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.
Here are 3 Highly Recommended Books for effective control of your Diabetes
1. The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally – Dr. Jason Fung
The must-have guide to reversing and preventing type 2 diabetes through intermittent fasting and a low-carb, high-fat diet—from Dr. Jason Fung, internationally best selling author of The Obesity Code
2. The Complete Diabetes Cookbook: The Healthy Way to Eat the Foods You Love
Take control of managing diabetes with 400-plus healthy and creative diabetes-friendly recipes.
3. Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating
It’s hard to find more sound and concise nutritional advice, applicable to absolutely everyone. Coming from a reputable medical doctor who has become a specialist in nutrition.
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 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.