Tania Tarafdar Jan 19, 2015 at 01:31 pm
Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring blood sugar levels is vital for any diabetic. A healthy diet will have a positive effect on your glucose levels and will help you deal with diabetes. Well-known nutritionist Prema Kodical tells you which foods you should eat as well as steer clear off from your diet if you are suffering from diabetes. You may also read expert diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes.
Foods to be avoided by a diabetic
• Avoid refined and processed food like flour or maida and rawa as they have a high glycemic index that can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
• Refrain from fruits with higher glucose than fructose content like mangoes, grapes, jackfruit and bananas.
• Foods containing trans fats like bread and bakery products can also fluctuate your blood sugar levels.
• Avoid foods with saturated fats like butter, ghee, deep fried foods, sweets and starchy vegetables like yam, potatoes and raw bananas.
• Foods with high salt content like canned and dried fish sauces, papads, pickles and chutneys, and sausages should also be avoided by a diabetic.
Why is it important to avoid fats?
Unhealthy fats like trans fat and saturated fat have entered our diets in a big way through commercially available snacks, biscuits, cookies, fried foods and refined oils. The high intake of these fats is associated with insulin resistance. Consumption of fats increases bad cholesterol in the body, leading to heart diseases like arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, thus, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Why should a diabetic cut down on sodium?
Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease. High sugar damages the inner lining of blood vessels, making it difficult for the vessels to constrict and expand smoothly, increasing the risk of high blood pressure. A diabetic should therefore, reduce intake of salt to prevent or control blood pressure. According to Prema, the daily recommended value of salt intake per day is 1,500 mg.
Cooking tips to cut down on sodium by Prema Kodical
• Use homemade or unsalted butter.
• Use less cheese in your recipes.
• Make use of herbs, garlic, seasonings and spices instead of salt.
• Avoid adding too many sauces to your dishes.
• Avoid eating dried fish, pickles and chutneys.
• Avoid processed and packaged foods. The more processing a food undergoes, the more fibre it loses and more sodium it gains.
Foods a diabetic should eat
Fibre-rich foods have a low glycemic index that do not cause any spike in blood sugar levels. Include fibre-rich fruits like apple, pear, papaya, orange and muskmelon, green leafy vegetables and other vegetables like karela, lady’s finger and cabbage in your diet. Also eat more of whole grains like oats, brown rice, bajra, jowar and barley. Here’s another reason for consuming fibre-rich foods, keeps you off heart disease.
Foods rich in antioxidants can protect the body from oxidative properties of high blood sugar. Antioxidants can also assist in proper absorption of insulin leading to a drop in blood sugar in diabetics. In order to maximise your antioxidant intake, eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. This roughly translates into one serving of a salad, two servings of cooked vegetables and at least two fruits in a day. Another very good source of antioxidant is soybean. Here’s a healthy breakfast recipe, soya dosa.
Sample diet plan for diabetics by nutritionist Prema Kodical
1 wholewheat paratha or 1 medium bowl oats porridge topped with 1 tsp each of cut walnut and almond
Mid morning snack
1 medium size apple/pear/orange
1 medium bowl salad with a dash of vinegar or lime juice
2 phulkas/1 cup brown rice
1 medium bowl dal
1 bowl sabzi
1 bowl of low-fat curd/2 pcs grilled chicken or curry
1 moong chilla /1 bowl roasted chana with few peanuts/ 2 egg white omelette and phulka roll
1 mug vegetable soup (homemade)
1 jowar bhakri /1 cup daliya and moong khichdi
1 bowl sabzi
1 bowl of low-fat paneer/1 slice grilled fish or curry
Water - 8 to 10 glasses (Read: Another healthy diet plan for diabetics)