Diabetes is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels. It is currently one of the leading metabolic disorders around the world. As per the Lancet report, Type-2 Diabetes is expected to rise by more than a fifth, from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030 globally. About 98 million Indians are likely to be diagnosed with diabetes by the year 2030. Type 2 Diabetes could be managed and prevented by eating a healthy diet and leading healthy lifestyle.
Food has a direct effect on blood glucose. Some foods raise blood glucose more than others. An important part of managing diabetes is knowing what and how much to eat, and following an eating plan that fits your lifestyle while helping to control blood glucose. The 3 main nutrients found in foods are carbohydrates (carbs), proteins and fats.
Carbs are the starches, sugar and fiber in foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products and sweets. They raise blood glucose faster and higher than other nutrients in foods: proteins and fats. Knowing what foods contain carbs and the amount of carbs in a meal is helpful for blood glucose control. Choosing carbs from healthy sources like vegetables, fruits and whole grains (high fiber) are preferred over carbs from sources with added sugars, fat and salt.
Proteins are a necessary part of a balanced diet and can keep you from feeling hungry. They do not directly raise your glucose like carbs. However, to prevent weight gain, use portion control with proteins. In people with Type 2 diabetes, protein makes insulin work faster, so it may not be a good idea to treat low blood sugar with protein shakes or mixes.
Fats are necessary part of a balanced diet, especially healthy fats from fatty fish, nuts and seeds. They do not raise blood glucose but are high in calories and can cause weight gain.
Aim to include all 3 nutrients to balance your meals.
A diabetic diet doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to give up all your favourite foods. Here are a few health tips for planning an ideal Diabetic diet:
Eating a diabetic diet doesn’t mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most of us, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favourite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.
Tricks for cutting down on sugar:
Do not underestimate the calories and carbs in alcoholics drinks including beer and wine. Cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Liquid calories can also spike up your blood sugar levels.
Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits, so it’s important to choose fats wisely.
It’s encouraging to know that you only have to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half. And you don’t have to obsessively count calories or starve yourself to do it. Two of the most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat.
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