Too sweet to handle
We require energy for carrying out our daily activities. Our stomach and intestines digest the carbohydrate consumed in our daily diet into sugar called glucose, the body’s main source of energy. After digestion, glucose level in the blood increases. If blood glucose rises beyond 180 mg/100 ml, it is excreted in urine. Normally insulin, the principal hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, helps to utilize the glucose for the production of energy by the body. It stimulates cells to take up glucose maintaining its level within certain limits. In diabetes either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or what is produced is not efficiently used by the body for effectively controlling blood glucose affecting the metabolism of several nutrients with varying ill-effects. However with modern management, patients can remain symptom free and maintain good health.
Diabetic diet need not be a complete deviation from the normal diet.
The nutritional requirements of a diabetic are same as in the non diabetic. Normal Indian diets are generally high in carbohydrates and low in fat, with carbohydrates providing 60-65 % and fat providing 15-25 % of total calories. The rest is derived from proteins. Thus even a normal diet is ideal for a diabetic. However the nutrient intake has to be tailor made to the individual based on age, gender, weight, height, physical activity, physiological needs of the patient.
Check out these ten tips to keep your diabetes in check:
- Maintain a healthy body fat percentage and maintain blood sugar levels.
- Evenly space meals ( every 3 -4 hours is ideal).
- Avoid or minimize alcohol intake ( less than five drinks a week).
- Eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains: jowar, bajra, nachni, quinoa, barley, oats, dalia (broken wheat), brown rice and avoid processed foods like maida. Complex carbohydrates help in slow and steady release of sugar and energy needed by the body.
- Eat lean protein like skim milk and skim milk products, egg whites, chicken and fish. Proteins should be provided in adequate amounts to maintain normal body composition ( keeping in check the weight) and prevent depletion of lean tissues mass. Eat protein rich food in every meal
- Adequate amount of fibre in the form of whole grains, pulses, fruits, veggies and salads must be provided to help lower blood sugar and keep blood cholesterol in check
- Exercise at least 3-5 hours a week (a combination of resistance exercise and aerobic exercise is ideal). Exercise helps in insulin sensitivity.
- Eat foods containing omega-3 fats like Have omega fish, soyabean, walnuts, flaxseed, green leafy vegetables, fenugreek seeds and spirulina. These again help in better insulin sensitivity.
- Avoid sugar, salt and fat foods: One can make use of spices and condiments in order to enhance flavouring instead of using more salt. Salt can be replaced by spices like black pepper, chillies, herbs like basil, celery, parsley, oregano and condiments like vinegar, mustard. Stevia can be used instead of sugar for a sweet flavour substitute. Fried foods should be completely avoided for Diabetics.
- Eat wisely at social gatherings.
The most important thing is to have confidence and being diligent in choosing the right foods. Self-restraint is a virtue.
- Select foods that are plainly cooked without too much oil (fried) and choose steamed, grilled or tandoor food items.
- Avoid heavy sauces.
- Avoid refined foods; choose whole grain options mentioned above.
- Avoid rich gravies, for example; in chicken curry, eat the chicken pieces and leave the curry.
- Ensure good amount of salads.
- Choose a fruit salad over a dessert.
- If need to; share the dessert or stick to 3 bite rule Source India times