You may have heard the phrase "do not eat sugar because it causes diabetes". It is because, today, 'sugar' and ‘diabetes’ have become synonymous. If you believe this too, read along to know more about foods and diabetes!
Having diabetes comes with an enormous range of restrictions. Between what to eat and what to avoid, you may have to give up on your favourite foods. But what if we told you, you can enjoy your snack AND not worry about diabetes?
Sit back because here is your complete diabetes diet 101!
Healthy eating starts at home. And what is a better way to manage diabetes than eating a delicious home-cooked diabetes meal?
Vegetables are an excellent source of fibres and nutrients. Fibre keeps blood glucose levels stable and must be included in every diabetic diet. Some vegetables to include are:
- Green beans
- Eggplant (baingan)
- Brussels sprouts
- Beets (Beets generally are not advised. However, the diet advice can vary as per an individual's blood sugar response to beets)
- Bell pepper
- Gourd vegetables(Snake gourd, bitter gourd, bottle gourd etc)
- All green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek, mustard leaves, etc
- Onion stalk
Beans and more
Beans, pulses, and legumes are excellent sources of plant-based protein and fibre. Some legumes and beans to include in your diet are:
- Kidney beans(Rajma)
- Black beans
- Green gram (Moong daal)
- Bengal gram (Chana daal)
- Black-eyed peas
Whole grains are a source of complex carbohydrates. For people with diabetes, carbohydrates can have the highest impact on blood glucose. So personalizing carb intake as per your carb tolerance is the best strategy. For more general guidelines, a selection of low-carb, whole grains with higher fibre content is more beneficial. You may add:
- Seed-based flour
- Whole wheat
Millets such as :
- Steel-cut oats
Craving sweets? Replace sugar with natural sugar in the form of fruits! Some low sugar deliciousness includes:
To tackle diabetes, one must increase their protein intake and be mindful of carbohydrate intake. What better way to do so than to include meat in your diet? Some meats to include in your diabetic friendly diet:
- Skinless chicken
- Lean meats
Your body absorbs liquid sugar the fastest. Hence, for diabetes, avoiding sugary drinks is rule number 1. So what beverages can you drink?
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Infused water
- Coconut water
- Fibre-rich smoothies
- Herbal Tea
- Lemon water
To sweeten these beverages, opt for zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol, sucralose, and saccharin.
The science behind what and what not to eat is looking at the overall fibre and sugar content. It includes carbohydrates count and overall nutritional value.
Now that you know what foods you can safely enjoy, here is a list of foods you should avoid or consume in moderation.
Starchy or high-carb vegetables can quickly raise your blood glucose level. Such fluctuations are not healthy for your blood. So, avoid starchy vegetables such as,
- Vegetable juice
Yes, there is good and evil in food, too. Avoid refined and highly processed grains at all costs!
- Refined flour
- Refined pasta
- White bread
- Instant oatmeal
- Easy to eat breakfast cereals
Although rich in natural sugars, fruits can raise your blood sugar levels too. It depends on how much sugar it is packing and its fibre content. Some fruits to avoid are:
- Sweetened cranberries
High-fat and processed meats are not great for blood health. It leads to aggravated diabetes and other cardiovascular complications. Some meats to avoid are:
- Fatty cuts like ribs
- Ground full-fat meats
- Processed meats like sausages and salami
Sugary and highly carbonated drinks are every diabetic’s arch-nemesis. And so, it goes without saying that they must be banished from your diet forever! It includes:
- Energy drinks
- Fruit juices
- Soft drinks
- Diet drinks
Et voila! A complete diabetic diet guide at your fingertips!
Living with diabetes is a demanding task but not utterly impossible. Some careful considerations here and there will allow you to live a long and healthy life!