Diabetes used to affect the middle-aged, but now with childhood obesity on the rise, more and more children are getting diabetic. The 21st century has brought in a new era of nutritional science demonstrating the amazing power of nutrition in relation to human health. It can be used as a powerful tool to manage most lifestyle diseases. So, living with diabetes does not mean eating less or depriving yourself – it simply means eating healthy and with caution. In this article, we have listed some of the best foods for a diabetic person, which can be easily incorporated into a diabetic diet plan.
The first step towards diabetes management is to consume more of low glycemic index (GI) foods. GI means how fast and by how much a certain food will raise your blood sugar. Glucose has a GI score of 100 that is used as a reference food to compare the GI score of all the other carbohydrate-containing foods. Consuming low GI foods is important as they are digested and absorbed slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, thus regulating your hunger pangs.
Best Foods for a Diabetic
Listed below are some of the best foods for a diabetic. Why best? Because they are low GI foods.
These include beans, spinach, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Fibre keeps you satiated for long, thus regulating your blood sugar levels, so these vegetables are one of the best foods for a diabetic. What’s more, fibre-rich vegetables help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve your heart health.
Most whole and split dals such as whole moong, whole masoor, rajma, chole and matki have a low GI. Plus, they are rich in fibre and protein, making them an ideal choice for diabetic persons.
Read more: Diabetes-friendly recipes
Whole grain bread
Switching to whole grain bread instead of white bread is better for insulin sensitivity since whole grain will digest slowly, leading to a slow release of glucose in the bloodstream.
Replacing white rice with barley has shown to reduce blood sugar rise by almost 70%. Boiled barley looks like rice and has a very low GI. So, diabetics should consume barley regularly.
It is full of soluble fibre, so oatmeal breaks down slowly, leading to slow absorption of glucose in the stomach, consequently controlling blood sugar levels.
It contains a high concentration of dietary fibre that helps to keep you full for a long time and prevents overeating. Ragi is also rich in minerals, so it is one of the best foods for diabetics
Popularly known as karela in Hindi, it comes with active anti-diabetic compounds that can help manage diabetes effectively. One of its active compounds called charantin is known to be hypoglycaemic, so it controls sugar levels in the body.
How to make karela juice?
Push two washed karelas through a juicer along with the skin and drink the extracted juice within 20 minutes of extraction.
Commonly known as methi dana, these seeds are rich in fibre and phytochemicals that slow down the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. Just soak 1 teaspoon methi seeds overnight and drink this water along with the seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. So, it is one of the best foods for a diabetic person.
This tea retains all its useful polyphenol content since it is not processed, thus having strong antioxidant and hypoglycaemic effects. The polyphenols present in green tea help to control blood sugar.
They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre. Also known as alsi seeds, they are a good source of magnesium – a mineral that is required by diabetics to manage blood sugar.
There are a number of fruits such as apples, pomegranates, oranges and pears, that have a low GI and are rich in fibre. Diabetics must include them in their daily diet.
They are digested slowly, rich in fibre, protein and omega-3 fats, so they are effective in controlling blood sugar.
We Indians love high-carb foods like biryanis, pulao, dosas, parathas, idlis, mithai, kheer and samosas, which is probably why diabetes is not easy to control. But if you try to switch to low GI foods such as sprouts, pulses, vegetables, whole grains like barley, jowar, bajri and naachini, and fruits (like apple, pear, guava, oranges, sweet lime), raw salads, eggs, fish and chicken, you will be able to control your blood sugar very easily and also possibly reduce medication.
For a personalised Diabetes Management Plan, call toll-free 1800-891-8131 and book an appointment with Health Total experts.