Diabetes has today become rampant among both men and women all across the globe. It is imperative to know more about the disease and how the same can be controlled. Let us understand the very meaning of diabetes first. Diabetes is a disease which is caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body since the hormone insulin is responsible for the essential breakdown of carbohydrates and fats which, in turn, help in maintaining the required level of sugar and glucose in the blood.
There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. It is often very complicated to deal with the condition. The reason being that when a person is suffering from diabetes, he or she tends to develop conditions which give rise to other complications in the body. Most serious amongst these complications include cardiovascular diseases, kidney-related diseases, diabetic eye, nerve damage, etc. Hence it is of prime importance that we use means and methods to control the condition.
In this article, we shall analyze the diet plan which is recommended by experts for a diabetes patient. We shall further study the details and delve inside and check what is the best and most preferred diet plan for a diabetic patient. Join in for the article ‘Diabetes Diet Chart: Best Diet Chart for Diabetic Patient.’
Table of Contents
Breakdown of Nutrients Present in Food
Let us first begin by understanding more about food and the nutrients present in the food. We shall thereafter analyze the relationship between each of these nutrients with the level of blood glucose it has on the body.
Any basic food item consists of three most essential nutrients. The following are the nutrients:
- Proteins and
Let us now analyze in the following paragraphs how each of these affects the level of blood glucose in the body, and thereby diabetes.
Relation of Fats with Blood Glucose
Let us first look into the relationship of fats with the blood glucose of the body.
A few fat does not affect the blood glucose of the body to a large extent. However, one should have fats in a limited amount because these food does affect and slower down the process of digestion with the result that the level of glucose or sugar in the blood rises.
Following are some of the benefits that you derive when you have fat in the food you intake:
- Fats are useful as they slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. This goes a long way in helping to maintain balanced level of blood glucose in the body
- You can manage and remain far away from overeating when you have had fat. The reason for the same is that you feel a lot more satisfied when your diet contains fat
- Olive oil, nuts are known to contain fat as well. However, these are essential fats which our body requires because that will go a long way in helping to avoid other diseases.
Relation of Proteins with Blood Glucose
Let us now try to understand the relationship between blood glucose level and proteins in food.
Proteins affect the body glucose once you eat too much quantity of the same. You should carefully intake only the recommended quantity of protein, which in most cases is around 6 ounces.
Relation of Carbohydrates with Blood Glucose
It is this nutrient which affects the blood glucose of our body more than any other nutrient present in food. The carbohydrates present in the food turn into sugar much quickly when compared to the other nutrients mentioned above and therefore it is of utmost importance that you limit the intake of this nutrient. It is also the quantum of carbohydrates intake which will determine the amount of insulin which needs to be taken by those who suffer from diabetes.
Following is the list of recommended carbohydrates for a person suffering from the condition:
- Brown Rice
- Whole Wheat
Meal Plan When You Are Suffering from Diabetes
When you are someone who is dealing with diabetes, experts recommend that you include the following types of meal in your daily diet:
- Whole-grain carbohydrates and take the dosage on insulin accordingly
- Colorful foods as they are often very high in essential nutrients
- Mediterranean foods and diet plan which shall include vegetables, a few fruits, plant based fats such as olive oil and nuts, meat and dairy products to be consumed only occasionally.
- Foods which are low in glycemic index
Also, keep in mind the following points regarding a meal plan for diabetes:
- The above dietary plan is something which is recommended not only for dealing with diabetes but is something which is considered healthy in general. The only difference being, that when you are dealing with diabetes, you should be more mindful about the total consumption of carbohydrates as part of your regular meal plan.
- Make sure that when you are consuming food which has carbohydrates in them, the glycemic load present therein should be low in such foods
- The consumed fats and proteins should ideally come from the plants. This is helpful in managing diabetes to a great extent
- For every calorie consumed, you need to make sure you get all the essential vitamin, nutrient, and fiber.
What are the Recommended Foods that Will Help to Manage Diabetes?
Moving on, we shall now see what are the recommended food items that a patient suffering from diabetes should eat:
The recommended vegetables for the diabetic patient include:
Experts recommend that for diabetes you should concentrate on all those vegetables that are very rich in minerals, fibers, minerals but have very few carbohydrates.
Following is the recommended protein food for a person suffering from diabetes:
- Soy Foods
- Leans meats like chicken
- Fish and different kinds of seafood
However, there are a few protein products that should be avoided is you are someone who is suffering from diabetes. These foods include red meats and non-organic milk.
Proteins should definitely form a part of the regular diet of a person suffering from diabetes because when you consume more of proteins, you are prone to lesser sugar cravings. Having said that, do make it a point to eat only the recommended quantity and type of proteins.
Fiber-rich foods have always been considered healthy for dealing with different types of health conditions. There are several reasons for the same. Fibers help to make you feel full to a large extent, lowers the glycemic load of the food, and also helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Besides, fiber-rich food items go a great deal in lowering down bad cholesterol in the human body. Following are a few recommended fiber-rich food items to deal with diabetes:
- Pears and apples
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Following is the individual list of some of the food items that are strongly recommended by the experts in dealing with a condition that is as complicated as diabetes:
Another highly recommended food item for diabetes includes blueberries. The vitamins, dietary fiber, flavonoids, etc. present in the fruit are very useful for those suffering from the disease. Blueberries play a huge role in getting rid of bad cholesterol from the body while also developing a strong immune system at the same time.
High in omega-3 fats, fish is a food which is highly recommended for diabetes as it lowers starch, blood pressure, and also triglycerides. All these are highly useful in case of diabetes as well as its related complications. Some of the recommended fish include salmon, trout, sardines, and also tuna.
When you are a diabetes patient, the one snack you can completely rely upon is nuts. one may argue that nuts have very high content of fat, but the same is unsaturated fat and hence will not harm our body. Nuts, being a rich source of protein and fiber are highly recommended by the diabetes experts.
One of the fruits that are highly recommended in case you are someone suffering from the condition is apples. The high content of fiber present in the fruit makes it highly useful. The risk of heart diseases is reduced to a great extent due to the high fiber content in the fruit.Apple’s help to regulate the blood glucose level of the human body to a great extent.
Rich in antioxidants, grapefruit help to reduce bad cholesterol in the body which in turn, make the fruit highly useful for diabetes.
Broccoli is considered to be a very rich source of vitamin C and fiber. This makes the cauliflower family member a highly-recommended food for dealing with diabetes.
The food item is said to be low in carbohydrates, and high in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, etc. besides, the presence of the antioxidant agglutination helps boost the immune system of the human body and also develops good heart and lungs.
Beta-Carotene present in carrots helps to manage diabetes and also prevent some complications which are related to the disease including heart-related diseases. The most important things which enable to manage diabetes due to the consumption of carrots include the presence of carotenoids which, in turn, reduces our body’s resistance to the all-essential hormone, Insulin.
What makes tomatoes a highly-recommended food for dealing with diabetes is the fact that it is a rich source of lycopene. This nutrient goes a long way in neutralizing the free radicals that are present in our human body. You can consume the vegetable in more than one way: you can either cook them and make different sauces out of the same, or you can simply eat the vegetable raw.
Different Type of Teas
Surprisingly, tea such as green tea, white and black tea have its own advantages which make the management of diabetes simple and easy. All the above-mentioned teas contain catechins, which not only help in the effective treatment of diabetes but have other health benefits attached too.
Cinnamon is considered one of the essential super foods which help in the management of diabetes and its related conditions. The food is known to lower down the amount of glucose in the blood to a great extent. The polyphenols present in the spice also helps a great deal in dealing and limiting some of the complications associated with the disease.
Another important food which is considered to be of prime importance for diabetes is oatmeal. Although the food is rich in starch, the high fiber content of oatmeal which helps in lowering high blood pressure and bad cholesterol makes it a highly- recommended food item.
Above is the list of the most important food items that go a long way in effectively dealing with the chronical condition such as diabetes and helps the patient to lead a healthy and as normal a life as possible.
Some Tips To be Kept in Mind While Dealing with Diabetes as Far as Food is Concerned
While you are dealing with diabetes, the following tips should be borne in mind while you are deciding on your meal plan:
- While you are planning for a meal or chalking out a diet plan, do remember to keep in mind that timings play a great role. If you have the recommended food items at proper timings, you can deal with the condition much more effectively as this plays a great role in helping you maintain a balanced level of blood glucose.
- Besides, you should eat food with the low glycemic load. When you eat food, which has a low glycemic load, the food takes the time to get converted into sugar and thus, the blood pressure remains under check for a longer duration.
- Do make it a point to not go over the top when it comes to restricting yourself to the diet which needs to be maintained while you are trying to control and regulate diabetes. You need to look into the balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and other important essentials when you go for a diet plan.
Following is a list of foods which should completely be avoided when you are thinking of managing diabetes:
- Regular as well as diet soda
- Animal products which might contain large amount of fat
- Avoid anything which has “Hydrogenated” written on it
- White bread and pasta
- Refined as well as processed sugar
- Try to choose fish over meat as fish contain a lot more nutrients that help to regulate and manage diabetes.
- Try the following cooking tips while you are a diabetic patient. These will go a long way in aiding the process of diabetes regulation:
- Take to baking instead of frying your food
- Limit the amount of total intake of sodium
- Avoid canned foods. Use fresh or frozen food items instead
- Limiting the total amount of trans fat or saturated fat that you take in daily basis
- Avoid using vegetable oil. Use virgin olive oil instead
- Besides, if the doctor has not otherwise recommended you, drink at least seven to eight glasses of water each day. You can also use other liquids which are devoid of artificial sweeteners instead.
- You might need to dine out at times. Keep in mind the following handy points while you are planning for dining out:
- When you are eating out, ensure to know what does the food contain and breakdown the same into the essential nutrients that are required by our body. Do not feel shy and remember this information is of utmost importance for your health
- While dining out with a group of friends, colleagues, others, let your company know about your condition so that there are no problems when you later go out and dine with them
- Do make it a point to look at the menus so that you can do a little research on the food you choose to have and ensure that it meets your dietary plan.
We hope that the above article has been helpful and now you are in a better position to devise a meal plan which is rich in all the essential nutrients if you are someone who is suffering from diabetes. The above meal plan shall be highly helpful for a diabetic patient as it will keep away all the complications associated with the condition as well.
Having said that, it is always wise and advisable to first consult your medical doctor and an experienced nutritionist before you chalk out a diet plan so that you are able to maintain the recommended balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your diet!!