With the ever growing diabetic population, especially in developing countries like India, many diabetic products hits the market every day targeting these diabetic individuals. So, little careful consideration is needed while opting for any foods for a diabetic individual as our Indian diet is mostly dominated by carbohydrates.
Foods which are mostly less in sugars and fats and more in protein and fibers are healthy diets for diabetes. A balanced healthy diet is absolutely necessary for every individual for their long healthy lifespan. This includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat and foods with low fats and sugars.
Myths and Facts about Diabetes and Diet
- Avoid Sugar
- Cut Down Carbs
- Eat specific Diabetic meals
- Prefer High Protein Diet
- Healthy fats from flax seeds, olive oil, fish oils, raw nuts, whole milk dairy, or avocados
- Fish and shellfish, free-range chicken or turkey organic food
- High-fiber cereals and bread made from whole grains or legumes
- Vegetables and Fruits—ideally fresh, the more colorful the better; whole fruit rather than juices
- High-quality protein such as cheese, milk, beans, eggs and unsweetened yogurt
- Deep-fried foods
- Processed meat and red meat from animals fed with antibiotics, growth hormones, and GMO feed
- White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice
- Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, chips, sweets, baked goods, , desserts etc
- Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt
Prefer High-Fiber Food, Slow-Release Carbs
Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levels than fats and proteins—So you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, packaged meals, pasta and rice, as well as soda, candy, and snack foods. Focus on high-fiber complex carbohydrates—also known as slow-release carbs.
Be Cautious about Sweets
Maintaining a diabetic diet doesn’t mean eliminating sugar altogether, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then.
- Hold the Bread: Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.
- Prefer to Eat Sweets with a Meal: Don’t take sweets alone. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar won’t rise as rapidly.
- Add Some Healthy Fat to Your Dessert: Choose healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts which slow down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly.
Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar
- Avoid Alcohol: Better to avoid alcoholic drinks including beer, wine and cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Drink only with food and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication.
- Prefer Home-made Food: Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.
- Avoid Soft Drinks: Reduce soft drinks, soda and juice. For each 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage increases diabetes by about 15 percent. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.
- Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.
Choose Fats Wisely
Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits, so it’s important to choose fats
Ways to Reduce Unhealthy Fats and Add Healthy Fats:
- Avoid saturated fat from processed meats and packaged meals
- Instead of frying, choose to boil, bake, or stir-fry
- If you choose to eat red meat, try to look for “organic” and “grass-fed”.
- Use coconut oil for stovetop cooking.
- Add avocados to sandwiches and salads.
- Commercial salad dressings are often high in calories and trans fat so creates your own with extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.
- Choose organic or raw milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt when possible
Eat Regularly and Keep a Food Diary
Most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat helps you to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half.
- Eat at Regularly Intervals: Your body is better at regulating blood sugar levels—and weight—when you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal.
- Eat Regular Small Meals—up to 6 per Day: Eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.
- Start Your Day Off with a Good Breakfast: It will provide energy as well as steady blood sugar levels.
- Keep Calorie Intake the Same: To regulate blood sugar levels, try to eat roughly the same amount every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal.