Managing Diabetes with a Healthy Diet
Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in the world, affecting more than 422 million people globally. Although Type 1 diabetes needs prolonged medical care, Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes. If you have high blood sugar, your diet plan should be centered around the type of carbohydrates you consume in your meal. However, it is also crucial to eat the foods you enjoy in order to feel satisfied.
Following are foods that can help with managing diabetes and maintaining blood sugar within normal levels.
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The best diet for diabetes?
Whether you are trying to control diabetes or prevent it, your nutritional requirements are no different than anyone else; thus, no special foods are needed. However, you will need to pay attention to the food choices you make, mainly carbohydrates. Belly fat is the most significant risk for diabetics, and losing 5-10 percent of weight can significantly help to lower blood pressure.
A diabetic diet does not mean giving up on your favorite foods. However, you will need to make smarter food choices, choosing more complex carbohydrates and foods that contain more minerals and vitamins..
Vegetables: Raw, cooked, or roasted
Vegetables, apart from adding to your health, add flavor and texture to your meal. Pick low-carb veggies such as onions and tomatoes, along with low-fat dressings like salsa and guacamole. You can further benefit from your vegetables if you embrace greens like chard, spinach, and kale. For instance, roast a bunch of kale leaves with olive oil to get delicious, healthy, and crunchy chips.
Refined grain foods are one of the major culprits when it comes to high blood sugar levels. Eliminate or cut down on the consumption of such foods and fill up on whole-grain, high-fiber meals. These include legumes, such as lentils, beans, and dried beans. These foods have carbs with high nutritional value that keep your blood sugar levels in control, along with making you feel satiated.
Fruit juices and sugary sodas should be avoided at all costs. Even diet cokes and other low-calorie drinks are a red flag if you want to control your diabetes. These drinks might not contain any added sugar and calories, and they provide no nutritional value either. Plus, they also contain sodium, which can also increase your blood pressure.
Instead, drink plenty of water, and blend it with vegetables and fruits to make it more flavorful and healthy.Add freshly sliced cucumber and lemon and put it in your glass of water. You can also freeze this water to make flavored ice cubes.
These home-made beverages are low in carbs, and they also help you stay full and avoid overeating.
Unsaturated fats are good fats, and Saturated fats are unhealthy fats (give ex). Examples of unsaturated fats are: Vegetable oils (olive, canola, sunflower), avocado, fatty fishes are excellent options for unsaturated fats. The fat from the fish makes an excellent salad dressing too.
One cup of berries or melons contains no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates, and are a great source of fiber and nutrition. Some other fruits that are ideal for low-sugar diets include Avocados, Honeydew, and Peaches.
The glycemic index (GI) is an indicator of how certain foods will affect your blood sugar levels. The higher the GI, the more the food will raise your blood sugar. In general, foods with a GI lower than 55 are considered to be ideal for diabetics. Some fruits with low GI are blackberries (GI = 4) and grapefruit (GI = 25). On the other hand, some fruits with high Gi that you should avoid are Pineapple (GI=56) and banana (GI=62).
Dried fruit and concentrated fruit juices contain a lot of sugar and should be avoided.For instance, an ounce of raisins contains 18 grams of sugar, 23 grams of carbs, and 100 calories.
Even 100 percent fruit juices can raise your blood glucose. The sugar in juice is easy to break down; thus, it is metabolized quickly and raises blood sugar within minutes. Instead, you should consume more fresh fruits, either fresh or frozen, whenever possible.
A recent clinical study suggested that high-protein diets that are independent of calories can improve your metabolic health, thereby helping you control blood sugar. Further, these diets result in less carbohydrate intake and help maintain healthy body weight.
Some great sources of protein are greek yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, lean meats, and eggs. You can also choose healthy fat and protein spreads, such as peanut butter.
To conclude, your diet should consist of mostly healthy wholesome carbohydrates while incorporating lean meats and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to check labels and be aware of the ingredients that are in the foods you are purchasing.
Eat what you like, but be sure to keep a check of hidden sugars and carbs.