The Diabetes Diet
Living with diabetes doesn’t mean eating less or depriving yourself, it simply means eating healthy and with caution. Diabetes is on the rise every year and there is no cure for it, but we can manage it well.
The first step towards management of diabetes is to consume more of low glycemic index (GI) foods. GI means how fast and by how much a certain food will effect your blood glucose levels to rise. 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 foods with low GI is important as they are absorbed and digested slowly, which leads to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, thus it regulates your hunger pangs.
Discussed below are the food items every diabetic needs to consume, owing to their low GI score.
1.Vegetables high in fiber: such as beans, spinach, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Fiber helps to feel satiated for long, thus regulating your blood sugar levels. Fiber also aids in lowering BP and cholesterol levels, thus also improving your heart health. Researchers have identified a new antioxidant in broccoli, that can significantly lower blood glucose levels, along with it being rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
2.Pulses: such as beans including black, white beans, kidney beans and chickpeas. They are rich in soluble fiber and protein, making it an ideal choice for diabetics.
3.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 slow release of glucose in the blood stream.
4.Barley: replacing white rice with barley has shown to reduce blood sugar rise by almost 70%.
5.Oatmeal: is full of soluble fiber, thus it breaks down slowly, leading to slow absorption of glucose in the stomach, consequently controlling blood sugar levels.
6.Cracked wheat: popularly known as Dalia in India, it is the crushed coarse form of raw whole wheat. It contains more fiber, vitamins and minerals, along with a low glycemic index than rice and wheat flour.
7.Ragi: it contains high concentration of dietary fiber that helps to make you feel full for a long time and prevents overeating, apart from providing optimum blood sugar levels.
8.Raw onion: owing to its hypoglycemic properties, raw onion is considered as one of the best diabetes food, it has an anti-diabetic organosulfur compound, that has the ability to lower blood sugar levels.
9.Bitter gourd: popularly known as karela in hindi, it comes with active anti-diabetic substances that can help manage diabetes effectively. One of its active compound is the charantin, reputed to be hypoglycemic, thus controlling sugar levels in the body.
10.Drumstick: consuming the juice extracted from its leaves everyday on an empty stomach is the best way to keep blood glucose levels in check.
11.Fenugreek seeds: commonly called methi in hindi, these seeds being rich in fiber and useful chemicals helps in the slow digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and sugar by the body. Soaking one teaspoon methi seeds overnight and drinking this water on an empty stomach will give the best results.
12.Green tea: this tea retains all its useful polyphenol content, since it is not processed, thus having strong antioxidant and hypoglycemic effects. The polyphenols present in green tea helps by controlled release of blood sugars.
13.Flaxseed: they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber, along with being a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps cells use insulin, thus important in blood sugar control.
14.Apple: eating fruits is necessary to meet your daily nutritional needs. There are a number of fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges and pears, that are healthy for your blood glucose control- owing to their high fiber content and low glycemic index.
15.Nuts: they are digested slowly, rich in fiber and protein content, hence are beneficial to blood sugar. They are also rich in the healthful monounsaturated fats.
The basic need for people with diabetes should be to avoid blood sugar spikes. You need to follow a healthful diet plan filled with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein to be on your way to a long, healthy life.