Also Read: Diabetes diet chart in Hindi
What is the best diet for diabetics?
Having the correct knowledge of best diet for diabetic patient and also the foods to avoid with diabetes will help in lowering or stabilizing the blood sugar. Let us first understand what diabetes is and then we can talk about what should be added to the menu when planning for food for diabetics.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is characterized by impairment of carbohydrate metabolism caused by an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin or insulin responsiveness which leads to increased blood sugar level (hyperglycemia). The diagnosis is based on an elevated fasting plasma glucose (>140mg/dL) or blood glucose (>120 mg/dL). An adult normally secretes approximately 50 U of insulin (a hormone) each day from the beta cells, present in the pancreas. The rate of insulin secretion is primarily determined by plasma glucose levels.
Diabetes is classified into two types:
- Type 1 Diabetes: Insulin-dependent
- Type 2 Diabetes: Non-insulin dependent and can be usually controlled by diet modification and oral hypoglycemic medication.
It is Type 2 Diabetes which can be controlled by diet for diabetic patient and other non- pharmacological methods. Hypoglycemia (decreased blood sugar level) in a diabetic patient is the result of an excess of insulin relative to carbohydrate intake. Diabetes is turning out to be an epidemic, particularly in India due to unhealthy food habits, busy working schedule and lack of physical activities.
What Causes Diabetes
- Improper sleep
- Physical and/or mental tension
- Sedentary work lifestyle
- No physical exercise
Factors to control blood sugar level for a diabetic patient
There are many easy ways to lower blood sugar naturally by few modifications in your life style. Here we present a few of these modifications which can be easily incorporated in daily routine
- Daily physical exercise
- Controlling your carbohydrate intake
- Increasing fiber intake
- Drinking more water and staying hydrated
- Choosing food with low glycaemic index
- Controlling stress levels
- Monitoring blood sugar levels
Best Diet for Diabetics
Your diabetic diet is simply a healthy caloric plan that will help to control your blood sugar levels. It can be easily achieved by
- Eating at regularly set times and keeping a food diary.
- Exercise can help in managing your weight and can also improve your insulin sensitivity.
- Walking for 30 minutes daily or having three 10 minutes sessions.
- Try swimming or biking etc.
Diet for diabetic patient
When diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it becomes difficult to identify the right food to take to keep blood sugar level at bay. Also, it becomes equally important to pep up diet so that complications arising out of diabetes do not occur. For the quantity intake in your diet, please check with your physician as several factors like age, gender, physical activity contribute to a diabetic diet chart. Gaps between small meals should not be of more than 2-3 hours and keep a range of food items in each meal including proteins, healthy fats, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Target to keep fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on your plate in a meal as much as possible.
Taking foods that control blood sugar is given in the below list of foods for diabetics
- Raw, cooked or roasted vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
- Flavored low calories drinks
- Spices such as Cinnamon and Turmeric
- Seeds like Chia seeds and flaxseeds
- Melon and berries
- Whole grain, high fiber foods
- Beans and legumes
- Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- Raw, unsalted nuts, like almonds and walnuts in moderate quantity
- Extra Virgin Oil
Indian Council of Medical Research has informed that according to the Global Burden of Disease Report 2015, the number of deaths due to diabetes increased from 2.24 lakhs (in the year 2005) to 3.46 lakhs (in the year 2015)
Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a standalone snack, when you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes. Be very careful about alcohol. Choose calorie-free mixer and drink only with food. Monitor your blood glucose.
Going for the best diet for diabetics, use fresh fruits and vegetables, more colorful the better, whole fruit rather than its juice. Grapes, apple, berries, citrus fruits pineapple, mango, papaya etc are very beneficial not just for diabetes but for overall health.
In a diet for diabetic patient, include non-green non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms, onions, garlic, eggplant are essential components for diabetes prevention.
Cinnamon is full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and it improves sensitivity to insulin.
Based on available evidence fenugreek seeds/leaves (methi) has benefits of lowering blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol levels (LDL level), lowering inflammation and it also helps with appetite control, aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Regular intake of fenugreek is useful for diabetic patients.
Prepare a mixture of fenugreek seed, plum seed (Jamun) and bitter gourd (Karela) powder and take 1 TSF (a teaspoon full) before lunch and dinner for better health.
Foods to avoid with diabetes
Any diabetes 2 patient needs to avoid the consumption of the following food items
- Trans fat from particularly hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
- Packed, processed or fast food
- White bread, sugary cereals, refined pasta or rice
- Low-fat products
- Reduce soft drinks, soda or juices. Instead, try sparkling water with a twist of lemon
- Cut down creamer and sweetener in tea or coffee