Contributed by- Aanchal Gaur, Nutritionist
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic disease affecting a huge population worldwide. Our unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary habits worsen the situation. People suffering from diabetes have to be really cautious about what they eat, as anything they eat can have a drastic effect on their bodies.
Diabetes is a medical condition that affects the blood glucose level in the body and can be differentiated into two heads:
Type 1 diabetes– It is an autoimmune disorder that affects insulin production in the body, the immune system attacks the beta cells of the pancreas and gradually destroys the ability of insulin production.
Type 2 diabetes– The more common of the two, type 2 diabetes is identified as the inability of the body to respond to insulin. This causes more insulin production which disturbs the glucose level of the body.
Most people suffering from diabetes find it really difficult to follow a strict diet and routine. Are you one of those people? Well, it does not need to be that difficult, small dietary changes will help you stay on the right track. Some smart changes in the daily diet can help you in maintaining your sugar levels and staying stress-free.
The dietary do’s for diabetes
It is crucial to understand the importance of the following small yet significant steps that can help in controlling the sugar levels and other complications. The important do’s for diabetics are:
- Regular exercise and physical activity of your choice like swimming, running, walking, jogging, and dancing.
- Try to eat high fiber foods regularly like spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, sprouts, green leafy vegetables
- Opt for fruits with less sugar content and high on antioxidants like apples, papaya, guavas etc.
- Regulate your fiber content, daily fiber intake should not be more than 40 grams
- Try to take complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates (white rice, white pasta, white bread, refined wheat flour, fruit juice, raw sugar, etc.)
- Include whole-grain bread, pasta, brown rice, oats, and muesli in your diet
- Instead of refined products go for fresh and healthy food options
- Have small meals at small and regular intervals as it will help to decrease the total glucose load
- Use low-fat dairy products (low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk), they are rich in protein, calcium, vitamins as well as mineral content
- Increase daily fluids intake and make sure that 90% of it is water
- Have meals with low salt content, it ensures good heart health and prevents other complications
The dietary don’ts for diabetes
It is important to know all about the foods that can adversely affect the health of a diabetic person. What not to eat plays as much an important role as the dietary do’s. The foods to avoid in case of diabetes includes:
- Avoid red meat and choose lean meat or fish instead, try to cook with less oil and salt
- Avoid the foods which have high calories such as deep-fried foods (pakodas, puri, samosa and chips)
- Avoid full cream milk it can cause high cholesterol and increased glucose level in the blood
- Avoid foods which have a high GI (glycemic index) like potatoes, mangoes, white rice, banana, chikoo, pasta, white bread.
- Smoking is a huge no as it causes hardening of the blood vessels and can cause further serious complications
- Avoid alcohol as much as possible as it increases blood triglycerides and body glucose level
- Never skip your meals, try to eat small meals at regular intervals to boost metabolism to reduce total glucose load in your blood
Just a few changes in dietary habits can help you stay healthy and fight diabetes. All you need is a smart plan and little discipline to stick with the plan. Try incorporating the above steps in your daily life and experience the change yourself.
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