“Diabetic Diet” is a confusing word. When you get to know you or a family member have diabetes, you must get numerous suggestions from the people around every corner of your extremities, isn’t it?
A diabetic diet means not avoiding everything and eating just boil tasteless food. According to me, everyone has to enjoy their food.
Food is a basic need of everyone, not only humans but animals too. And we humans are struggling for daily bread and butter, so why can’t we enjoy our food?
Things to keep in mind while taking a diabetic diet
- Meal portion – Always we are confused about how much food to eat and we end up consuming more food than the actual requirement, especially when our favorite food is on our plate.
The meal portion is an important part to keep eye on carbohydrate intake and maintaining weight.
- Time and frequency of meal – To maintain sugar level you have to take three main meals and three small healthy snacks in between main meals.
These snacks should be less than half the size of the main meal. Mid-morning snacks must include fruits, mid-evening snacks include soup or dry fruits, and snacks before may include fruits or a glass of warm milk, which helps to get sound sleep.
As well as snacks before bed prevent sudden drops of sugar at late night or early in the morning.
- Food type – “What you eat, your body reflects it”. A healthy diet is necessary for all but for diabetes, you have to choose your food wisely.
Your food must include carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.
Carbohydrates – Most people assume that, if you have diabetes you are not supposed to take carbohydrates. Which is completely wrong.
There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. For diabetes, you have to take complex carbohydrates, which include wheat, fruits, vegetables. This carbohydrate food contains fibers too, which helps in digestion.
Avoid simple carbohydrates, which include sugar, chocolates, carbonated drinks, juices, maida, and sago.
Protein – Improve your diet with protein intake. The daily requirement of protein depends on your weight. For example, if your weight is 60 kilograms, your daily requirement of protein is 60 gms.
Egg, fish, and chicken are the best sources of protein. If you are vegetarian you can get protein from paneer, tofu, and different pulses.
Fat – You need to take healthy fat like Omega 3 fatty acid, which helps your circulation and keeps your heart healthy, and avoid saturated fat. Saturated fat increases the level of bad cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart diseases.
You can get omega 3 fatty acids from cooking oil, fish, and dry fruits, so you have to include them in your diet.
Saturated fat you can get from ghee, butter, mayonnaise, bakery products, so try to avoid it.
Food to avoid
There are some foods that are a red flag for your diabetes, try to avoid it or you can consume it once in a blue moon.
High calories food
- Deep-fried food
- Packaged food
- Refined flour
- White rice or white bread
- Refined sugar
- Sweet, cakes, biscuits
- Fruit juices
- Carbonated drinks
- Red meat
- Canned food
- Ready to eat meal package
- Low calorie labeled food products
Food to include
- Brown rice
Whole grains contain more fiber and nutrients. Fiber has a lower glycemic index (GI) which makes digestion slower and allows nutrients to be absorbed by the body.
Green leafy vegetables
During diabetes, you may find low energy due to a lower intake of calories. Green leafy vegetables are loaded with nutrients that help you to maintain your energy level.
Along with vitamins, green leafy vegetables provide fibers and minerals.
Cinnamon is the best spice to control diabetes. It helps to control the sudden rise in sugar levels after food.
- Kidney beans
Beans contain fiber, protein, and nutrients. They have a low glycemic index which helps to reduce sugar levels.
Omega 3 fatty acid is the best food to avoid complications of diabetes. Fatty fish are rich in proteins, which make you feel full for a long time.
Garlic helps to reduce fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels. It is must have food for your diabetic diet. You can consume it raw, or add it to your food. Most of the Indian houses use garlic in tadka for food.
Vitamin B6 in garlic helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates and Vitamin C helps maintain blood sugar levels.
Things to keep in mind
- Reduce your craving for sugar. Of course, it will not happen overnight. Go slow and give time to your taste buds to adjust.
- Don’t eat sweets alone, instead eat them with your meal. When you eat alone it gives a sudden rise to your sugar level.
- Always keep the habit of reading the information on the package which helps you to understand the number of preservatives in it.
- Keep a fixed time for your food intake.
- Eat at regular intervals.
- Keep an eye on your blood sugar level. Do check your blood sugar level once in 3 months in laboratories and at least twice a week with help of a glucometer. It is very easy to check your sugar level at home with the help of a glucometer.
- Along with food, exercise and walking help you to maintain sugar levels. Walk daily at least for 30 minutes.
- The healing process is slow in diabetic patients. So try to keep yourself safe from any injury.
- Always wear slippers or comfortable footwear. Due to diabetic neuropathy, there is a high chance to get an injury on the soles.