What would happen if your body reacts to junk food, just the way your hand reacts when it touches something hot? Among the advantages, you would be assured of remaining free of type 2 diabetes. In this article, we are sharing some tips for type 2 diabetics – one of the common type of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, what most people suffer from, is a lifestyle disease. Juvenile diabetes, the one that happens to children and adolescents, happens, if you wrongly choose your ancestors. It may even happen due to a viral infection early in life. But most of the time no one knows how or why juvenile diabetes happens in some children and not others.
Health Tips for Type 2 Diabetics
Diet and diabetes have always been intimately connected. Type 2 diabetes does not happen overnight; wrong choices of foods begin the degenerative process in those who are vulnerable to diabetes.
Most type 2 diabetics are overweight. They don’t have a shortage of insulin, but their cells are resistant to its effects. When they lose weight, the cells become more responsive. When this happens their blood sugar drops and the need for additional insulin reduces, as the insulin that their body is producing may prove to be adequate.
So, an overweight diabetic should try and achieve ideal body weight in order to get control of his blood sugar and wean off oral anti-diabetic drugs, according to his body’s requirement. Here are some healthy diet tips for type 2 diabetes.
Fibre & Diabetes
Including high-fibre foods in the diet leads to better blood sugar control and eventually leads to discontinuance of oral medicines in about 60% of non-insulin dependent diabetics (NIDDM). Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and whole pulses are rich in fibre. Addition of bran flour to whole wheat helps increase natural fibre along with the B-vitamins. Add bran to wheat in a 1:1 proportion. A tablespoon of isabgol or guar gum taken twice a day before meals also helps manage blood sugar levels.
Read more: Diabetes-friendly recipes
The humble dal
Consuming whole pulses such as rajma, channa (black), moong, moth and matki regularly prevents unnecessary fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The reason? All have a low glycemic index (ability to increase blood glucose levels).
Soya beans are highly beneficial to diabetics for the same reason; they make blood sugar rise very slowly. So, less insulin is needed. It also helps the cells to accept insulin more easily. This leads to quicker blood sugar control.
What’s more, it helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides. So, they are one of the best health tips for type 2 diabetics. You can use soya flour in chappatis or consume soya nuts or soya biscuits, which are available in the market, or just cook the soya beans like any other whole dal, with onions and tomatoes.
Role of Vitamins and Minerals
Almost everyone has zinc and chromium deficiencies as these minerals are deficient in our soil. Supplementing with these will help sensitise cells to insulin and decrease requirement or oral hypoglycemic drugs. Supplements of chromium picolinate are available. You can consume 200 mcg daily. Consult your diabetologist about reducing your oral medicines simultaneously.
Another frequently recommended health tip for type 2 diabetics is to consume more antioxidants. Alpha lipoic acid is one such antioxidant. It is an important nutrient for diabetics as it helps reduce the secondary effects of diabetes, including cataract formation, nerve damage, damage to blood vessels, retina and kidneys.
This apart, it helps in lowering blood sugar, prevents free radical damage and improves utilisation of other antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and E. But don’t forget to reduce your oral anti-diabetic medicines (consulting your doctor) simultaneously. There is no doubt that all diabetics should supplement with alpha lipoic acid. Other antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and selenium are also recommended as health tips for type 2 diabetics as they help quench free radical attack and prevent cellular damage.
Role of exercise
Exercise has a hormonal influence on the body – it sensitises cells to insulin and reduces the requirement of oral anti-diabetic medicines. A brisk walk for 30-40 minutes is recommended. To sum it up, some of the best tips for type 2 diabetics are to eat a high fibre, complex carbohydrate, low-fat diet, supplementing with lots of soya beans vitamins, minerals and doing moderate exercises. Of course, individual requirements vary for which you may need personalised guidance.