Diabetes diet is a condition, in which medicine & diet are vital in the management of the disease. Why do you sacrifice your favorite foods? You all know, food is the best medicine in the world. An integrated approach of a diabetes diet that contains nutrients as well as one which decreases the body glucose levels is recommended.
Common myths pertaining to diabetic diet
The diabetic adult population in India is estimated to be around 72.96million. These figures indicate the shooting incidence rates. The diet of a diabetic person is not something very odd or distasteful. Most of us have a belief that a diabetic diet is something that is less flavored or not delicious. But these are all wrong notions.
Real scenario, Know your body
Nowadays we have accessibility to all types of fruits, veggies, meat or fish. Creating a tasty disease-specific menu is always challenging. These are very simple things that do not need any professional interventions. Hospitals have dieticians or nutritionists to design a menu for such patients.
In other words, hospitals provide professional advice through dieticians. That is perfect, but remember you can also do it for yourselves. Because you know your body requirements than anyone else. You can observe or identify the minute changes of your body. Hence you can design your diet depending on your immediate needs of the body.
The only thing to be aware is to have knowledge about the indicated foods & the contraindicated ones. The dietary requirements also vary according to age, disease condition, sex, etc.
Most of the diabetes persons are on medications & the disease is in the controllable range. The dietary changes can bring miraculous changes in the body. Diabetic diet and Food is the best medicine that can manage all body dysfunctions. Hence deciding on your food is very crucial.
What to eat? How much? & what not to?
The main issue faced by diabetic patients is following the same diabetic diet for years or decades. Isn’t it very primitive? Yes, of course, when you have a wide range of food options available. The main rule to be followed is to include food that has a low glycemic index or in other words, choose foods that do not increase your blood glucose levels. How simple is that? Diabetes as everyone sees, it’s avoiding all your favorites. Not exactly, but this is being commonly practiced for years.
Let’s discuss some of the simple dietary changes that anyone can follow.
A common myth is to avoid sugar of any kind, most importantly the white sugar, but with the proper diet plan you can enjoy your desserts too
Stop consuming Fruit sauces or jams, they contain sweetening agents, harmful preservatives too.
Refrain from Bottled fruit juices, canned fruits like pineapple, strawberries. They contain artificial sweeteners.
Sweet pickles or sweet chutneys are to be avoided. Look for the labels & spot any unwanted sugars that may enter into your body.
Avoid eating large portions, instead, eat consistently in small quantities
Goodbye to high-calorie foods like Pizza, burgers, hotdogs, etc. Make your customized burgers with whole grain or lean meat with enough lettuce. Likewise, make your pizza & hot dogs with homemade sausages. The sausages in the market contain high sodium which is bad for cardiac health
Never skip breakfast or meals. This is very necessary as it can lead to fatality in all persons irrespective of diabetes or any disorders. Skipping food is not a solution to diabetes as it’s a common practice among young diabetic friends. This will make your body more vulnerable to other metabolic dysfunctions. It adds weight to your body rapidly. So it is wise to avoid this practice.
Diet & Lifestyle changes for Diabetes
As per researches, self-awareness, medicines, a balanced nutritional low glycemic menu, lifestyle changes, counseling or supportive therapies, etc. are very essential in managing diabetes. This method of approach is very ideal & less complicated. Recent years show vast researches in the field of diabetic nutrition. It is high time to incorporate all the thoughts for a perfect diabetic diet.
Also, lifestyle changes are inevitable as food. The habit of eating out is a common culture nowadays. The changing food culture greatly influences the body’s metabolism & invites many lifestyle disorders in the future. Food taken in small quantities intermittently is best in managing diabetes. This reduces body fatigue & keeps your stomach full.
If consumed wisely food is more effective than medicine. The same food causes diabetic diet if consumed in the wrong way. But if taken in needed proportions it acts an elixir to your body. The power of a balanced diet is just amazing.
Control your cravings- how?
To follow a specific diet, you should have a controlled & balanced mind too. Yoga & meditation can help to overcome any psychological fluctuations. Yoga also helps to burn the excess fat in the body. It synchronizes the body’s metabolic functions like digestion, hormonal secretions, excretion, etc. Some of the yogasanas if practiced daily can control the unwanted food cravings. Yoga can ease the digestion & helps to regulate the appetite.
We cannot simply just talk about the only diet when it comes to diabetes. Not only a balanced low glycemic diet is essential, but also a good level of physical activity is mandatory. Physical activity can be of any kind as long as your body is capable of doing it. It can be short walks, light jogging, small warming up exercises, etc. are of great benefit to the body.
Planning a tasty diabetic menu
Planning a diet requires great care because it should be nutritional & should not elevate the blood sugar levels. Everyone long for tasty foods, no matter even if the food is full of nutrients & not tasty, then it is very difficult to continue the plan. There is no need to compromise on taste.
Focus on a high fiber diet with healthy carbohydrates which are slow releasing like full-grain products. Fat should be monitored, preferably it is good to rely on healthy fats like unsaturated fats. Peanut butter or olive oil is a good choice.
Diet chart consisting of the South, North, East & West Indian foods
A glass of plain Boiled water, Amla or Indian gooseberry water, bitter gourd water, Fenugreek water, etc.
2Toasted whole grain bread with a spread made with Avocado & egg, with green tea
Or 2 Gobi/ palak/carrot parathas or 2 Roti plain or chapattis with mixed vegetable khurma with zero oil
2 idli/wheat or ragi dosas/steamed whole grain cakes or wheat puttu with Sāmbhar/egg curry/coconut or tomato chutney, half bowl boiled pulses sprouts
1 cup oats upma with stir-fried vegetables with skimmed milk flavored with grounded cinnamon
1 small bowl of mixed fruit salad made with apple, guava, papaya, pear or any of these. No added sugar
The homemade fruit pulp of guava/pear
1-2 Egg paratha without oil/1palak or spinach roti/ methi roti with homemade bitter gourd/beetroot pickle
Half bowl brown rice pulao made with carrot, tomato, broccoli & cauliflower with cucumber- avocado- lemon salad,
warm coriander/ dry ginger drink
Half bowl brown rice with baked chicken/pan-grilled sardines/ lean meat with onions & garlic, salad with tomato & lettuce
Seafood salad with grilled anchovies, sardines, tuna & onions- optional with meal
2 plain roti /half bowl rice with chicken or fish curry, homemade pickled amla which is oil-free with less salt
Drinks- buttermilk with lemon leaves or mint/ jeera water
Special salads- yogurt with tomato & onion or boiled sprouts with grated coconut
Pan grilled nuggets/pakodas made with sprouts & chopped onion
Steamed whole grain flour cakes stuffed with grounded nuts or coconut
Khichdi with veggies or semolina boiled with vegetables, onion, ginger, etc.
Pancakes made with millet flour/whole grain with honey spread
Mixed Chana/corn/ peanut/ green pea chat- spice level low
Drinks- coffee/tea/green tea/ oat-apple drink
Soup with chicken & broccoli/cabbage/carrot/mushroom
The sandwich made from whole grain bread with tuna or sardines- no mayonnaise or dips
1 roti/chapatti stuffed with vegetables, chicken or mushroom, Salad with cucumber& apple
Porridge made with oats/broken wheat, fenugreek leaves, honey
2Wheat dosa with tomato –bitter gourd chutney
Drinks- warm boiled water, ginger tea
1Almond nut/ 2 walnuts with warm water
1 glass unsweetened warm low-fat milk
How does the diabetic diet influence your body?
Drinking plain water or amla water is the best way to detoxify your body. All the waste materials or toxins accumulated in the body or various metabolic bi-products are washed off. This is very important to start your day.
Breakfast is brain food as per the experts. So a good nutritious breakfast is necessary to maintain blood glucose levels. This energizes your remaining day hours. If breakfast is proper, then you get the appetite timely during lunch & dinner. For diabetic persons, the above chart gives an extensive menu. It includes a fiber-rich nutritious diet.
You can pick your favorite veggies or fish or meat of your choice provided they no longer interfere with your blood glucose levels. It is always good to avoid any type of processed food. For example cornflakes or cereal bars available in the market. They are never a safe option. Most importantly never skip breakfast as it is your first food of the day.
Just before lunch, it is advisable to eat some fruits or boiled veggies. You can also opt for fruit juices. This cools your body & prepares you for your lunch.
Lunch should include either brown rice or rotis made from millet flour/wheat flour. You can have curries with sardines, tuna or anchovies. Just make sure that you are eating the right quantity of food & not in excess. Eat according to your appetite.
Don’t eat too much if you are not hungry. Drinks like buttermilk can provide minerals, vitamins, & other nutrients to replenish your body. Chicken is a good source of protein. So include in your menu as a curry option with fewer spices & oil. You can also make non-vegetarian salads. Avoid all types of fried foods especially fish fry, fried meats, heavy oiled pickles. The best option is to rely on homemade foods.
You are not restricted from snacking. Here we have covered some of the snacks which are tasty & nutritious. The snacks you choose should always complement your body health. Snacks for diabetes are different from normal crisps & chips. You can have nuggets of your choice but oil-free, use pan-grilled ones for your body.
Oil-free pancakes made from whole grain flour with shredded chicken, veggies of your choice are tasty options. You can also make salads with sprouts & grounded nuts. It is healthier to drink herbal drinks such as cumin water, ginger tea rather than regular coffee or tea. Occasionally you can enjoy your coffee or tea.
During dinner, eat freshly prepared foods. You can include vegetables of your choice along with chicken or fish. Fish are a source of good fat for your body. It is healthy to consume a small piece of fish with your regular dosa or roti. You can consume drinks made from cooked fruits along with oats. Apple or guava can be cooked then blend to a pulp. The pulp is then added to the cooked oats. This is an excellent drink with rich flavor.
Before going to bed, avoid heavy foods or leftovers from your lunch /dinner. You can drink warm low-fat milk or amla water.
Diabetes diet chart contains a wide range of options to choose for your daily menu. You can always prefer to eat your favorite foods in a healthy as well as tasty way. Diet Changes are focused on maintaining your blood sugar levels & nutrient balance of the body. All these depend upon the severity of your disease condition. It is recommended to consult with your doctor for expert advice. This food options listed mainly redesigns traditional diabetic food practice. You can always make your own healthy choices. Live happily with diabetes by enjoying your favorite foods.
Diabetes, termed as Diabetes mellitus in medical terminology is a metabolism related disorder characterized by destabilizing levels of gluocose in bloodstream.
With 42 million people already in its grudges, diabetes has justified it’s position as the most common disease in today’s society, worldwide. This number is yet to inflate more by the end of 2024. The statics could be comprehended somewhat as 4 out of every 5 people will be diabetics.
Even today, at least one member in every family is diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. You can analyze your own case in this context. Are we guessing it right? The impact is in such a way that more and more people are switching towards the use of sugar-free foodstuffs.
The market for calorie-free sweeteners is already on fire and will extend further in the coming years too. The huge count of diabetic individuals in India and abroad laid a necessity to emphasize its causes, symptoms, tests, and treatments in a most accurate manner.
Creating awareness on a large scale to make it noticeable by the people and masses everywhere on the topic of immediate concern. Because this disease is not confined to any particular age, gender, blood group, country and so on. It can happen to anyone irrespective of other variables.
It further intensifies the need for addressing all the speculations linked with the disease with proper and authentic information. By doing so, people can up with the rightful measures towards timely prevention and control of this ever increasing disease.
Types of diabetes
Diabetes is classified into four gross categories.
Pre-diabetes – as the name clarifies, this is the stage prior to the onset of actual diabetes. This means a person is just on the verge of formulating diabetes. One side takes to large doses of medicines and the other side leads to a healthy diet with some restrictions, good amount of physical exercise. The choice is still there.
The optimistic facet remains that prediabetes is completely curable and person can successful curb the circumstances towards prosperous life with no place for diabetes medicines. Of course, this requires a lot of discipline, fixed diet patterns, appropriate exercise and other prescriptions by the specialists for some duration.
Type 1 diabetes – the less common but still dreadful when occur. The body is deprived of insulin production. Insulin, the key hormone of carbohydrate metabolism is synthesized by the pancreas.
Due to some unknown auto-immune causes, beta cells of the pancreas which are the major arena for producing insulin get destroyed. The supply of insulin in the body is greatly suppressed and this eventually leads to a heightening of blood sugar levels. Such a category of people frequently needs insulin doses to keep up with blood glucose metrics.
Type 2 diabetes – this is the most common class of diabetes in the present day scenario.
The spec which alienates type 2 diabetes from type 1 is that here body continues to produce insulin but unfortunately, not in sufficient amounts. Comparatively less magnitude of insulin is generated than that in the body of a normal healthy individuals.
Often, in this case, the body develops insulin resistance. The further scenario is such that excess glucose persisting in the blood is not taken up by the cells. The cells are deprived of energy as well as sugar levels of the body are extremely high. This is the most feared dual disadvantage of type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes – diabetes which only marks its onset in pregnant women and not in any other person. pregnancy arrives with multifarious changes in the physiology of the body functions. The body witness an enormous change in the hormonal count, developmental processes and some morphological changes do occur. Symptoms
How will you come to know whether you or any of your acquaintances are falling probe to diabetes? There are some quite apparent commonly felt symptoms to recognize the need for diagnosis and check ups.
Feeling thirsty: because your body is unable to regulate sugars in a proper way.
Frequent urination: because kidneys fail to cope up with excessive blood glucose.
Tiredness and fatigue: because body cells are starved of energy. They are unable to absorb glucose.
Bloating: due to inefficient digestive functions. Food remains in the stomach for longer hours resulting in aches.
Weight loss: natural starvation faced by body cells as all the glucose is either remaining in blood or flushed out without absorption by the kidneys.
Blurred vision: this is a combined consequence of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Gradual healing of wounds: due to poor blood circulation prompted by high blood sugar.
A sudden outburst of sores and blisters: the exact cause is yet to be discovered but diabetes triggers certain integumentary problems.
There are some gender specific symptoms in both men and women. The general symptoms as discussed above are common to every individual.
Diabetes leads to decreases stamina and sexual reluctance in men. Some cases may involve erection dysfunctions and decrement in muscle strength.
Women highly become vulnerable to urinary tract infections during the dominance of diabetes. Infections in the vagina, ovary, and birth canal can be significant signs for seeking immediate medical attention.
Furthermore, the skin may turn dry along with itchiness. Mood swings too become apparent.
Lesser Known diabetes symptoms
Diabetes does have some lesser know symptoms too. Not every patient or person is aware of such uncertainties. These are;
Get detailed insights about lesser Know signs and warnings for type 2 diabetes
Causes of diabetes
By now, you are already familiar with different types of diabetes, each one of which is triggered by a different cause. This cause actually forms the basis for the classification of this disease.
Type 1 – due to reasons which are yet to be discovered, this occurs when the immune system attacks beta cells of the pancreas which are major sites of insulin production in the human body. The exact cause of this auto immune disease still lies unclear and is currently under research by the experts of the field.
Type 2 – either body fails to produce enough insulin or lacks sensitivity towards the action of insulin. There are many reasons concluded by researchers for such a widespread prevalence of type 2 diabetes, the accusing fingers prominently point towards genetic and lifestyle factors.
People who find themselves in agreement with the following criteria must be more cautious with the risk for developing type 1 diabetes;
Being above the age of 45
Having parents or siblings with type 2 diabetes
Leading a sedentary lifestyle with less physical activities
High blood pressure
High triglycerides count
If diagonosed with prediabetes
Have suffered gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Gestational diabetes – The most pragmatic change is the formulation of important tissue placenta which forms a bridge between the body of the mother and growing child. Placenta produces several hormones essential for the healthy grooming of a fetus. Now, as a fetus grows, the placenta produces more and more hormones. These placental hormones prompt for rising in blood sugar levels. This process continues for months and ultimately comes a stage when the blood sugar range of body surpasses the safe limits. This marks the onset of gestational diabetes.
This could be controlled by taking into consideration some gross measures like proper weight management prior to diabetes and getting more alert if the women are already suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Women are at high risk and must plan a mandatory appointment with the healthcare providers if;
You are overweight
Your age is more than 25 years
You developed gestational diabetes in the previous term too.
You have a family history of women suffering from the same disease
You are diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome
Complications and risks linked with Diabetes
The chances for the occurrence of strokes and cardiac arrest increases four folds. Angina is also the threatening factor which readily comes into effect in most of the cases.
Several nerve bundles of the body, notably those which form a part of the peripheral nervous system get damaged.
The term is given to the condition when nerve supplies of the eye are affected and injured due to hyperglycemic conditions.
The results can be diminishing of vision, blurred image formation and eyes get swollen too.
The word nephro relates to kidneys in every context. Diabetic nephropathy is when kidneys fail to function optimally as a result of high blood sugar. Clinically, this can be tested when urine contains proteins that get leaked by defective kidneys. The most visible symptoms are swelling in the lower part of the legs and loss of appetite.
Skin infections become common. The situation can be accompanied by sudden outbursts of blisters, round and small or large which don’t heal easily. Though they are painless but worrisome. Thankfully, there are ample lotions and ointments available in the market for the revival of the same.
Stress can cause diabetes as well as can be the outcome of diabetes. Diabetic patient often feels tired all day long but one should try to be optimistic as much as he/she can. This can be done through proper exercise and meditation which expels out negative vibes out if body and confers soothing effect to the mind.
Diabetic foot diseases are as common as diabetes itself. The thing is that the majority of people fail to realize that these weird symptoms can be an undesired invite for diabetes. It can be anything like pains, corns, calluses, swelling, cracks around heels, open sores, fungus growth and change in skin color.
Very much similar to Alzheimer’s disease in terms of symptoms, dementia is a miserable health condition when a person is subjected to memory loss and unable to make judgments. The causes can be many. Diabetes is one of them. Prolonged diabetes is an even more crucial situation as it opens the door for the numbness to walk through.
Never let your body become depleted of water. During this, kidneys secrete hormones that further concentrate sugars leading to sky-high blood sugar levels. Keep drinking water at regular intervals and carry a water bottle while traveling anywhere.
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome
The times when blood sugar levels reach beyond 600mg/dL are massively dangerous. This excessive metric turns blood thicker and into syrupy form. The condition is more likely to develop on people with age of more than 40 years. The symptoms felt are extreme thirst and drying of mouth, drowsiness, and convulsions.
When cells run out of energy, the body starts burning stored fats to fulfill the energy demands. This brings another trouble to the view. When fats are broken, they produce acids. These acids are ketones that have disastrous effects on health. Vomiting, fatigue and shortened breath are visible signs of the calamitous condition. DKA is more associated with people with type 1 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes concerns
When blood sugar gets uncontrollably high during pregnancy, then some exceptional complications arrive which are not seen in the case of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
These hardships can be any among the following;
Poor mental development of infant
Organ disfigurement in babies
Respiratory disorders in babies
Abnormal delivery of child
Excess birth weight
Get a more detailed picture of diabetic complications during gestational diabetes.
Underlying effects of diabetes and it’s association with other chronic diseases
The moment people read the word ‘diabetes’, the view created in their subconscious mind is that of high blood sugar levels. But it’s not simply a rise in blood sugar levels. It fetches a number of other ill effects.
Diabetes and high blood pressure
It becomes extremely important to gain control over your blood pressure levels, especially if you are a short-tempered person. You desperately need to meditate dear!
Every time your blood pressure rises, your risk for damaging your health rises as well. About three-fourth of the people with type 1 diabetes and one-fourth of the people with type 2 diabetes suffer diabetic hypertension.
Are you the one? Get yourself checked today. Diabetes deteriorate blood vessels, narrows and hardens them. This can further result in heart stroke and kidney failure.
Diabetes and high cholesterol
If you have any one between high blood sugar and high cholesterol, your condition is equally dangerous. Diabetes and high cholesterol favor each other, and the outcome is worsening of health in both cases. High blood sugars intend for the build-up of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. Triglycerides and other low-density lipids lead to diabetic dyslipidemia.
Diabetes and obesity
Obesity is the leading cause of the onset of diabetes across the globe. Overeating puts pressure on the endoplasmic reticulum, a subcellular organelle for processing more nutrients. Under this pressure, the ER emits out the signal for shutting off insulin receptors in cells. This directly leads to insulin resistance. And once the body develops resistivity towards insulin, your carbohydrate metabolism is going to be badly affected.
Diabetes and smoking
Yes, people who smoke always have a greater probability of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Not only cancer, but diabetes is also widely screened ailment in people who smoke. Moreover, smoking makes it hard for you to manage diabetes which otherwise can be done with ease. Like, if you have diabetes and still you smoke, then you are two times more likely to face crucial complications linked with diabetes.
Comon tests and diagonosis of diabetes
We should be thankful enough to the technical equipment and methodologies. These innovative techniques substantially present before us an accurate picture of what is happening with our blood sugar levels inside the body.
Whether there is a need to control the calories or not is clearly revealed to us. Some tests for diabetes require fasting for 8 hours before the diagnosis procedure begins whereas some do not. Oral glucose tolerance tests rewuires fasting before the precise results could be interpreted. However, there are some tests that don’t require fasting or going without eating food or drinking any liquid. Such are called random blood glucose tests.
Hemoglobin A1C test which is highly preferable by the physicians as the first step in diabetes diagnosis doesn’t comply with the need for fasting. The lipid profile test is yet another suitable way of figuring out the undesired rise of blood sugar. Gestational diabetes is successfully diagonosed by testing the readings two hours after drinking a specifically prepared glucose drink.
Besides, with the advent of home glucose monitoring kit, people can save time by avioding personal visits to the doctors. They can conveniently keep the track of their readings at the comfort of their houses and consult a doctor in case of any discrepancies. You should be well informed about when to approach a doctor.
Different types of diabetes require different drugs and doses depending upon how much your levels are increased, your age group, and if you are also suffering a disease other than diabetes. Whether you are allergic to a particular substance, everything matters while coming up with a stringent prescription. So never hide anything from your doctor and approach at the earliest possible.
Treatment for diabetes
The treatment depends on the type of diabetes one is suffering through. Each category of diabetes has it’s own causes, and therefore specific treatment therapies are undertaken to manage each type.
Type 1 diabetes
As type 1 diabetes makes a person deprived of insulin which is an extremely important hormone for the metabolic phenomenon of the body. Therefore a person is entitled to receive periodic bouts of insulin through injections and other means. Insulin therapy is the most effective method of replacing the function of natural body hormone.
Based on the patient’s need, anyone among the following four types of insulin is given intravenously.
Rapid-acting insulin – this starts working 15 minutes after the intake and works efficiently for up to 4 hours.
Short-acting insulin – the effect begins after 30 minutes of consumption and lasts for 7 to 8 hours with efficacy.
Intermediate acting insulin – this usually commences the activity 1 hour after injecting. It remains potent for 15 to 18 hours.
Long acting insulin – this gas the longest effectively working duration. It takes a few hours for this insulin to become active after consuming but effectiveness lasts for 24 hours.
Type 2 diabetes
The treatment of type 2 diabetes is mainly sustained by drugs and medicines. Although a balanced diet with appropriate exercise helps a lot, medications ensure the longevity and prosperity of the health of a diabetic individual.
The following nine categories of drugs are the most sought-after and commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for diabetes.
Alpha glucosidase inhibitor
These slow down the catabolism of sugars in the body. Acarbose is an excellent example of this category.
Glucagon like proteinaceous drugs
These alters the way the body responds to insulin. Dulaglutide and liraglutide are the two most common and effective drugs pertaining to this category.
Their mode of action is the stimulation of the pancreas for enhanced insulin production. Some imperative medicines in this category are Nateglinide and Repaglinide.
This works by limiting the amount of production by the liver. Metformin, the widely used medicine by the diabetic folks falls under this.
It just aids insulin to work more exigent through improved sensitivity by the body. Resiglitazone and Pioglitazone are the most prodigious examples.
Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP 4) inhibitor
It is known for stabilizing blood sugar levels and that too without diminishing them to extremely lower ranges. Sitagliptin used by patients is also a DPP4 inhibitor.
Sodium glucose transporter (SGL T2) inhibitor
This propels the body to release more and more excess glucose along with urine thereby lessening its impact in the bloodstream. Canagliflozin and Dapagliflozin are superior varieties of SGL inhibitors.
Their mode of action is the same as that of Meglitinides i.e., by stimulating pancreatic glands to increase the quantity of the hormone. The portentous drugs to illustrate are Glyburide, Glipizide, and Glimepuride.
Bile acid sequestrants
These mainly work by lowering cholesterol content and are partially effective for controlling all levels of blood sugar. This is usually taken in combination with other drugs. Colesevelam is one such medicine. There are some other treatments given to patients in extreme cases.
Insulin therapy – people with type 2 diabetes may also require insulin injections. There are varied forms and kinds of insulin and each one work in doing different mode. But generally preferred ones are long-acting insulin taken at night time, like Levemir and Lantus.
Bariatric surgery – this is a weight-loss oriented surgery performed on people with type 2 diabetes and body massage index greater than 35. The results of this surgery are much relieving and fruitful.
The critical complications can be controlled to a good extent through careful alterations in diet plans and prioritized physical exercises. When you are diagnosed with diabetes, usually during the third trimester, the doctor prescribes you specific medicines based on your own needs.
It will depend on how much amount of calories to be consumed, what to limit and what to shake hands with. The right kind of exercise and meditation therapies are essential for keeping away all the anomalies. There may emerge a requirement to check blood sugar reading 2-3 times a day. This ensures you are distant off from the occurrence of adverse health hardships.
Some expectant mother’s manage with diet and exercise alone but many develops the need to turn on to drugs and injections. For such situations, the two most commonly recommended drugs are metformin and Glibenclamide.
Metformin – increases insulin senstivity of body and reduces the amount of glucose produced by liver in the form of glucagon.
Glibenclamide – lowers blood sugar levels by triggering the release of insulin from pancreas in greater magnitudes.
If situation still remains out of control, then the alternative that has to be operated is the use of injections. Drugs can be consumed along with timely injectables for better hold over the glucose levels. These strategies and medications altogether help in conquering gestational diabetes. Also, if women already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is having gestation period, then also changes in diet, medication and exercises needs to be done. Your gynecologist will help you with this procedure.
Side effects of diabetes drugs
Most of the drugs often impel undesired side effects other than the main action. This is because drugs interact with more than one receptors on body. Just like medications used for HIV causes anemia, the one used for diabetes are no exception.
Hypoglycemia is the broadly witnessed side effect of drugs like sulfonylureas and meglitinides.
Stomach related problems, itchiness, dryness and mild sickness are another array of effects.
Drugs like alpha-glucosidase inhibitors provoke bloating and diarrhea.
Weight gain, anemia, dizziness and liver infections are some commonly observed cases.
The drugs that suits you best will depend upon your individual health traits. Your doctor will provide solutions to overcome all the possible side effects. If you still experience any of them, you must gear up for urgent medical advice.
Diabetes Prevention and Control
Since diabetes doesn’t have any permanent cure, it’s better to be alert and adopt preventive strategies beforehand.
It’s a well-understood caveat that while good food and good exercise synergies the diabetes treatment therapy, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels still remains the master weapon.
The measures which should be adopted by prediabetic and health-conscious people must be ;
Involving physical exercises in daily routine
Eating less dishes prepared with table sugar
Wiping off some carbohydrates from plate and including more proteins
Sugar-free natural sweetening agents which neither contains calories not cause any harmful side effects like development of tumors
Replacing table sugar with coconut sugar and raw organic honey
Limiting fruits with high glycemic index
Avoiding packaged juices, snacks, candies, soda, caffeinated drinks and so on
Exclusive tip – if some day you really feel like eating sweets and delicacies, then start your day with drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning.
This juice is so effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels that even if you eat a bit more sweets and calories, you will not be facing much trouble. This tip can benefit you as in India, often the number of traditional desserts is prepared in homes on festivals and ceremonies. Don’t sacrifice those joyous moments but remember you dare not to take any sweet eatables in excessive amounts. Little bit of sweet can be bearable with the effect of juice but situation will slip out of hand if you fail to control your temptations.
Now, coming on to a healthy diet for flourishing diabetes management. The most suitable foods during diabetes are those which are low in carbohydrates and high in fibers. It is clear to every diabetic that blood sugar levels only go high if the intake of carbohydrates in the body is high. If you are daunting enough to cut off sweet from your meals, your chances of getting into hyperglycemic conditions eventually become very low.
The carbohydrates are essential as they are the prime source of energy for the entire functions of the body. Therefore, the foods with la ow glycemic index are the real game players here. Being low in glycemic index means releasing sugar at a lower rate into the bloodstream when they are consumed. Further, protein-rich menu like pulses and beans will be a great choice.
Exercises that can help to maintain blood sugar readings within a safe range involve many forms from swift walking, cycling, running, swimming to short term workouts, yoga, and deep breathing.
Other health-favoring foods
Apple cider vinegar
Know more about healthy food choices for diabetes. Know about the best diabetic diet during pregnancy.
Gaining a natural control over blood sugar levels
Not only allopathic but also ayurvedic system has bestowed upon us numerous boons through the analysis of naturally available products. These products are endowing the potential to beat diabetes with no side effects and in a cost-effective way. The contribution of nature is really huge in offering a victorious solution to counteract over the atrocious rule of elevated blood sugar.
There is a wide array of herbs, spices, and leaves which naturally stimulate glucose levels of blood towards the normal and safer range. Many of them have inherited surplus quantities of antioxidants, fibers, vitamins and chemical compounds which enormously favor better diabetic health. Such are;
Read more about the miraculous properties of some remarkable leaves and spices.
The increase of diabetes at an alarming rate in present-day society has created the need for educating about it to more and more people. The disease is such a convoluted that many people fail to realize what all is happening with them and diabetes remains undiagnosed in them for years.
Initial symptoms are mild and hard to recognize, but once you notice any of them. Do not take it for granted at all. This can be you first clue indicating that medical attention is needed. The symptoms are many and you can experience any one or some of them. The causes are also countless. The disease can find it’s way up to you through any route. Our lifestyle had made it even more difficult to keep ourselves in safe zone. The only solution that seems practical is being watchful to blood sugar levels at regular intervals.
Either through visiting the nearby certified specialists or by getting home glucose monitoring kits. Even if things seems very entangled, there is atill always a way out of it. We are here to show you that way.
Knowledge is power. Having a basic knowledge about diabetes behavior within your body gives you the power to beat down this threatening disease.
Healthful eating is a cornerstone of diabetes management. In fact, it is so important that your doctor will probably refer you to a registered dietitian (a health professional who is an expert in diet and nutrition) or a diabetes educator (a health professional who is certified to teach people with diabetes how to manage it). The dietitian or diabetes educator will develop a meal plan adapted to your specific needs that also takes into consideration your lifestyle and the kinds of foods you like to eat. He or she will probably also consider your ethnic and cultural background when developing your meal plan.
One of the most important things you will learn is when and how to eat the right kinds of carbohydrates, because carbohydrates have the biggest effect on blood sugar levels. Your meal plan will also focus on controlling calories to help you lose weight if you are overweight. For many people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss and increased physical activity are the most effective ways to bring their glucose down to a healthy level and keep it there.
Your Meal Plan
When you have type 2 diabetes, the type and amount of food you eat and when you eat each affects your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels go up after eating. You should try to eat about the same amount of food at about the same time each day to keep your blood glucose near normal levels. If you eat a big dinner one day and a small dinner the next, your blood glucose levels may fluctuate too much. The following general eating guidelines can help you keep your blood glucose at a healthy level:
• Eat about the same amount of food every day. • Consume your meals and snacks at about the same times each day. • Don’t skip meals (or snacks if they have been recommended). • If you take diabetes medication, take it at the same time every day. • Exercise the same amount at about the same time each day.
There is no single diet that is right for everyone. Your doctor and dietitian or diabetes educator will develop a meal plan that is right for you. Consistent timing of your meals and snacks may not be as important as it is for someone with type 1 diabetes who is taking insulin, but keeping blood sugar levels near normal is just as important.
Carbohydrates are especially important because they have the biggest influence on blood glucose. Eat about the same amount of carbohydraterich foods at about the same time each day. Starches (such as wholegrain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta), fruits, milk, and starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes are all good sources of carbohydrates. Make sure your starches come from whole grains because they contain fiber and many other nutrients and are digested and absorbed by the body more slowly than refined starches, helping to keep blood glucose steady.
While carbohydrates are an important focus of your meal plan, protein and healthy fats are also important. Your dietitian or diabetes educator will carefully calculate the correct ratio of these nutrients. The typical recommendations are 45 to 65 percent of total calories from carbohydrates, 12 to 20 percent from protein, and less than 30 percent from fat (including healthy fats). Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend slightly different percentages for you.
How much of each type of food you need depends on how many calories you need each day to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
Avoid high-fat foods and sweets because they provide a lot of calories but few nutrients. To make sure your food servings are the right size, use measuring cups and spoons and a food scale. Keeping track of your calorie intake can help you keep your blood sugar at a steady level and can help you make adjustments for reaching weight goals.
To develop a meal plan that fits your needs, your dietitian or diabetes educator will ask you questions about your lifestyle and your personal food preferences. He or she can help you plan meals that include foods that are not only good for you but that are also familiar foods that you and your family like to eat. The biggest dangers for people with type 2 diabetes are cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Circulation problems also cause poor blood flow to the legs and feet. To prevent these problems, your dietitian or diabetes educator will teach you about hearthealthy eating that can help you reduce your risk for or avoid heart and blood vessel disease. Your meal plan will probably include the following recommendations:
Eat foods that are low in saturated fat and have no trans fats; no more than 7 to 10 percent of your total daily calorie intake should come from saturated fat. Buy prepared foods with less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.
Limit your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol, such as egg yolks. Consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day, or 200 milligrams if you have heart disease.
Don’t eat too much salt; buy reducedsodium or “no salt added”
prepared foods. Look for prepared foods with less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving or 5 percent of the “daily value” for sodium on the food label.
Consume 9 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day; whole fruits and vegetables are more nutritious and less calorie-dense than juices and dried fruit.
Boost your fiber intake by eating whole grains, dried beans (legumes), fruits, and vegetables.
Limit added sugars to less than 25 percent of your total daily calories. These sugars, which are added to foods (such as pastries, candy, and other sweets) and beverages (such as soft drinks and fruit drinks) during production, usually provide few nutrients but lots of calories.
Carbohydrates Are Key
The goal of your meal plan is to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible after and between meals. It is important to be aware of how much carbohydrate you are eating, because carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels. Careful carbohydrate planning to keep blood sugar balanced, combined with eating foods that are low in total, saturated, and trans fats, can help lower your heart disease risk and your risk of complications from diabetes.
Carbohydrates are supplied primarily by grains, starchy foods such corn and potatoes, fruit, and milk. Vegetables also have some carbohydrate content, but protein foods, oils, and fats contain very little carbohydrate. Always try to consume carbohydrates that are high in fiber because they are digested slowly and therefore tend to keep blood sugar levels more stable.
How much carbohydrate should you eat? The amount needed varies from person to person. Also important is the distribution of your carbohydrate intake throughout the day in both meals and snacks. Your doctor, dietitian, or diabetes educator will decide how much carbohydrate you should have at each meal or snack depending on your weight and height, activity level, age, and any medications you are taking. The results of tests for blood sugar and cholesterol and triglycerides will also influence your daily carbohydrate count recommendation.
To keep good control of your blood sugar levels, you will have to learn how to be consistent in the type, amount, and timing of the carbohydrates you eat throughout the day and from day to day. The two methods that people with diabetes use to keep track of their daily intake of carbohydrates and other nutrients are dietary exchanges and carbohydrate counting (see page 114).
Fiber and Blood Sugar Control
You should definitely consume a lot more highfiber foods. Fiber is especially beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes because it can help keep blood glucose levels steady. There are two types of fiber in the food you eat: water soluble and water insoluble. Neither type of fiber is digestible, but they both play an important role in your diet. Of the two types, soluble fiber has the strongest effect on blood sugar. Foods rich in soluble fiber are digested gradually, slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood. The result is smaller increases in blood sugar after eating.
Soluble fiber has another possible health benefit: reducing your risk of heart disease. It lowers total blood cholesterol as well as harmful LDL cholesterol by absorbing cholesterol from the bloodstream and excreting it as waste. Soluble fiber may also reduce the amount of cholesterol your liver produces.
Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include grains such as oat bran, oatmeal, barley, and rye; fruits such as blackberries, oranges, apples, and pears; beans and legumes (including kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, split peas, and soybeans); flaxseed; and psyllium (a grass found in some cereal products and breads, some dietary supplements, and some over-the-counter stool softeners and laxatives).
Doctors recommend that most people-including those without diabetes-get 20 to 40 grams of fiber every day. Up to age 50, the recommendation is up to 40 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women. After age 50, men are advised to consume 30 grams and women 20 grams daily (because people usually eat less as they get older). Children should have a daily fiber intake equal to their age plus 5 grams per day; for example, an 8-year-old child should eat 8 plus 5 grams, or 13 grams.
These figures may seem daunting, but you’ll find that it’s not so difficult if you add fiber to your diet gradually. Start by buying some highfiber breakfast cereals that contain whole grains or flaxseed. Prepare more fiber-rich dishes such as bean soups, stews, and casseroles. Toss some chickpeas or other beans into your salads. For a side dish, serve black-eyed peas instead of a starch such as potatoes or rice. And, of course, eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
The same foods that contain soluble fiber also supply insoluble fiber in varying amounts. Insoluble fiber increases stool bulk, speeds up the time it takes stool to travel through the intestines, and improves bowel regularity. At the same time, fiber may also reduce your risk of colon cancer, hemorrhoids, and digestive disorders.
You should be aware, however, that dietary fiber can influence the effect of some common medications. For example, a high fiber intake can lower the body’s absorption of cholesterol reducing medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, the heart medication digoxin, and lithium (prescribed for bipolar disorder). If you take any of these prescription medications, talk to your doctor before increasing your fiber intake.
The dietary exchange system was developed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association to help people with diabetes plan their meals to gain better control over their blood glucose levels. The system divides food into three main groups: carbohydrates, meat and meat substitutes, and fats. Each group contains a subgroup of foods that are similar in calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content to make the same foods in a list virtually interchangeable. For example, under carbohydrates, you’ll find that one fruit exchange supplies 15 grams of carbohydrates and about 60 calories. Fruits corresponding to one fruit exchange include 1 cup of blueberries, 1 small apple, or 1 medium peach. Under the meat exchanges category, one very lean meat exchange equals 7 grams of protein, 0 to 3 grams of fat, and 35 calories. For the very lean meat exchange, you can choose 1 ounce of chicken or turkey white meat with no skin, 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, or 2 egg whites.
A dietitian or diabetes educator develops a meal plan that contains a certain number of exchanges for each day depending on a person’s weight, height, age, medical history, and whether weight loss is part of the plan. Forty-five to 65 percent of total calorie intake each day should come from carbohydrates, your body’s main source of fuel.
Following is a chart showing the dietary exchanges that you can use to help you follow your meal plan and manage your diabetes. As you can see, choosing fat-free milk or very lean poultry instead of whole-fat milk and beef or pork cuts a lot of calories that you can save up for another meal or apply toward your weight-loss plan.
An alternative to the food exchanges method for managing food intake to regulate blood sugar is known as carbohydrate counting, which computes the grams of carbohydrates you consume throughout the day. The logic behind carb counting is that all carbohydrates-whether they’re nutritious foods such as whole grains and fruit or nonnutritious foods such as sugary soft drinks and candy-have a similar effect on blood sugar levels. For this reason, the total amount of carbohydrates is the most important factor, not the particular food.
With carb counting, you don’t have to figure out how each food corresponds to the traditional exchange meal plan; you just need to know how much carbohydrate it contains. Purchase a good pocket reference book or pamphlet that shows how many carbohydrates are in a serving of fresh or unpackaged foods such as produce. Using a food scale and measuring cups and spoons to measure food servings can help you learn to eyeball serving sizes (see page 119).
Counting carbohydrates can help make your carbohydrate intake more precise, leading to greater control of your blood glucose.
Counting the grams of carbohydrates you need each day makes it easy to plan meals because all you have to do is look at the nutrition label on a packaged food or the nutrient analysis box on a recipe to see how many grams of carbohydrates it contains. (Watch serving sizes so you don’t inadvertently consume more than one serving and miscalculate your carb count.) To simplify the task even more, many people count the carbohydrate content of one serving of starch, fruit, or milk as 15 grams.
Three servings of nonstarchy vegetables are also counted as 15 grams, and you don’t need to count one or two servings of nonstarchy vegetablesthey’re considered free carbs. Each meal or snack should supply a certain number of carbohydrate grams, according to your meal plan. Let’s say your meal-plan breakfast is supposed to have four servings of carbohydrates, which translates into 60 total grams of carbohydrates for that meal. Looking at your box of shredded wheat, you see that one serving contains 30 grams of carbohydrates (make sure you don’t exceed one serving).
One cup of milk adds another 15 grams, bringing your carb count to 45 grams. A small apple or pear adds another 15 grams, for a total of 60 grams. If you also eat a 2-ounce serving of cheese at breakfast, it will not add to your carbohydrate count because cheese contains little carbohydrate.
Another school of thought says that all carbohydrates are not created equal and that some that break down quickly in the intestine raise blood sugar too fast.
This ranking of carbohydrates is called the glycemic index, a system that rates carbohydrate foods by their effects on blood sugar. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly in the bloodstream have a high glycemic index; those that break down more slowly have a lower glycemic index. Eating lower-glycemic-index foods can result in a smaller rise in blood sugar after meals, the theory goes.
The following are examples of foods that are high on the glycemic index and, therefore, are thought to raise blood sugar levels quickly: • White rice
Pastas made from white flour
Examples of low-glycemic-index foods include:
Wholegrain breads and cereals
Oatmeal (not instant)
Cooked dried beans, peas, and lentils
Many doctors don’t consider the glycemic index an essential tool for helping people regulate their blood sugar because the body’s response to eating is much more complicated than the glycemic index suggests. For example, different people digest food at different rates, so a given food can make one person’s blood sugar level go up faster than that of another person. Also, your body’s blood sugar response to eating a food depends on such factors as the type of food, how much you consumed, how it was cooked or processed, and whether you ate fat or protein with it. Age and activity level also influence how a certain food can affect blood sugar.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Much chronic illness in the United States, including type 2 diabetes, is linked to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published jointly by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture, are designed to provide common-sense recommendations to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease through a balanced, varied diet and regular physical activity.
A basic premise of the Dietary Guidelines is that nutrients should be consumed primarily through food. Healthful foods contain a variety of nutrients that have beneficial effects on health. Fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing nutrients that might otherwise be consumed in insufficient amounts, but dietary supplements can never replace a healthy diet.
The Dietary Guidelines advise taking action to improve your health by following these nine recommendations:
Get adequate nutrients within your calorie needs. Choose a variety of high-nutrient foods and beverages. Limit your intake of foods containing saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugar, salt, and alcohol.
Manage your weight. To keep your weight within a healthy range, don’t regularly consume more calories than you expend each day. To prevent gradual weight gain as you age, increase your level of physical activity.
Get 30 to 90 minutes of physical activity each day. Perform 30 minutes of exercise to lower your risk of chronic disease, 60 minutes to prevent weight gain in adulthood, and 90 minutes to lose weight.
Include aerobic exercise to strengthen your heart, stretching exercises to increase flexibility, and resistance exercises for muscle strength.
Boost your intake of certain food groups. Each day, consume the equivalent of 2 cups of fruit and 2’/2 cups of vegetables for a 2,000calorie diet. Include plant foods from the dark green, orange, starch, and legume groups each week. At least half of your grain foods should come from whole grains. Consume 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or other dairy products a day.
Know your fats.
Maintain your saturated fat intake below 10 percent of total calories, and consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day. Keep trans fat consumption as low as possible.
Your total fat intake should range between 20 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated varieties.
Select lean meats and poultry and fat-free dairy products.
Be smart about carbohydrates. Boost your intake of fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t add sugar to foods and beverages. Consume sugar-containing foods and beverages infrequently.
Restrict sodium intake and get sufficient potassium. Limit your intake of salt to 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) per day; 1,500 mg if you are middle aged or older, have high blood pressure, or are African American. Increase your consumption of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables (such as bananas, oranges, greens, peas, and tomatoes).
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit alcohol consumption to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Don’t drink alcohol at all if you are alcoholic, pregnant, trying to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or a minor, or if you take medications that can interact with alcohol or you have certain medical conditions, such as liver disease.
Prepare and store food safely.
Wash your hands before and after preparing food. Wash all fruits and vegetables before preparing.
Keep raw foods separate from other foods while shopping for, preparing, or storing them.
Cook food thoroughly to kill dangerous microorganisms.
Avoid unpasteurized milk and juices; raw eggs; undercooked meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish; and raw sprouts.
Special Recommendations for Older Adults
Because older adults tend to eat less than younger people, many do not get sufficient amounts of some key vitamins, especially vitamin D (which maintains bone strength) and vitamin B12 (which maintains nerve function and oxygencarrying red blood cells). Some signs of vitamin 1312 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, and weight loss, and neurological changes such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, and poor memory. To prevent these problems and maintain bone strength, which tends to decrease with age, the FDA recommends that older people do the following:
Consume extra vitamin D from fortified foods (such as milk) or supplements.
Get enough vitamin B12 from fortified foods (such as breakfast cereals) or supplements.
Get regular exercise to reduce the decline in function that can come with age.
Special Recommendations for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy puts extra nutritional demands on a woman because her body is providing nutrients for the developing fetus. The following recommendations can help you stay healthy during your pregnancy and help ensure that your baby is born healthy:
Consume enough folic acid (a B vitamin) to prevent birth defects.
Get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity but avoid activities with a high risk for falls or abdominal injury.
Make sure you gain enough weight, as recommended by your doctor.
Special Recommendations for Children
Because lifestyle factors contribute to common chronic disorders, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the FDA is recommending that parents help children adopt healthy habits with the following recommendations. The focus is on helping children avoid becoming overweight, the most important step in preventing type 2 diabetes.
Get at least 1 hour of physical activity every day.
Avoid weight-loss diets (unless recommended by a doctor).
Instead, increase physical activity and limit highcalorie foods.
Don’t limit fat consumption until 2 years of age. Keep fat consumption between 30 and 35 percent for children between ages 2 and 3.
Give children ages 2 to 8 two cups per day of fat-free milk or dairy products; children over the age of 9 years should consume 3 cups.
Because carbohydrates, both simple and complex, have the biggest influence on blood sugar levels, it is important to keep track of the grams of carbohydrates you eat each day. But the type of carbohydrate you eat matters for a different reason. You should try to eat primarily nutrient-dense (“lowglycemic”) carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fat-free dairy products. Limit refined and processed (“high-glycemic”) carbohydratecontaining foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta made with white flour, and cookies and other sweets primarily because they pack a lot of calories but provide few other nutrients.
How Many Calories Do You Need?
It may be hard to figure out exactly how much you need to eat each day to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight. The number of calories you need each day depends on your gender, your body frame, how much you weigh, and how physically active you are. Your doctor, dietitian, or diabetes educator will tell you how many calories you need to consume each day, but as a general rule the following guidelines can be helpful.
Controlling Portion Sizes
Weighing and measuring foods with a food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons will help you eat just the right amount at each meal. The following tips can teach you how to eyeball serving sizes once you become familiar with a typical meal-plan serving:
Measure a serving of cooked pasta or rice or dry cereal into a bowl or plate. The next time you eat the same food, use the same bowl or plate and fill it to the same level.
Measure one serving of milk into a glass and see how high it fills the glass. Always drink milk out of the same size glass, filled to the same level.
One 3-ounce serving of meat or other protein is about the size of a deck of cards.
One ounce of meat or cheese is equivalent to the size of your thumb.
One teaspoon is about the size of the tip of your thumb.
One serving of starch is 1 slice of bread, 1 small potato, ‘/2 cup cooked breakfast cereal or 3/4 cup dry cereal, or 1 small (6-inch) tortilla.
The DASH Eating Plan
Developed by scientists from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is a sensible and proven way to lower blood pressure. Yes, you can actually reduce your blood pressure by following this diet, which is low in total fat, saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol; low in salt; and rich in fruits, vegetables, and fat-free dairy products.
At first, doctors could see that the DASH eating plan worked, but they did not understand how. Then researchers found that the diet appears to have the same effect on the body as diuretic medications (water pills) that help remove excess water the body retains. Diuretics are routinely prescribed for treating high blood pressure. Because sodium (salt) in foods tends to make the body retain water, the lowsodium component of the DASH diet may be a key factor in lowering blood pressure.
Blood pressure reductions often begin to appear two weeks after starting the DASH eating plan. Even people with normal blood pressure can reduce their blood pressure further under the plan.
The DASH diet is based on a 2,000calorie-a-day eating plan, so it is not strictly a weight-loss diet. But to reduce your calorie intake you can easily substitute lower-calorie foods for some that are recommended on the DASH diet.
This tactic, combined with a boost in your physical activity, can be enough to help you shed some of those unwanted pounds over time. For example, eating a medium apple instead of four shortbread cookies for dessert will augment your fruit intake while significantly reducing your calorie intake. The chart below shows the daily recommendations for a typical 2,000calorie DASH diet plan.
Adjust your servings per day according to your calorie intake.
The DASH diet provides evidence for the strong influence that dietary sodium can have on blood pressure. Most of the salt in your diet comes not from the salt shaker but from the sodium that food manufacturers add during processing. Most packaged and processed foods are laden with sodium. One cup of packaged rice pilaf or macaroni and cheese, for example, can contain about 600 milligrams of sodium, which is 25 percent of the 2,300-milligram recommended daily allowance. One tablespoon of reducedsodium soy sauce contains about 550 milligrams of sodium, or 23 percent of the daily allowance, while the same amount of regular soy sauce with twice the amount of sodium (1,100 milligrams) provides 46 percent of the daily sodium allowance.
Following are some processed foods that contain high amounts of sodium: • Canned vegetables
Frozen vegetables with sauce
Soy sauce and other condiments, such as ketchup and mustard • Processed cheese
Canned beans (rinsing the beans removes a lot of the salt) • Canned soups and broths
Ham and other smoked meats
Bologna and other sandwich meats
Some breakfast cereals
Reading Food Labels: A Healthy Habit
Reading food labels can help you choose foods that are better for you.
Labels on packaged food contain a section titled “Nutrition Facts,” which lists important information, such as:
Fat and cholesterol content
Sodium (salt) content
Total carbohydrate content and the amounts of fiber and sugar • Protein content
Some vitamins and minerals
The serving size and the number of servings in the package are the keys to the nutrient breakdown for that food. The size of the serving determines the number of calories and the content of all the other nutrients on the label. In other words, if the label says a food has 12 grams of total fat, it means 12 grams in one serving. If the package contains three servings and you consume them all in one sitting, you will have eaten 3 x 12 grams, or 36 grams of fat.
It’s especially important to check the fat, cholesterol, sugar, and sodium content. These are the nutrients that people often consume in excess. Make sure that foods you are thinking about buying contain minimal amounts of these nutrients. If the label says that the food contains trans fats, don’t buy it. Trans fats have been found to be the most harmful kind of dietary fat.
Now look at the fiber (which is part of the “total carbohydrate” count) and vitamin and mineral contents. These are nutrients you need to eat more of. On the right side of the label, you will see a column called “% Daily Value.” This column tells you whether a food is high or low in a particular nutrient so you can tell which nutrients contribute a lot or a little to your daily recommended allowance. For example, if you look at the label on a carton of milk, you will see that one serving supplies 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of calcium. Keep in mind that the percent daily values are based on recommendations for a 2,000calorie diet, so if your calorie allotment is higher or lower, you will need to adjust the percentage the given nutrient represents in your diet. For more about how to read food labels, see page 66.
Instead of always relying on convenience foods, buy fresh foods whenever you can, or buy reducedsodium or “no salt added” canned and processed foods.
Cook foods without adding salt. Instead, use herbs and spices to add flavor to the dishes you serve. You can find out exactly how much salt is contained in packaged foods by learning to read food labels. Look for foods with less than 140 milligrams per serving, or 5 percent of the “daily value” for sodium.
Diabetes is a consequence of many facets. It’s not compulsory that if a person is maintaining a lower carbohydrate intake, then he/she will not fall prone to diabetes in the future.
There are still numerous other factors that govern the onset of the disease. The most conspicuous reasons that have resulted in widespread of this disease is the frail lifestyle of people and unhealthy foodstuff with lack of exercise and meditation in the daily routine that altogether results in poorly maintained health.
In some cases, when a person is suffering from hypertension or high cholesterol, diabetes also comes into play ultimately because all these diseases are correlated with each other. In addition to this, prolonged stress and anxiety are also responsible for developing diabetic symptoms in people. Does it sound astonishing to you that even stress can cause diabetes? Then lend the few precious minutes of yours to know how and why this happens.
What actually is stress and how it is caused
Stress is a natural characteristic exhibited by the body in case of an emergency. Stress, as some people think, is not always harmful rather it becomes a necessity in times of danger and other challenging situations. Under such peril circumstances, the adrenal glands of our body release a group of hormones that prepares the body for flight, fight, and fear.
These hormones increase alertness, incite pupillary dilation, raising of hairs, sweating and induce various other methods for survival during those calamitous conditions. However, long term stress affects health in many unpleasant ways. People often suffer through anxiety and mental recession for diverse problems they come across.
This can be the death of a person they were closely attached to, losing a job, career uncertainty, financial crises, intolerance, tragic accidents, family issues and so on. Many people find it difficult to deal with anxiety and depression which prompts for the occurrence of many critical diseases including diabetes.
Sometimes, natural attributes also cause physical stress. To consider, aftereffects of pregnancy and childbirth, moving to a new place with a completely different atmosphere, preparing for tough exams or interviews and, waiting for particular outcomes are familiar factors. All such entities can be responsible for developing stress by affecting the mental health of a person significantly.
Additionally, our generation is exceedingly facing stress and mental illness due to social media platforms. Of course, no one posts their failures. Everyone predicts to be happy and pleased. Thereafter, we eventually think that we are the most unlucky ones with a life full of sadness and tears. Due to similar reasons, it becomes a matter of utmost concern to impart awareness regarding the mindful approaches to tackle anxiety and depression in times of negativity and related cases.
Correlation of stress and diabetes
Researches find that stress can considerably contribute to type 2 diabetes. Although in type 1 diabetes, both the effects can occur, that is, blood sugar can either increase or decrease depending upon genetic or hormonal makeup of a person. But with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels will only intensify as a result of stress.
It can also lead to depression and other mental trauma. Different possible explanations have been given to establish the relation between stress and diabetes but still many of them are unclear and conflicting. To be brief and exact, stress creates a kind of hormonal imbalances in the body that inhibit the release of insulin.
This makes glucose accumulate in the bloodstream surpassing the tolerance level. One of the most apparent reasons for hormonal imbalance being created in the body accounts for persistent stress and anxiety. People during such times get improper sleep and poor diet. Besides, they may indulge in social abuses like drug and alcohol consumption, sudden angry behavior, smoking and absence of healthy exercises.
All this greatly affects the immune responses of the body and leads to malfunctioning of the endocrine system which is responsible for the regulation of hormones throughout the body. The most important point to remember here is that insulin is a hormone too.
The hormone which plays a key role in glucose absorption by the body cells reducing it’s levels in the bloodstream. If hormonal imbalance occurs, then the activity of insulin is also affected and decreased. Immunity of body is weakened due to exceeding rates of dicarbonyls, a breakdown product of glucose metabolism which interferes with the infection-fighting peptide molecules of antibodies.
Cortisol hormone is released by the body of times of emergency situations to cope up with physical challenges that arrive. These hormones are involved mainly in carbohydrate metabolism therefore, stimulates more production of glucose in the body rising up the blood sugar levels. Abnormal hormone levels lead to obesity accompanied by an increase in the waist-hip ratio which is an important marker of being overweight. Obesity paves the threat for acquiring diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Stress also results in high cholesterol and blood pressure. Nevertheless, stress is not only the cause but also the consequence of diabetes as well. A person already diagnosed with diabetes can develop stress anxieties which furthermore increases blood sugar levels.
How will you know if you are really on the verge of depression and if you need immediate medical attention? Well, there are common symptoms you will experience that indicate your stress levels have risen beyond the safety margins. Feeling of sadness follows all the time, headache, social withdrawal, you don’t feel like talking to anyone, introverted nature turns on, mood swings become common, you may get involved in harmful practices and are likely to get irritated more often on mere things.
Sleeping patterns too get altered, you sleep either for a much longer time or there can be a lack of sleep as well. Digestive activity and immunity decline due to the dwindling of hormonal activities. The foremost thing you must do is to keep a check on your blood sugar levels. For this, make your logbook and note down the blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours with the help of home-based glucose monitors.
Compare your readings with the stress levels and find out of you can derive any similarity between your stress and blood sugar levels. Consult a doctor to get appropriate prescriptions. Your physician will generally perform a glycated hemoglobin test (HbA1c) to conclude the final results.
This test gives a clear overview of blood sugar levels over a period of preceding three months and therefore the results are fairly accurate. If readings come out to be somewhere between 5.8% to 6.5% and more, then you are in a danger zone. The most commonly preferred medicines are tranquilizers and antidepressants which are known to relieve all sorts of mental stress and pain to make a person relaxed with a feeling of well-being. Prozac, Savella, Paxil, and Celexa are some well known and effective antidepressants.
Someone has very rightfully said, “life is 10% of what happens with us and 90% of how we react to it”. Whatever happens is never in our hands, no matter how worst it was, we have to keep going because life never waits for anyone but overcoming the depression and distress is definitely in our own hands. After knowing how adverse can stress prove to be for our health, learning about stress management techniques becomes substantial.
One good thing amidst all the negativities we read till now is that there are enough powerful strategies and practices which can help us to reduce stress at it’s best.
Muscles get tensed and tightened due to continued stress. To cope up with such situations, relaxation exercises like deep breathing can help a lot. Swift walking or cycling for few minutes soothes up the mind shedding away all the negative vibes and burdens.
2. Yoga and meditation –
Practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis serve you with incredible health benefits. Some most effective poses are Eagle Pose, Standing Forward Fold, Child’s pose, and thunderbolt Pose. All these freshen up your mind and recharge your body with the awesome new energy which was deterioratingly used up by stress.
3. Writing down your thoughts –
One of the simplest ways to get rid of all the anxiety and distress is writing down all your thoughts on a piece of paper. This method is scientifically proven for treating depression and uncertainty. Try this out next time you are stuck between the war of thoughts hassling in your mind.
4. Time Management –
When it comes to adapting strategies for distressing yourself, time management is definitely one of the brilliant skills one must practice. Get everything well planned in ahead to avoid last-minute pressure. Remain stick to your to-do list without any procrastination. The more you delay, the workloads keep increasing causing you unnecessary havoc at the eleventh hour.
5. Herbal supplements –
These can be natural leaf extracts and herbal teas. It is a widely known fact that chamomile tea has the enormous potential to cure insomnia, a condition in which there is a complete lack of sleep mainly occurring due to depression and related reasons. This tea influence the functioning of cortisol hormone turning sleep cycles to normal and provide solacing effects to mind and heart.
6. Therapies –
Many institutions across the world offer wonderful massage and therapy services for people fighting with mental illness. Famous center “Yoga Bharata” in Mysore, India promotes knowledge and awareness on multiple methods for stress management. They teach about calming yoga practices including Ashtanga and Vinyasa. Also, they offer a variety of mind enriching body treatments integrated with spa, healing therapies, and masterstroke.
Here, you will also receive a unique message for which you are made to sit on special chairs with heartwarming music played in the backgrounds. Every year, people come here in the broad population seeking solutions for depression, weight loss, memory improvement, and stress management.
7. Aromatherapy –
Another extensive therapy is aromatherapy. “Aroma” means smell and hence this therapy makes use of sweet-smelling aromatic oils derived naturally from plants. Clove essential oils have analgesic effects and are natural pain killers. Lavender oil can do wonders for your body during the time of a depressed mental state. It enhances relaxation and sleeping and prevents migraine symptoms.
Lemmon essential oils and sandalwood do also have remarkable properties of lessening anxiety and tension along with alleviating headaches and irritation. These oils are gently applied as massage all over the body combined with olive or almond oil, (used as carrier oils). Oils can be inhaled directly as during a steam bath but they cannot be taken orally otherwise would impair vital organs like liver and kidney.
8. Talk with your trusted ones –
When you speak your heart out, your stress is ultimately wiped out. You can always share your thoughts with your parents irrespective of any trust issues. Always discuss openly your sufferings and traumas with your nearest acquaintances or else you might end up taking the wrong road and regret it later.
9. Listening to music –
It is a psychologically proven fact that listening to music every day reduces the chances of suffering from depression to about 60%. The music should be light and comfortable as of classical tones, and not the rock songs.
10. Don’t be ashamed to visit a psychiatrist –
Due to some stereotypes which unfortunately are still active in present-day society, a person is reluctant to approach a certified psychiatrist. The people need to understand that just like we visit a physician when the body is ill, similarly we need to visit a psychiatrist when our mind is ill. There is nothing to feel helpless about it.
Stress can be a cause of diabetes as well as the outcome of it. Also, stress and anxiety further lead to sleeping disorders, high cholesterol, risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. There are many things that contribute to the generation of mental trauma, most of them are uncontrollable. But one must know to deal with them successfully for leading a better life.
Many researchers supports the link between stress and diabetes. When the body is under the influence of prolonged stress, then blood sugar levels elevate apparently. Visit a doctor at the earliest to avoid severe troubles. Regular exercise is the key to a stress-free life. Physical health favors mental health. From now onwards, stop taking stress all the time and let go of things that hardly matters.
There is no need to sit and bother over everything. Health has to be prioritized above all. Do not focus on what you lost, instead emphasize on what is still left with you and improve your mental and physical health for the sake of rest good things which are still there with you.
If you ask for a one-word answer, then it has to be “yes”, a high intake of sugar can prove to be harmful in pregnancy. But wait, there’s a lot more to know about the consumption of sugar during pregnancy. Pregnancy triggers certain substantial changes in the body of a woman. Apart from nausea and vomiting, there are a lot of symptoms that come along.
When you are pregnant, tiredness and dizziness will accompany you the whole day. You might notice sudden hair fall, that huge number of strings of hairs entangled in the teeth of your comb. Most of the symptoms are normal and no stringent precautions are required to curb them, but as talking of sugar levels, you must be attentive towards carbohydrates utilization rate during the pregnant term. There is no doubt in saying that higher sugar levels during pregnancy can lead to undesired and devastating results.
Changes In Body During Pregnancy
Before we proceed further, you need to know about some usual changes which your body goes through. Some of these changes are necessary for carrying out a successful pregnancy. They assist the body to bear the developing baby and deal with the parturition process.
1. Hormonal changes –
Estrogen and progesterone are the two most important pregnancy hormones. These hormones secreted by ovary on females acquire their peak levels when pregnancy sets in. Estrogen is necessary for stimulating the contractions in the uterus while progesterone is required for maintaining the good health of both mother and child.
2. Development of mammary glands –
Mammary glands are groomed up well through various hormonal influences in order to boost the milk production for breastfeeding.
3. Increased metabolic rate –
A sudden increase in all the physiological processes is observed as a result of accelerated hormone secretion.
4. Pregnancy glow –
This happens as a result of increased blood circulation in the body.
5. Frequent urination –
You are most likely to experience this bt the end of the first trimester. This also a consequence of increased metabolic rate to some extent.
6. Vaginal changes –
You may observe mild bleeding and white discharge. The common experiences can be painful cramps which are more or less normal.
Why Is Sugar Dangerous During Pregnancy: All The Negative Impacts At A Glance
Sugars are obtained by the body in the form of carbohydrates. The food that we eat, like potatoes, rice, chapatis and so on, are a potent source of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates get broken down into simpler sugars by numerous enzymes to provide energy to our body.
Of course, we need sugars to fuel up our bodies. The energy to perform all the vital life processes is extracted through them. But when the amount of sugar to be consumed increases too much, then it will act as a driving cause for certain health risks.
If proper care of sugar intake amounts is neglected while pregnancy, then it may cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes further develops many complications during the delivery time.
This is when blood pressures are abnormally raised up during pregnancy. It is more likely to happen when blood sugar levels are high. This can affect vital organs like kidney, heart, and liver.
Fatty Liver Syndrome
This disease generally sprouts up during the third trimester. A diet exceedingly rich in glucose can cause fatty liver syndrome. Due to malfunctioning of fatty acid metabolism in mothers, liver cells acquire too much fat. Moreover, this can initiate several abnormalities in fetal liver too. Acute fatty liver symptoms are more common in first pregnancy or when the expectant woman is thin.
Constipation and Dehydration
The problems of constipation and bloating are usual during pregnancy. But inflated levels of glucose in the bloodstream for persistent time frame worsen the conditions. Dehydration can be a direct consequence of hiked up blood sugar levels. This can be prevented by drinking a plentiful amount of water. Water is indeed an elixir for people with elevated blood sugars.
Gaining body weight during pregnancy can be harmful in manifold ways. It opens the gateway to certain critical health issues.
Blood Sugar Spikes
If your input levels of glucose are increased beyond safe boundaries, then your blood glucose levels will rise up.
Fast foods and caffeine are primarily responsible for invoking heartburn related symptoms. Foods containing fatty acids can also cause similar symptoms.
Researches find that women with gestational diabetes have 42% more probability of having a child with autism. Not only this, but the cognitive development of the child is also hindered due to high sugar levels left unchecked during pregnancy.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is said to occur when your body unable to produce extra insulin required during pregnancy. The insulin hormone plays a key role in carbohydrate metabolism. It compels body cells to take up all the extra glucose and lessens its amount in the bloodstream.
In this way, it keeps a check on the blood glucose levels. Now, you can imagine that can happen when the body is incapable of producing a sufficient amount of insulin. Mostly, the body of pregnant women acquires the tendency to elicit more insulin production in order to cope up with the additional demands.
But in some cases, this may not happen. Such women whose body fails to boost up insulin production upon commencement of pregnancy undergo through the disorder of gestational diabetes. Moreover, because of the variation in hormonal levels and other changes, the body develops insulin resistance.
This means that cells cannot utilize insulin to an optimal extent even when it is being produced in the right amounts. Not to forget, chances of acquiring gestational diabetes are more in obese people than slim ones. Obesity can reasonably contribute to the advent of insulin resistance.
How To Prevent Gestational Diabetes
The positive side is that women with gestational diabetes can to have a normal delivery. It takes a little bit of extra effort to set everything into the right place.
When you are planning a child, make sure you are having a healthy weight.
If not so, then immediately switch on to the weight loss diet routine.
Don’t be feeble with your blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. Be watchful towards them with utmost precautions.
Visit your gynecologist regularly so that you are diagnosed at the earliest and avoid any upcoming problems handily.
Gestational diabetes is said to occur by the 24th week of pregnancy. You have a good time to get everything sorted.
If you find yourself in conditions that may favor gestational diabetes, instantly come up with rightful measures. You can take the help of the internet or consult your doctor regarding this.
Your doctor will check for gestational diabetes along with other prenatal tests.
Or else, you must prefer to go for an oral glucose tolerance test to assure that everything is well in control.
If you are prediabetic, your carbohydrates’ inputs need to be declined to the minimum limit possible for a risk-free pregnant term.
What To Avoid to Keep Blood Sugar Levels In Control During Pregnancy
Never go for artificial sweeteners while you are pregnant. Instead, opt for natural alternatives like coconut sugar and raw organic honey.
Caffeine is known to cause some bad impacts on the health of a growing fetus. Caffeinated coffee and cold drinks hinder the mental development of the baby and are responsible for low birth weight during delivery.
Alcohol can be the driving cause of miscarriage and stillbirths. Apart from this, the baby can suffer through facial disfigurement, mental deformities, and even heart-related defects.
Street foods can significantly pave the threat for developing gestational diabetes. They can result in the birth of an overweight child which in turn imposes long term health hazards on your child.
Raw milk often comes contaminated with numerous harmful bacteria that deteriorate your health. Before you consume milk in any form, make sure it is boiled for sufficient time to kill all the pathogenic agents.
Packaged Beverages and Bottled Juices
During pregnancy, even teeth and gums need special attention to protect them against enamel erosion. Furthermore, bottled juices come with extra added sugars and preservatives which are not at all a good choice. They just provide a large number of calories without any nutrition making you lethargic.
What To Adopt To Keep Blood Sugar levels In Control
Find healthy sugar alternatives
Natural fruits are an excellent source of natural sugars with ample calories that provide good nutrition. The fruits like mango, strawberry, apple, and pineapple can offer you immense benefits. Custard apple is another such fruit that is remarkably beneficial for both mother and fetus and helps to cope up with certain troubles arising during pregnancy. Avoid taking fruits in the morning when you are pregnant. It is not preferable during the term.
Vegetables And Whole Grains
Green leafy vegetables are the best thing to include in your diet. Whole grains contain healthy carbohydrates and not refined ones. They can help you to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
These are nothing but a living bacteria to boost up your health. They aid your digestion process without any side effects. Probiotics enhance carbohydrate metabolism and reduce the risk of preeclampsia to a fairly good extent.
One of the greatest sources of probiotics in day to day life is natural yogurt, made from dairy milk. But don’t add table sugar to it while eating. Its nutritional content will decrease by doing so, otherwise, it serves as a decent food choice for pregnant women.
Fibers offers multifarious health benefits. They deter obesity, regulate blood sugar levels and promote better digestion. Taking fiber-rich food along with your regular diet can prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.
Your body demands somewhat additional proteins to sustain the changes accompanying pregnancy. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to level up the proportion of proteins in your meals through pulses, dry fruits, milk, and eggs.
You don’t need to join big gyms or yoga classes for this. Just find a peaceful corner in your home. Place a mat there in the early morning or evening hours and perform simple deep breathing exercises.
While you are outdoors, you can try swift walking whenever possible. Besides, cycling and jogging for short distances along helps a lot. However, if you are really enthusiastic about fitness, you can join yoga classes especially meant for expectant mothers near your house.
Some Frequently Asked Questions Related With Sugar Levels In Pregnancy
Let’s have a quick sneak peek into the answers to the questions widely asked by most of the expectant mothers.
Q. Is eating sugar safe in Pregnancy?
Yes, you can eat sugar in pregnancy but to a limited range. You should completely avoid having foods that contain refined sugars. These can be processed snacks, packaged beverages, and caffeinated drinks.
Q. How much sugar is safe during pregnancy?
Normally, up to 30 grams of sugar is ideal during an expectant stage. For better clarity, you must get yourself diagnosed well regarding blood sugar levels, metabolic rates, and body weight.
Then decide your appropriate calorie levels accordingly. This is the best way to deal with sugar levels during pregnancy.
Q. How can excessive sugar harm the baby?
Extra sugar during gestational diabetes or other disorders crosses the placenta and entries the fetus’s blood. This causes increased insulin production in the fetus’s body. The size of the fetus grows larger than normal, the condition termed as macrosomia. This may require premature delivery or C-section delivery.
Q. Can I eat jaggery during pregnancy?
You can eat it in lesser amounts if you are perfectly healthy without any risk of developing diabetes.
But if you are prediabetic or diabetic, better to neglect it and keep it away from your plate.
Q. Are dates good for pregnancy?
Yes, dates are completely fine for pregnancy. Even though they are sweet, they don’t alter blood sugar levels. Besides, they aid healthy delivery by shortening the time of labor. But as it advised to limit sugar inputs in any form, be careful of the consumption amounts of dates too.
Q. Can high blood sugar in pregnancy lead to miscarriage?
No, high blood sugar levels in pregnancy are related to many health complications but no case of miscarriage due to hyperglycemia has been reported till date. However, both mental and physical development of your child can be disastrously affected.
There are enough facts and figures to exemplify that high levels of blood sugars are harmful during pregnancy duration. It also depends on the previous history of your health. Whether you are already diagnosed with any other disease or not. Many women can develop diabetes during pregnancy. Those who are obese with cumbersome body weight are even more likely to fall prone to it.
The conclusion that comes out is – the way to have a healthy pregnancy is by putting a limit on sugar consumption levels. Don’t follow all your cravings blindly as some of them might prove dangerous for your baby. Find a complete list of healthy menu and stick to it for the nine precious months.
The crux of the entire article is that sugar has to be limited in any form. Whether it is table sugar in your daily morning teas or refined undesired sugars in candies, both have their own health crises when consumed beyond secured lines.
The main causative factors are inadequate insulin production, improper response of body cells to insulin or both. It is forecasted that by 2025, it becomes 5.4%. There arises a need to take necessary interventions from the grass root level. From ancient period we have lot of traditional medicinal literature available.
Some are indigenous origin & not revealed to others. Owing to this, a lot of valuable medicines are left unidentified. Now, with the help of sophistication & technological advancement the medical benefits of anti-diabetic medicinal plants are brought into light.
Most of these anti-diabetic medicinal plants are vegetables & forms a part of our daily food. But lack of awareness & indulgence on chemical remedies reduces the popularity. From now, prioritize them in your menu so that you could prevent the progression of diabetes or onset of diabetes in future. Let us discuss some practical ways in which you can include these amazing herbs in your diet. It is simple yet significant.
Anti-diabetic medicinal plants are safer & adavantageous over chemical formulations because of no side effects & they are cost effective too. The best advantage is that they can be consumed as a preventive measure even before the disease manifests. It can be easily included in our daily diet.
Some of the plant families are well known for anti diabetic activity
Lot of anti-diabetic medicinal plants are reported to have anti diabetic activity. But in this context, for better understanding the best known anti-diabetic medicinal plants are introduced & discussed in detail. These anti-diabetic medicinal plants have other medical significances apart from diabetic control. But the core action is to alleviate Diabetes. Major researches are undergoing to identify the specific pharmacological actions. These herbs are used as single or in combination with other medicines. These can be also consumed as diet.
Anti-Diabetic Medicinal Plants & Their Action
Bitter gourd –
Commonly named Bitter melon. Botanically named as Momordica charantia, (M.charantia) belonging to Cucurbitaceae family is very popular among the indigenous populations of South America, East Africa, Carribean & India. This particular plant’s fruit is bitter in taste & its profound when ripe. This amazing plant is a climber, perennial, produces a knobble fruit which grows about 5m.
It is regarded as one of the effective remedy for diabetes. The fruit is commonly consumed as a vegetable. There so many delicious recipes made with the fruit. The anti-oxidant property in the plant is highly contributing to its medicinal value. It contains flavonoids, phenols etc that gives a bitter taste to the fruit.
Next question is why is it anti diabetic?
The active components like Charantin & polypeptide-p are identified to have very strong hypoglycemic properties (decrease blood glucose levels). Studies prove that Charantin alone can even replace diabetic treatments. Polypeptide-p is considered as a insulin of plant origin, as it mimics the human insulin in its functions. It is found very effective in Type 1 diabetes. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/)
Trigonella foenum-graecum belonging to Fabaceae family. This anti-diabetic medicinal plants is native to Europe & Western Asia. The seeds are said to have anti diabetic properties. The leaves can be consumed as a vegetable or as a cooked salad.
Anti diabetic action- The seeds lowers the sugar absorption in the body. The studies reveal that seeds consumption can lower the sugar levels. And it in turn increases the amount of insulin production. There are some risk related to its consumption.
High consumption can cause allergies too. Studies suggest that maintain a time gap in taking fenugreek, if you are consuming some other medications, because it interrupts the action of the medication. So needless to say that it’s a potent drug.
Allium sativum, Family – Alliaceae. If you are not a garlic lover, then you are not doing justice to your body. It’s a powerhouse of essential nutrients. Geographical distribution – Central Asia, Iran. It’s commonly a main ingredient of folk medicine. It has cardio protective properties with anti-diabetic properties which make garlic an essential ingredient in herbal formulations.
It arrests the progression of diabetes by anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant& anti glycative properties. Recent researches shows that the garlic extracts are a powerful source for reducing insulin resistance
The raw garlic has good blood sugar decreasing properties & also to prevent future secondary complications in diabetes affected individuals. In normal individuals it has a significant effect on maintain blood glucose levels. In diabetic patients, its reported to lower the secondary complications rather than anti diabetic action. It’s a substitute for antidiabetic chemical drugs as it contains Allicin, which promotes insulin production in beta cells. It is ideal to consume atleast 1 cloveof garlic in type 2 diabetes.
Commonly known as cow plant, botanically it is named as Gymnema sylvestre, belongs to Asclepiadaceae family. The anti-diabetic medicinal plants is a shrub & is native to Africa, Srilanka & India. It’s a climber – Commonly used part is leaves. The Gymnemic acid is the active component responsible in controlling diabetes.
There are reports of growing evidences of its quick action. It has a unique property to eliminate the ability to recognize sugar taste. It serves as a receptor to reduce the glucose absorption by intestines, there by regulating the blood glucose levels in the body. It is also called as ‘sugar destroyer’
Some of the reported side effects include that chewing the leaves makes tongue loses the ability to recognize sweet taste. It is contra indicated during pregnancy & lactation. When combined with other medicines, it produces best results.
Green Chireta –
is the common name; Latin name is Andrographis paniculata belongs to Acanthaceae family. It is herbaceous morphologically. Because of the strong bitterness, the plant is named as “Bitter king”. It is a well known herb in Chinese & Ayurveda medicine. Normally the whole plant is used for medicinal use. In addition to Diterpenes, It also comprises of flavones & lactones. Geographical distribution – India & Srilanka.
It has reported to have side effects like vomiting, rashes and headache if not taken under proper care. It has active constituents’ diterpenes. The glucose tolerance test showed drastic lowering of blood glucose levels by limiting the intestinal absorption of glucose.
Zingiber officinale, belonging to Zingiberaceae family is another well-known anti-diabetic herb. Gingerol, Zingiberol are the active constituents. Universally, ginger is accepted as the healthiest option among foods. Rhizome is the part used.
It reduces the fasting blood sugar & regulates the serum insulin level. It has reports of side effects like heartburn. It is consumed in different forms like fresh ginger, dry ginger powder, ginger oil. Ginger is an inevitable ingredient in non-vegetarian cooking, soups, cakes, candies in different parts of the world.
High precaution should be maintained when it is taken with other anti-diabetic medications, as it can lower the blood sugar drastically. Ginger water with lime is the commonest beverage used in Diabetes.
Aloe Vera –
Latin name is Aloe barbadensis, belonging to Liliaceae family. It is a perennial. The plant is commonly a native of Africa. It is a anti-diabetic medicinal plants of wonders with miraculous medicinal properties& greatly specified in Greek & Egyptian classics. From the ancient period almost 7000years ago, the plants medicinal properties have been of great significance. It’s action is diverse.
It has anti- hyper glycemic effect when given in combination with other anti-diabetic medicines. The additive effect of the herb is greatly being used in the treatment of chronic diabetic patients. The oral intake should be done under expert medical supervision. Common medicinal preparations include Aloe Vera juice, gel & paste. Adulterants are available in the market like black catechu, stones etc.
Olea europea L. belongs to Oleaceae family. It is said that extra virgin olive oil keeps the Diabetes away. The tall evergreen tree is widely used as a traditional medicine in Mediterranean& European countries. Leaves & the oil are mainly used. Extracts, powder or in the form of tea, it’s indicated orally.
Olive oil has reported to lower the blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic patients. It’s a fantastic ingredient in pizza recipes, salads with tuna also. Olive oil is used commonly as salad dressing too. Polyphenols like oleuropein are responsible for these medicinal properties. (https://dmsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13098-017-0254-9)
Ivy gourd –
Coccinia indica, belonging to Cucurbitaceae family commonly known as ivy gourd is yet another herbal remedy. It grows as a wild climber in India. The small elongated fruit is very popular vegetable in India. It’s very commonly cultivated in the vegetable garden. There are lots of studies going on regarding the action of Ivy gourd in controlling the Post-Prandial blood sugar. It is edible in the raw form also. It is an amazing blood purifier. So if we could include it in our daily intake, it can contribute so much to your health. The unripe fruit is stir fried, or used in curries. The leaves are used medicinally. It has the property to mimic the function of insulin. It is consumed by diabetic patients as raw fruit & also as boiled salads.
The magical herb is a great remedy for diabetes & other debilitating illnesses like cancer also. It is commonly called by the name lady’s finger. Botanically it is named as Abelmoschus esculentus belonging to Malvacea family. It’s a tall growing vegetable common in India, Caribbean& the Americas. It stabilizes the blood glucose level by lowering the intestinal absorption.
The superior insoluble fiber is the responsible component for this effect. The immature pods are consumed as a vegetable & recommended in making stews & fries. The okra seeds in grounded form are used as a coffee substitute. Studies shows that okra water is very effective in controlling gestational Diabetes in pregnant rats. From the reports it’s evident that consumption of the raw vegetable chopping in water & drinking the water next day has proven anti diabetic effects. In turkey, it’s a part of traditional medicine & consumed as okra roast.
What can you do?
Answer is very simple. Make a small vegetable garden with at least some of them. They are all easy to grow & maintain. Pick some fresh whenever you do your delicious cooking
Anti- Diabetic Salad
As we all know, “Prevention is better than cure”. Hope you got a better understanding of anti diabetic plants around you. Next is to make the best use of it. Let’s discuss some convenient ways to incorporate these wonder herbs in your diet.
This is a practical way to prevent Diabetes or arrest the progression of disease in future. Choose some of these plants, for example take some chopped Okra, Fenugreek leaves & Ivy gourd boil slightly to soften. Then season with ginger & garlic by stir frying in Olive oil. Cut pieces of olives can also be added to enhance the flavor. Eat this salad at least once in a week. This is a dietary medicine.
Drink for diabetes prevention
Chopped ginger (1 teaspoon) added with 4-5 fenugreek seeds in 2 cups of water, boil for 15 minutes. Cool it well & drink. This is a medicated tea.
We have discussed top 10 anti – diabetic plants here with description of their medical indications. Most of these are vegetables & can be easily accessible. Some interesting practical methods are also explained to utilize the medicinal value as salads or drinks. Apart from all these life style improvements are to be made if you are health conscious. Good exercise, balanced diet & Sound sleep are inevitable.
Make these amazing herbs universal by sharing this little piece of knowledge. Let’s have some of them planted in our home.
When it comes to diabetes management, reducing sugar intake is definitely the priority for every diabetic person. Diabetes requires life-long medication along with a rightful diet for strict monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Ever wondered what factors led to such a broad prevalence of this disease. The cause lie hidden in our own lifestyle – the food we eat, the habits we inculcate, the measures we take, and so on. Our diet contains the majority of carbohydrates with much low quantities of proteins and fibers. Now, this is something that tremendously favors diabetes-related crisis to occur.
India is the largest producer as well as consumer of rice all over the world. Our staple diet, that is, rice is itself higher in terms of glycemic index then how we can be so ignoring towards our blood glucose levels.
Each and every food comes with its own nutritional properties. Some of the properties fairly favor diabetic health while others might deteriorate it. For instance, a particular food may come loaded with abundant health benefits for various ailments but still can be unfit for diabetes.
Amidst many confusion that occurs regarding the preference of perfect food choice for diabetes, one such arises with Jaggery too. Is Jaggery good for diabetes? Why or why not? Is it as bad as table sugar or somewhere more worthwhile than it?
The queries are many but the answers can be unveiled by analyzing the nutritional profile of Jaggery. This article is all about making you familiar with the exact health impacts of Jaggery, also speculating its role during diabetes.
Nutritional composition of Jaggery
To conclude the health benefits of any food, we need to emphasize its nutritional data. Apart from carbohydrates, Jaggery is also loaded with multiple minerals crucial for several body functions. Some amount of vitamins are also present, particularly vitamin B6 and folates.
Below is the synopsis of nutritional evaluation of jaggery per 10 gram;
Calories – 38g
Carbohydrates – 9.8g
Proteins – 0.01g
Water – 0.4g
Niacin – 0.011g
Vitamin B6 – 0.004mg
Folates – 0.1mg
Calcium – 8mg
Iron – 0.3mg
Magnesium – 16 mg
Potassium – 13mg
Sodium – 3mg
Manganese – 0.01mg
Selenium – 0.12mcg
After the thorough analysis of nutritional information, researchers have listed some prominent efficacies of jaggery for better health.
How Is Jaggery Produced
Before pondering over the health-related influences of jaggery, we must get an insight into the process of jaggery production.
Jaggery is most commonly made from sugarcane sap. India is the largest producer of Jaggery in the world accounting for 70% of the total production across the globe. There are four basic steps involved in the manufacture of jaggery from sugarcane in large-scale factories;
1. Extraction –
Firstly, sugarcane is crushed between the rollers of the machine to obtain a substantial amount of juice.
2. Clarification –
Next, this freshly extracted juice is allowed to stand in large shallow vessels so that sediments are settled at the bottom leaving behind the clear liquid which is further filtered to get more clear and purified juice.
3. Concentration –
The clear juice is now placed in massive containers with a flat base. The juice is boiled for a couple of hours with constant stirring. This allows impurities to skim off leaving the yellow thickened mass in the containers.
4. Final –
finally, thickened mass or paste is transported to huge molds in which it is allowed to be cooled till it gets hardened forming a dark brown solid which is supplied to markets worldwide. The final product can be light brown sometimes pertaining to the quality of juice or a variety of harvested sugarcane.
Date palm jaggery
Jaggery made from date palm is also equally effective and sweet as the one made from sugarcane. For this, a freshly concentrated sap is tossed from a date palm tree in the early morning hours. This tree sap is laden with many health enriching vitamins and minerals.
How Is Jaggery better than Sugar
Even though the production of jaggery is subjected to intense boiling for a quite long time, yet it is enfolded with numerous minerals and some vitamins yielding countless benefits for health.
The residual molasses left in those large containers are poured into molds while the remaining sugar is further processed, crushed, ground into finer particles and crystallized to get a finishing spec. Certain other chemicals are added to make it more edible.
It is due to this further processing which sugar is made to go through, it loses all the healthy characteristics and does no good to the body except for providing lots of calories.
Jaggery As A Nourishing Wholesome Food
Jaggery, commonly called ‘gur’ in the Hindi language is a traditional sweetener and food supplement in Asian countries. From heartwarming gur ki roti to delightful gur halwa, every delicacy made with this nutritious Jaggery is just mouth-watering.
How can we forget famous Til Laddoo made in Indian households during the Lohri festival specifically in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. ‘Til’ here refers to sesame seeds which when mixed with dry fruits and jaggery make a tongue melting recipe one would crave for, restlessly to eat. Nevertheless, jaggery or ‘gur’ can be eaten raw as such.
Our ancestors knew the unparalleled benefits of eating jaggery during winters for long times. It aids in keeping the body warm. For the same reason, many people prefer adding jaggery in place of sugar while making tea during winters to save themselves from the strikes of chilling cold weather.
Health Benefits Of Jaggery
This wonderful naturally made sweetener offers multifarious health privileges. Despite undergoing through the boiling process for long hours, it tends to retain all the essential nutrients to a pretty appreciable extent.
Antioxidants present in it detoxifies the liver and boost up the immunity. Blood purification is another extended perk we receive. Being rich in iron, it enhances hemoglobin levels of our blood, thereby preventing anemia and other such diseases linked with iron deficiency.
It is the best natural medicine for winters to curb the problem of flu and cold. Zinc and Selenium help the body to fight infections. Surprisingly, jaggery is known to control body weight due to an apparent amount of potassium which is responsible for maintaining the electrolytic balance of the body and also reduces water retention in body cells.
It is a good source of energy for people who had recently recovered from a disease or encountered an accident. Properties like prevention of fatigue, weakness, and pain as well as increased metabolic efficiency are also exhibited.
Women must consume it during periods as it significantly reduces pain and menstrual cramps. In the case of irregular bowel movement, the condition termed as constipation, jaggery consumption is recommended. It leads to the activation of certain necessary digestive enzymes and being diuretic, it assists the regulation of water levels in the body.
It further aids digestion and relieves oxidative stress. Ayurvedic has unleashed and applied the intricate potential of Jaggery in the treatment of lung infections, sores, and bad throat, asthma, and migraines. It is also a good choice for people having high blood pressure as both key minerals – sodium and potassium, which influence blood pressure to enormous range are found in jaggery.
Some Disadvantages Of Eating Jaggery
Everything had two sides – a positive one and a negative one. Similarly, jaggery also brings undesired results when consumed excessively or under inappropriate health conditions. Eating a lot of jaggery is linked to weight gain and obesity.
This is contrary to the former fact that jaggery can result in weight loss. If taken in a considerable amount, it helps to keep the body weight under check. But as we know, going beyond the limits is always disastrous. The outcomes can be another way also.
Obviously, jaggery is mainly carbohydrate and contains plentiful calories which may lead to weight gain. In summers, eating jaggery can result in unusual nasal bleeding. This is probably due to the extreme heat generated in the body.
People with rheumatoid arthritis should strictly avoid taking jaggery in any form. It increases swelling even more under such conditions. Jaggery is completely the worst food to eat in case of ulcerative colitis. This disease affects bowel movement and causes infection of the digestive tract.
The large intestine is badly affected, particularly, colon and rectum. Jaggery consumption during this time can invoke the risk of developing colon cancer. The reasons for this are not so apparent.
Is Jaggery A Good Choice For Diabetes
There is a common misconception among diabetic people that jaggery can be safely replaced with table sugar. However, this is completely a wrong assertion. In spite of the fact that jaggery is more nutritious than sugar, it still fails to become a healthy choice for diabetes. The reason being that jaggery is also a food with a high glycemic index, having the same amount of carbohydrates as that of table sugar.
The jaggery contains about 65-75% sucrose and affects the physiological functions of the body in the same way as table sugar does. Continuous involvement of jaggery in a diet for a prolonged time can increase the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Even jaggery is rapidly absorbed and released into the bloodstream causing blood sugar spikes.
Therefore, jaggery is strongly prohibited to induce in your diabetic diet. You can definitely use jaggery as a sugar substitute if you are not suffering from diabetes or you are not at the risk of developing diabetes. But in case of ongoing diabetes, it is no less than a toxin. All other health benefits will fade way in front of those elevated blood sugar levels.
Some Safe Alternatives For Table Sugar
Don’t worry if you are diabetic and often have a craving for tasting sweet dishes. There are some reliable sweeteners that you can securely add to your meals.
Raw Organic Honey
Organic honey is indeed a very good sugar substitute for diabetes as it is nurtured with goodness of iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, vitamins along with fewer calories. All this makes it desirable for the consumption by diabetic people.
You can satiate your craving by turning in to coconut sugar instead of table sugar. This has a low glycemic index and contains powerful antioxidants as a bonus benefit.
It is a common household spice found in almost every kitchen of India. It time to unlock its true latency and fight diabetes in a healthy way. Cinnamon can apparently bring down blood sugar levels and ensure long term control over the same.
Natural sweetening agents
Natural sweeteners like Stevia are really a blessing for diabetic people. Extracted from the plant, Stevia rebaudiana, this sweetening agent is 30 times sweeter than sugar but with no carbohydrates and zero calories. Besides, it regulates blood pressure and exemplifies anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Artificial sweetening agents
Although, natural sweeteners are mostly given the first preference some safe widely renowned artificial sweeteners are also available at stores worldwide. Among the most popular ones is sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar but extremely low in calories.
This is marketed under the name of Splenda. Another widely known product is Sugar Twin which is nothing but saccharin. This too contains zero calories and is 500 times sweeter than common sugar.
One of the most effective and nourishing solution to eradicate the deprivation of sugar in your life is by eating more of diabetes-friendly fruits. Nothing can be more refreshing and energizing than fresh fruits. Apples and strawberries are perfect choices for diabetes. You can also eat up to two servings of mangoes a day. Eating mangoes in higher quantities can prove risky.
As we have seen, jaggery is a boon for the treatment of a wide array of diseases but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be a bain. It is entirely wrong to assume that jaggery can be a good substitute for sugar during diabetes.
There is no positive influence of jaggery over blood sugar levels. Their effects will be resembling those of table sugar. Rather, you must opt for natural sweeteners or if affordable, then artificial sweeteners can also work well. Moreover, jaggery does have some side effects too like any other substance.
It is better than before switching on to anything new, you must either consult a doctor or must take the help of authentic books and guides. In the case of confusion, never leap without having a second thought as most of the perceptions of yours can probably be just a myth.
If you are incapable of consulting a doctor at a moment or do not have any good book with you, always prefer keeping top-rated Android apps that contain appropriate diet charts for diabetes with proper and reliable information.
These are handy to keep and convenient to use. These applications designed specifically for you people can save you from unnecessary hassles by giving you accurate knowledge of particular food at the right time. When you will have the correct knowledge of the facts which will be exact and not just the busted myths, you will definitely able to get a good hold over the disease.
Not to forget, knowledge is power. The power is with you, utilize it at its best and you will be doing pretty fine at building up a successful diabetes management strategy.
To know if milk can be consumed in gestational diabetes, it is important to understand the concept of gestational diabetes.
Let us have a brief look on the mechanism of gestational diabetes :
Diabetes is the condition where there is high blood sugar levels in the body. Here the body either fails to produce enough insulin or fails to use the available Insulin thoroughly and efficiently for the normal functioning of the body. Insulin plays an effective role as it helps to absorb the glucose present in the bloodstream by the cells to produce energy for the proper functioning of the body. As in diabetes due to improper functioning of insulin the glucose gets accumulated in the body leading to risk factors .
Diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy is termed as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed by a glucose tolerance test. If gestational diabetes is untreated it could lead to many complications to the infant and to the maternal body.
Diagnosis of gestational diabetes is usually done in the later pregnancy .i.e. between the 24th week and 28th week of gestation. This is because the placenta starts producing more and more hormones that interfere with the mother’s insulin, that is making the maternal body insulin resistant.
Various factors raise the risk of a pregnant woman of developing gestational diabetes such as:
Family history of type 2 diabetes i.e. brother or sister having type 2 diabetes,
Over age of 25,
Baby who was stillborn
Baby weighing more than 4 kilograms or
Polycistric ovarian syndrome.
Accumulation of blood glucose in the body or untreated gestational diabetes can lead to :
Excessive birth weight of the baby,
The mother having low blood pressure after birth,
Baby having Jaundice after birth. Thus, it becomes important to pay extra attention to women with gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy the normal range of glucose level in the body is found to be either below 7.8mmol/D or less than 100mg/DL. Before fasting. Anything greater than 11.0mmol/D or greater than 149mg/DL is termed as gestational diabetes.
To maintain a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes a healthy and strict diet plays a key role in achieving a healthy and safe pregnancy, along with regular exercises as it can help reduce blood sugar. All the nutrients that are to be provided to the maternal body and infant should be through natural foods only and not processed.
During gestational diabetes it is very important to know what foods spike up the mothers blood sugar level, for this the blood sugar levels need to be monitored regularly before and after every meal, also it is wise to measure the portion of intake of meal and of all the contents present In the meal before consuming so as to know which food when consumed in which quantity rises the blood sugar levels in the maternal body, if the meal involves any such food that spike up the blood sugar level it is advisable to cut down that particular food or is to be substituted with other nutritious food.
One of the important question that arises is that :If milk can be consumed during gestational diabetes
Milk has it’s own nutritional value that benefits the maternal body and the infant during gestation but for a woman with gestational diabetes it is important to balance the carbohydrate intake throughout the gestation in order to have a healthy pregnancy, intake of carbohydrates should be taken in limited proportions so as to avoid rise in blood sugar levels .
The minimal grams of carbohydrates that can be consumed for a woman with gestational diabetes in a day is 30 to 45 grams for meals and 15 to 30g for snacks. Milk contains nearly 4.8grams of carbohydrates in the form of lactose, lactose is a natural sugar that provides energy to the body .
Therefore for a woman with gestational diabetes it is necessary to measure the carbohydrate intake throughout the day. One glass of milk sums up to nearly 15g of carbohydrates therefore if one glass of milk is to be consumed the rest carbohydrate intake is to be spread throughout the day, drinking too much milk at once can spike the blood glucose level instantly, therefore it is advisable to consume only one glass of milk per day balancing the intake of other carbohydrate content for the day.
It is also necessary to consume carbohydrates per day so as to provide energy to the body, therefore it is necessary to supply the body with its carbohydrate content. Depriving the body of carbohydrate is not advisable rather a balance needs to be maintained between, excessive carbohydrates intake that could spike up the glucose level in the body and between the carbohydrates intake required by the body.
The amount of intake of carbohydrates and the time of intake usually depends on various factors such as; how often you feel hungry, the intensity of your hunger i.e. how hunger you get, blood sugar levels in the body.
Every women’s body is different from the other. Therefore the diet and body type also effects the nutritional value and benefits of milk consumed from woman to woman. Also the rise In blood sugar on consumption of milk may also differ based on factors such as; age, weight medical history and previous pregnancies.
There are various types of milk in the market that can be consumed such as ; soy milk, skimmed milk. Whole milk can be substituted with soy milk or skimmed milk. Although the carb content is same in both skimmed milk and whole milk the fat content and calories content varies, whole milk contains more fat and calories when compared to skimmed milk.
Almond milk is not a carbohydrate source and can help to limit the carbohydrate intake at a particular meal. But it is necessary to pick the unsweetened varieties of these milk in the market to control the carbohydrate intake .
Completely cutting down of carbohydrates is not recommended because the body requires energy for the normal functioning rather selecting a meal with carbohydrate that does not spike up the blood glucose level, should be consumed along with combinations consisting of proteins and fat.
The pregnancy hormones are at its peak, increasing the resistance of insulin making it harder for the body to handle carbohydrate intake in the morning therefore, consumption of milk and other carbohydrate intake should be avoided in the morning and before bed.
Caffeine alone can slightly increase blood sugar level ,therefore coffee is not advisable.
For a woman without gestational diabetes two to three glasses of milk per day is beneficial for the developing infant and maternal body as it provides calcium which is beneficial for the maternal body but for a woman with gestational diabetes the same is not advisable, direct consumption of large quantity of milk at once can spike up the blood glucose level due to the carbohydrate content of milk also this can also exceed the limit of carbohydrate intake for the day.
It also recommended to replace foods with higher glycaemic index by food with lower glycaemic index, but eating of too much of food with low glycaemic index can also cause blood sugar levels to spike.
During gestational diabetes the intake of sugary foods and drinks rich in carbs have to be limited because these spike up blood sugar levels quickly. The carb content should be spread thoroughly throughout the day.
It is necessary to check on the fat intake too for a woman with gestational diabetes.
Although fats do not contain carbohydrates, they are very calorific so to manage the weight its wise to keep fat intake low. Hydrating the body efficiently at regular intervals is also very important as this to drains out the excess sugar present in the bloodstream.
Milk has its own nutritional value and is necessary for every woman to consume it during gestation as it is necessary for the right nourishment of the infant, but every women’s body type is different therefore the effects also differ.
To know if milk is safe for consumption for a women with gestational diabetes it is recommended to monitor the blood glucose level before drinking one glass of milk and 1 hour after drinking one glass of milk , one glass of milk contains nearly 15g of carb so if there is any instant rise in blood sugar it is advisable to meet an endocrinologist and obstetrician to avoid any complications.
But for a women with gestational diabetes drinking excessive milk is not advisable due its carbohydrate content as this could spike the glucose level in the body rather one glass of milk per day is considered to be safe and healthy for the infant and the maternal body to meet its daily need of carbohydrate and nourishment.
Diabetes is the condition where the blood sugar in the body is accumulated, here the hormone insulin fails to absorb the blood sugar in the bloodstream resulting in high concentration of blood sugar in the body. Glucose acts as a fuel in the human body for the normal functioning of it.
Diabetes can be a result of various factors:
Based on reasons of occurrence, diabetes can be classified into:
In this, one’s own immune starts destroying the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. This could be either due to influence of virus or other genetic factors. Type1 diabetes comes under the list of autoimmune diseases. Type1 diabetes is usually not under one’s own control .i.e. it cant be prevented
In this either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to absorb the blood sugar present in the bloodstream or fails to utilise the available insulin thoroughly and effectively or in other words the body becomes insulin resistant. Type2 diabetes can be a result of lifestyle factors or genetic factors and obesity. Type2 diabetes can be prevented if opted for a healthy living.
Prediabetes is a condition where the level of blood sugar in the body is high but not sufficiently high enough to be diagnosed as type2 diabetes. Diabetes can hit anyone at any stage of life, but on a positive note it can be controlled by following a healthy diet routine, and exercises.
A healthy diet routine mainly focuses on a meal rich in proteins, fibers and with a low carb content. Planning the proper intake of carb is the key to control spikes in blood sugar levels and to prevent risk factors associated with diabetes such as heart diseases and stroke.
The minimum carb intake recommended for a diabetic patient is 45g to 65g for a meal and nearly 15g to 30g for snacks. A diet involving 20 to 50 g of carb intake can, not only help to achieve low blood sugar levels but also reduce the risks of heart diseases.
Carbohydrates can mainly be of two types:
1. Simple carb and
2. Complex Carb
Simple carbs are broken down quickly and digested easily by the body, this could spike up blood sugar levels in the body immediately, while on the other hand, Complex carbs take more time to be digested by the body when compared to simple carb, although both simple and complex carb are converted to glucose to be used as fuel for the functioning of the body.
Thus, complex carbs are advisable for a diabetic patient as this does not spike up blood glucose as much as in case of simple carbs. Also complex carbs keeps the body energised for a longer period, this makes the person to feel full for a longer time. Vegetables are known for their nutritional benefits. One among them is cucumber.
Cucumber for a diabetic patient??
Cucumber Seeds are known to be rich in a wide range of phytonutrients, that includes both carotenoids and flavonoids.
Benefits of carotenoids to human health:
They protect the body from diseases and enhances the immune system.
Benefits of flavonoids to human health:
Flavonoids reduce many of the risk factors associated with diabetes such as heart diseases, stroke etc. Cucumbers also help to reduce the problems related to regulation of high blood sugar levels. Prolonged high blood sugar levels in the body can lead to excessive production of reactive oxygen species(ROS) and reactive carbonyl species(RCS)
An increase in the production of reactive oxygen species can damage the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid ) and
RNA( ribonucleic acid) or result in cell death.
An increase in the production of reactive carbonyl species results in pathological disorder or accelerates aging.
Consumption of cucumber controls the overproduction of both ROS and RCS. Cucumber is rich in water content and contains nearly 95% of water.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important step in diabetes to prevent accumulation of glucose in the body .i.e. water drains out the excess blood sugar from the body, high level of blood sugar can increase the risk of dehydration to a diabetic patient.
Prolonged Dehydration in a diabetic patient can lead to kidney damage or can cause nerve damage. Also hydration can result in weight loss, which in turn again reduces the chance of acquiring diabetes due to obesity
Cucumber is nutritionally beneficial as it contains nutrients like potassium and magnesium that keeps the body hydrated. For a diabetic too much of starch intake can spike up the blood sugar level instantly therefore opting for food with no starch or less starch content is advisable
Cucumber is a non starchy vegetable thus, consumption of it in any quantity does not spike up the blood sugar level in the body. Foods with high glycaemic index is not recommended for a diabetic patient as it spikes the blood sugar levels.
A food with low glycaemic index is recommended for a diabetic patient. Any food with glycaemic index less than 55 is considered as low . Foods with low glycaemic index are slowly digested and absorbed thus not causing spikes in blood sugar level.
The glycaemic index of cucumber is 15, therefore intake of cucumber is beneficial to a diabetic patient as it does not spike up the blood sugar level.
Cucumber is low in carb content, one glass of freshly chopped cucumber contains nearly 4g of carbohydrate therefore, consumption of cucumber is highly advisable.
Cucumber contains a profitable amount of fiber nearly 2 to 3%. It Contains profitable amount of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of blood sugar thus, improvises the blood sugar levels, while The insoluble fiber reduces the risk of developing type2 diabetes, this can be a boon for people with Prediabetes.
Cucumber is diabetic friendly.
Salads are a great snack to munch on for a diabetic patient. Especially a salad that contains vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, and tomatoes. To maximize the benefits of cucumber, it should be consumed unpeeled.
Cucumber peel and seeds are the most nutritional part of a cucumber. A peeled cucumber loses some of its nutritional value. Cucumber peel is in rich in dietary fibres, which again, improvises the blood sugar levels in the body.
As far as the cucumber is organic .i.e. free of pesticides. It is highly advisable to consume unpeeled cucumbers. Peeling a cucumber peels of its nutritional value as well.
Therefore cucumber turns out to be a boon to people with diabetes . Cucumber can be consumed without any fear of spikes in blood sugar levels, rather cucumber reverses the risks associated with diabetes.
Thus, intake of cucumber in daily basis improvises the regulation of blood glucose and also reduces the risks related to diabetes. The nutritional value of cucumber is beneficial and is recommended to all types of diabetic patients.
Diseases are the bi-product of our lifestyle changes. There is an alarming sign that we see a lot of Diabetic patients around us, likewise other disease conditions also. Talking about diabetes, we cannot exclude the term, Glycemic Index.
In simple words, the Glycemic index can be explained as the measurement of glucose release after the intake of carbohydrate-containing food. In other words, it is a carbohydrate ranking based on its impact on blood glucose levels. This is necessary to determine the type of food taken on a daily basis.
The GI helps the health consultants, doctors, nutritionists to design a specialized menu for persons with diabetes or other specific illnesses. This allows them to include the necessary nutrients & also limiting disease-causing dietary factors.
As flours form the basic ingredients of breakfasts like pancakes, different breads, cakes, wraps, pizza & what not?
GI is a very efficient tool in understanding the safe intake of our favorite foods. In India, the southern part is more known to use rice flour & white flour-based or Maida recipes. This includes white rice flour or brown rice flour. Most of the traditional or authentic foods are flour-based like chapatti, rotis, naan, etc.
What about the rest of the world population? Pasta, noodles, spaghetti etc are members of the same flour family. In different parts of the world, people rely mostly on flour-based staple foods. For this reason, it is relevant to estimate the GI of food items more on a preventive basis. More & more studies are done as the food culture is changing day by day. People are interested in exploring the variety of foods, unlike olden days.
The food chains are also creating a great market for rising demands & to attract more & more customers. Health is always compromised for pleasure.
According to the Glycemic Index Foundation, there are roughly three classes:
For a full day diet, the glycemic indices are as follows;
Above 60 onwards, it is high. Range value of 46-59 is medium & last but not least, below 45 is low. According to other experts, 70-100, it’s categorized under high GI, 1-55 as low, 56-69 as middle range.
This makes the topic of discussion more clear. Let’s discuss some of the commonest flours. It is very important to know the uses of the flour when analyzing the glycemic index. The flour when undergone processing or when transformed into various food items, the glycemic indices also varies. So we have to be more aware of the processing or the end food product that finally goes to our stomach.
The ground soya beans are a rich source of plant protein. It also contains dietary fiber, minerals as well as vitamins. This flour is used to thicken curries, & in baking to a wide extend. So many delicious dishes are prepared from the same. The Glycemic index is around 25 which falls in the low category, but there are possibilities for raising sugar levels.
This greatly depends upon the product we make out of the flour. This is very important for female health also. Soya is found to have phytoestrogens, which has cardiac protective properties. Usually for women, after menopause, it’s a good choice to include in their diet. As per the South African glycemic index foundation, the GI of soy flour is <20 for the I cup unit. The total carbohydrate is 16 grams. The net content is 10grams, this is for a half cup flour.
Common flour we use daily. This is an abundant source of protein & plant fiber. The consistency itself defines the nutrient contents. It forms the main ingredient in snacks. Pizza crusts, nuggets or pakodas taste rich if made using chickpea flour. The flour is used in sauces & soups to thicken.
The glycemic index is around 44. As per SA GI Foundation, GI for 1 cup unit is <40 precisely. The total carbohydrate content is 34.1grams. The net content is 30.1grams for a half cup flour
Whole wheat flour–
It contains GI around 69, medium value. This contains fiber. It’s the main ingredient in cookies, pastries exclusively for diabetic persons.
It’s also the best substitute when making bread or rotis of any kind. This can be used as per your choice when planning your menu. It can give whole grain to your body, total carbohydrate is 54grams, and net content is 44grams for a half cup.
It contains whole grain with a lot of protein & fiber content. The GI is relatively very high up to 85. It is white & used widely in baking muffins, cupcakes. It also contains a good amount of vitamins & minerals. It is always healthy to substitute some portion of whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour during baking or making Rotis.
White rice flour–
This flour is a common ingredient in South Indian cuisines. The breakfast menu mostly comprises of rice flour dishes. The GI is around 72, which is high. It contains carbohydrates mainly. Most commonly dosas or pancakes are the main recipes. There are also steamed rice cakes made with this flour. The GI for 1 cup unit is<40. The total carbohydrate is 63.3grams, net content being 62grams for a half cup.
Tapioca or cassava flour-
This is mainly used for thickening sauces & gravies. It’s also widely used as a coating in fried snacks because of its crunchiness. In South American cuisine, it’s used in preparing juices to enhance thick rich consistency.
The GI is around 67- in mid-range to high. It is used in baking to enhance softness. The total carbohydrate content is 56.4grams; net content is 54.2 grams for half cup flour. This can be a healthy choice when making steam cakes instead of using rice flour. We can make our favorite drinks by adding fresh fruits. Puddings are also another delicacy.
Brown rice flour–
It contains vitamins & minerals. The GI is in range of 62, middle range. For 1 cup unit contains GI <40. The total carbohydrate content is 60.4grams; net carbohydrate content is 56.8grams for half cup flour.
The golden brown color of the flour can be utilized effectively if used as baking flour for cupcakes along with the common flours. It contains an abundant amount of B vitamins & minerals. Rice cakes can be made by mixing more brown flour with less white flour. It gives a healthy & rich flavor.
Jowar or Sorghum flour–
The Glycemic index of Jowar is scientifically calculated as 62 for the whole sorghum floor & 64 for pearled sorghum. The burgundy sorghum flour is found to have GI – 66, & Whole grain White sorghum flour is found to have GI to a range of 70. It is free of gluten & contains large amounts of protein & fiber. This is used in baking in preparing crusts for pies, cakes, bread, etc.
Ragi /finger millet flour–
This is commonly known by the name millet flour. For 1 cup unit, the GI is <40. It is a powerhouse of vitamins & minerals with fiber. While other millets such as foxtail, little, finger & pearl fall in the range of 54- 68. It falls in the mid to high range.
Ragi flour when transformed or processed into different foods can elevate blood sugar. So it has to be taken with caution.
Factors affecting GI
The biological constitution of the person is a major factor. Every person’s biological responses differ to same foods. The consumption rate is another important parameter. The amount of food consumed at a particular time varies. The composition of nutrients in the food. The processing has undergone also has a great impact on GI. The glycemic index is directly related to the net carbohydrate content & fiber content. Higher carb- low fiber-high GI.
Can you believe this?
Now let’s see something very interesting. GI value Zero is something that we look forward. Introducing some flours with GI, zero. They are Flaxseed, Walnut flour, and Almond flour
Flours like walnut & almond flour are high in plant fiber & recommended when you initiate a meal menu for weight management or diabetes. These can be used in baking, pancakes, or in salads to add crunchiness without fear. They have good lipids or fats. They are expensive though.
Flaxseed flour is a reservoir of good fat. They enhance the beauty in a person by strengthening nails, complexion to the skin enhances hair growth too.
These are made by crushing oats in a blender. Its mainly used in cookies, oats dosa, pancakes, oat nuggets with veggies, or minced (ground) meat. Normally it’s taken in a grain form as a drink or as porridge.
But you can also make these delicious items with oat flour. Substituting oat flour is yet another choice for baking making it double crunchy. It has a safe GI of 44 with total carb- 34grams & net carb-30grams- half cup. It is highly recommended flour as a meal planner & also for the disease-specific menu.
It has become common nowadays, due to the availability in local stores & markets. It has a low GI of 51 with total carb being 38grams& net carb 28grams. Researches prove that it is ideal for diabetes.
Once in a while try coconut flour for some amazing recipes, you won’t regret it. The flavor is so unique as well as delicious. Unlike other flours, it possesses a good aroma & economical also. Don’t forget to add to your healthy menu from today!
This is the fine ground corn with bran & endosperms, containing good fiber in flours. They contain GI 70; can be categorized under the middle range, closer to higher. A lot of healthy recipes are made by adding other ingredients.
In Latin American countries, they make snacks out of it. They are steamed to make delicious cakes wrapped in corn leaves known as humitas flavored with raisins & nuts. They blend corn & make a batter to make healthy pancakes also. Sometimes they stuff vegetables or meat within the steamed cakes. These are unique delicacies that we can try out & treat others.
Barley whole grain is a common cereal. Flour is made by grinding the grain. The GI lies between 53-66- middle range. It contains 55grams total carb & 48grams net carb. This can be used as base flour for making rolls, cakes, and sheets.
This also can be an alternative to the common flours we use today for baking our favorite foods. This is very effective to increase urinary output & hence to remove fluid retention in our body. In short, it clears the channels of the body by enhancing waste removal. So if you love to be healthy, add this to your menu from today.
The GI value is 44, which is in low range. It has a total carb 61 grams & net carb of 57grams. The yellow color of the flour itself makes it attractive. It can be used as pizza crusts or crusts for pies. Healthy desserts can also be made by adding your favorite fruits & nuts. Pancakes are also healthy choices.
Crunch bars topped with dried apricots or nuts are the best breakfast choices. These are some of the practical ways in which you can include such healthy ingredients to your daily menu.
Flours when transformed into sourdough reduce the Glycemic index. This method is more reliable for healthy baking
All these flour with the glycemic index values gives us better know-how of how much sugar goes into our body. This analysis has to be made to adjust or tailor our food habits & reduce the chance of any forthcoming diseases. All these flours form the common ingredient of our daily foods either in the form of breakfast or lunch or snacks. The Glycemic index is very relevant when talking about Diabetes. Most of us wish to prevent or arrest the further progression of the existing disease. This simple information can give good insights for your healthy life.