Health

Controlling Diabetes by diet & non-pharmacological methods

Diabetes prevention by diet

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). Adult normally secrete approximately 50 U of insulin (a hormone) each day from the beta cells, present in 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 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.

Predisposing factors for Diabetes:

  • Improper sleep
  • Overweight
  • Tension: Can be either physical or mental
  • Sedentary work or no body exercise

There are many easy ways to lower blood sugar naturally by few modifications in your life style. Here we present few of these modification which can be easily incorporated in daily routine.

  1. Daily physical exercise.
  2. Controlling your carbohydrate intake.
  3. Increasing fiber intake.
  4. Drinking more water and staying hydrated.
  5. Choosing food with low glycaemic index.
  6. Controlling stress levels.
  7. Monitoring blood sugar levels.

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.
  • Taking foods that control blood sugar for e.g.    
    • Raw, cooked or roasted vegetables.
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Flavoured low calories drinks
    • Melon and berries
    • Whole grain, high fiber foods
    • A little fat
    • Protein

Avoid the consumption of following:

  1. Trans fat from particularly hydrogenated or deep fried foods.
  2. Packed, processed or fast food.
  3. White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice.
  4. Low fat products.
  5. Reduce soft drinks, soda or juices. Instead try sparking water with a twist of lemon.
  6. Cut down creamer and sweetener in tea or coffee.

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 meal, rather than as a standalone snack, when you eat dessert, truly savour 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.   

Use fresh fruits and vegetables, more colourful the better, whole fruit rather than its juice. Grapes, apple, berries, citrus fruits pineapple, mango, papaya etc are very benificial not just for diabetes but for overall health.

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 mixture of fenugreek seed, plum seed (Jamun) and bitter gourd (Karela) powder and take 1 TSF (tea spoon full) before lunch and dinner for better health.   

Diabetes is turning out to be an epidemic particularly in India due to unhealthy food habits, busy working schedule and lack of physical activities.

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