garlic

These have proven records in lessening blood sugar and are good diuretics too.

Fish

Fishes and sea food are a good option for proteins. They also contain the desirable Omega 3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Use it in curry, or as sushi. Deep fried fish is also harmful.

Beans & Legumes

They are some of the best suited sources of protein for a diabetic. With a very high content of fiber, they are also good sources of magnesium and potassium.

Salt

Cut down on salt. Eating unsalted nuts as snacks is a better option to the usual salted chips or biscuits and cookies.

Dairy products

Skimmed milk is advised instead of whole milk. Sweetened yogurts and fat rich products should be curtailed. Low fat curds may be taken. Avoid high-fat dairy products as they contain saturated fats. Instead of using heavy cream in soups, make it more creamy by adding low-fat milk thickened with flour.

Drink

Water is best to quench thirst. Aerated drinks and energy drinks are harmful. Soft drinks and canned fruit juices have too much refined sugar and should be completely avoided. Fresh fruit juices or vegetable juices are more acceptable. Cut down on alcoholic beverages. Hot beverages may be taken without adding sugar.

Chocolate and sweets

Dark chocolate is the best option. Products with caffeine may be cut down. Indian sweets made of refined sugar should be avoided. Avoid using dried fruits in the desserts prepared.

A balanced vegetarian diabetic lunch in the Indian context may have:

• A cup of unpolished rice

• Two thin chappatis without oil/ghee

• Dal with less oil

• Legumes

• A vegetarian dish with less oil

• Spinach

• Low fat curd

A balanced non-vegetarian diabetic lunch in the Indian context may have:

• A cup of unpolished rice

• Two thin chappatis without oil/ghee

• Fish curry

• Lean meat/ white meat grilled( 2 piece of kebabs)

• A vegetarian dish with less oil

• Low fat curd

Apart from the tips on diet, another important thing to do is to have an active lifestyle. Exercise daily in any method that you like. Walk, jog or do a workout. Yoga is also good. But try to burn those extra calories and tone up the body. Stress management is also important. Get enough rest and sleep. With all these, you can enjoy quality life with Diabetes.

Note: The suggestions given above are to be followed with the expert opinion of your doctor or dietician for better results.



Source of A Perfect and Healthy Diabetes Diet by Rajni Raghu – author of A Perfect and Healthy Diabetes Diet article

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