What To Eat And What Not To Eat For Diabetes
Living with diabetes requires careful management of one's diet. By making informed food choices, individuals can maintain stable blood sugar levels and improve their overall health. Whether you are diagnosed or looking to make healthier choices, understanding the impact of certain foods on blood sugar levels is crucial.
Following a diet does not mean you have to give up the foods that you love, you can enjoy your favorite foods, but only after consultation with your dietitian. As per our dietitians, creating a diabetic-diet plan requires balancing all types of food categories, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. The trick to managing the symptoms of diabetes is to choose food rich in nutrients to keep your blood sugar.
The trick is ultimately choosing foods that are naturally rich in nutrients and avoiding these foods that spike blood sugar in no time. Eating foods and fruits with low-glycemic index help manage diabetes to a great extent.
Let's explore the ideal foods to include in a diabetic-friendly diet and the ones that should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether.
Foods To Eat for Diabetes
Incorporating whole grains like quinoa, barley, ragi, oats, jowar, and whole wheat into your meals helps regulate blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index. Consuming ragi and barley helps lower bad cholesterol and does wonders for people with diabetes. Jowar consists of highly resistant starch complexes, which aid in weight loss by providing satiety for a longer time and help maintain blood sugar levels. Eat Ragi Veggie Chilla, Jowar Roti, and Barley Roti with seasonal vegetables.
Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and peppers are rich in essential nutrients and rich in fiber, making them excellent choices for diabetics. They have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, etc. contain an anti-inflammatory compound that helps control blood sugar and protects blood vessels from any damage related to diabetes. These vegetables are a powerhouse of iron and low in calories, thus, helping diabetics.
Opt for lean protein sources like skinless poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. These protein-rich foods assist in managing blood sugar levels and provide satiety without raising glucose levels. A plate for diabetics should contain proteins such as lentils, beans, and tofu, and if you are non-vegetarian, you can include fish and eggs.
Include foods containing healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil in moderation. These fats help improve heart health and aid in better blood sugar control. Fat plays an important role in diabetes management, but the trick is to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats are also known as unsaturated fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, olive oil, and peanut butter.
Foods Not To Eat for Diabetes
Sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks should be avoided as they can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. These sugary drinks only provide empty calories and do not provide any nutrients. The sugary drinks might give you a rush for some time, but these drinks do not provide you with the same amount of fullness as you get after eating some nutrient-dense solid foods. So, sugary beverages are a complete no-no for diabetics.
2.Processed and Refined Carbohydrates
As per one of the studies, processed meat and refined carbs have a great impact on type 2 diabetes. White bread, sugary cereals, pastries, and cookies should be limited as they are high in refined carbohydrates, which can elevate blood sugar levels rapidly. Often people do not realize that it’s not only cookies, pastries, and sweets that take a toll on diabetics but carbohydrates that break down into sugar in your body. Refined carbs have no nutritional value and have a high-glycemic index. Thus, not eating these carbs would be the best choice for diabetics.
The American Diabetes Association suggests people with diabetes limit their sodium intake to 2,300 mg, which equals 1 tsp of salt per day. People with diabetes should reduce their sodium intake to help manage blood pressure. Avoid or limit processed foods, canned soups, and salty snacks.
4.Saturated and Trans Fats
Foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods, can increase the risk of heart disease. Opt for healthier fat alternatives as mentioned earlier.
5.Sweetened Snacks and Desserts
Cakes, cookies, candies, and sweetened snacks should be consumed sparingly due to their high sugar content. Choose sugar-free or naturally sweetened alternatives when possible. Snack more on fruits rather than binging on other sugary or savoury foods.
Maintaining a balanced and diabetes-friendly diet is essential for effectively managing blood sugar levels and overall well-being. By incorporating whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, individuals with diabetes can enjoy a diverse range of nutritious foods. However, it is equally important to avoid or limit sugary beverages, processed and refined carbohydrates, high-sodium foods, saturated and trans fats, as well as sweetened snacks and desserts. Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is recommended for personalized guidance on managing diabetes through diet.
With mindful choices, individuals can take control of their health and lead a fulfilling life with diabetes.