Diabetes is caused when the body is unable to produce the important hormone insulin or when the hormone so produced is inefficiently utilized by our body.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults while type 1 is basically juvenile diabetes affecting children. Most of the cases of type 2 are recorded between age groups 45 to 64, while people over 65 are also susceptible to getting diabetes.
How can Diet Control Diabetes?
It is a known fact that diabetes is mainly caused due to a lack of proper diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. Experts have always claimed that one of the best ways to cure and prevent diabetes is to enjoy a healthy eating, regular physical exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Diet plays a huge role in helping to manage and deal with the condition effectively as we shall discover in the following paragraphs.
What is the Relation Between Diabetes and Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are known to affect the blood glucose of our body, and in turn, diabetes to a great extent. The carbohydrates present in the food turn into sugar much quickly when compared to the other nutrients present in food 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.
Why is a Low-Carb Diet Preferred in Diabetes?
As mentioned above, carbohydrate is the main nutrient which plays a huge role in determining the total amount of insulin that has to be taken by the patient. A low-carb diet also helps a diabetic person to better manage his or her weight and blood sugar levels- the two main hurdles for managing the chronic condition.
A few of the recommended carbohydrates for diabetic includes
What is the Relation Between Diabetes and Proteins?
A low protein diet for a diabetic is the preferred meal plan. 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.
What is the Relation Between Diabetes and Fats?
It is a known fact that a small amount of fat will not affect diabetes to a considerable 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.
Relation Between Your Weight, Diet, and Diabetes?
Ever wondered why overweight people are always at higher risk of diabetes? This happens because obese people the body of obese people find it more difficult to remain sensitive to insulin and thus their blood sugar level is not kept within balance. Besides, with weight comes stress and other related diseases too which can cause the glucose levels to rise high.
Hence, it is imperative that obesity is controlled when you are particularly suffering from diabetes.
Diabetes Prevention Diet:
A typical diabetic diet meal plan should comprise of the following meal plan:
- Colorful foods as they are often very high in essential nutrients
- Rely more on Mediterranean foods 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.
- Do not cut on carbohydrates completely. However, make sure to plan your insulin dosage as per the carbohydrates intake.
- Foods which are low in glycemic index.
- For every calorie consumed, you need to make sure you get all the essential vitamin, nutrient, and fiber.
Which are the Best Foods for Diabetics?
The following is a list of foods which is preferred when a person is suffering from diabetes:
High in omega-3 fats, fish is a food which is highly recommended for diabetes as it lowers starch, blood pressure, and also triglycerides. Examples of a few recommended fish include salmon, trout, sardines, and also tuna.
- Read Also: What Are The Best Seafood For Diabetics?
Nuts is a rich source of protein and fiber are highly recommended by the diabetes experts. It is one snack that can be relied upon always for a healthy living.
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.
Beta-Carotene present in carrots helps to manage diabetes and also prevent some complications which are related to the disease including heart-related diseases. Besides, the carotenoids present in the vegetable reduces the insulin resistance of the body.
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.
Different Type of Teas:
Surprisingly, tea such as green tea benefits in diabetes, white and black tea has 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 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.
What is the Best Breakfast Plan for Diabetes?
As per the International Diabetes Center, ideally, in diabetes, women should have around 60 grams of carbohydrates in each meal while the recommended amount for the men is somewhere around 70 grams.
The following meal options are in accordance with the above recommendation.
For diabetes, the best breakfast is something which consists of the following options:
- Take a mixture of fat-free milk and a fruit which could be any type of berry. To it, add one spoon of nuts, wheat germ, ice and blend all these together. You will get a nice, tasty, and healthy milkshake.
- A cereal which is low in sugar but high in fiber can also make a great breakfast when combined with milk.
- Scrambled eggs and toast can also make great breakfast for diabetics. However, remember to not use too much butter with the same.
- A combination of nuts and healthy fruits make for a great breakfast in themselves.
What is the Best Lunch Plan for Diabetes?
- Salads all full of green leafy vegetables can be a great idea to stick to your type 1 and type 2 diabetes meal plan during lunch hours.
- Another healthy option is soup. Some available choices include tomato. Chicken noodle, chicken, and rice soup.
- Stay away from fried food and avoid eating mayonnaise based salads at all cost.
- Lean proteins such as chicken, ham, fish remains a good option for all non-vegetarians.
- You can go for sugar-free frozen yogurt to give way to your dessert cravings at the end of the meal.
What is the Best Snacks Plan for Diabetes?
Following are the options for snacks:
- Two spoonfuls of almonds and dried cranberries.
- You can also eat vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber, carrot, etc. and dip the same in hummus for a different yet healthy option. Similarly, you can use salad dressing, yogurt, etc. as a dip.
- Green yogurt in combination with raisins is a great option.
- Besides, healthy soups and salads are always an option available for all meals.
What is the Best Dinner Plan for Diabetes?
The best dinner options for diabetes include:
Pasta and a Side Salad:
For this, you need to take a few linguine, half a cup of baby greens and oranges, 1 cup of iced tea this dish contains only around 350-400 grams of calories.
Baby Greens with Oranges:
For this, take a plate full of the green leafy vegetables. Pour the dressing mixture of orange, vinegar, and olive oil on top of the greens. Thereafter, sprinkle some salt and pepper onto it.
Hamburger Soup with a Cookie:
This dish also makes for a great dinner option. This dish shall have around 70 grams of carbohydrates and is very simple and easy to make as well. All you need to do is cook the meat and onions together. Post that, the meat, the vegetables, thyme, and salt, as well as other preferred spices, are to be mixed with water which should be left to a boil. You can have it with oatmeal cookies.
Can Diabetics Eat Fruits?
According to American Diabetes Association, although fruits contain carbohydrates, it is good to eat them as our body does require few healthy source of the nutrient. Besides, the fiber, vitamins, and the minerals present in some of the fruits make it hugely beneficial for diabetes.
Following is a list of fruits diabetics can eat:
Besides, large sizes of a few fruits such as those of bananas, chiku, oranges, etc. should be avoided.
Which are the Healthy Drinks for Diabetes?
- Around 7-8 glasses of water on a daily basis.
- Coconut Water safe to diabetes
- Low-fat or fat-free milk. Chocolate milk is a good option too.
- All types of tea, particularly green tea.
- Chai latte
- Apple cider
- Ginger ale without sugar
- Coffee limits
- Home-made lemonade without adding sugar
- Diet soda with a certain bit of precautions.
What are the Foods to Avoid in Diabetes?
In order to better manage diabetes, the following foods should be completely avoided:
- Regular as well as diet soda
- Fruit juices from outside
- Anything which has been deep fried.
- French fries
- Fried chicken
- Doughnuts or baked foods from outside
- 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
Tips for a Healthy Diet to Protect Yourself from Diabetes
We all know that improper diet can lead to diabetes in the middle age. Hence, following a few simple tips can be helpful in managing the condition:
- Include high-fiber food in your diet so that you feel full for a longer time and there are fewer
- Try to include all the different type of nutrients in your diet as per the recommended quantity.
- Eat every few hours in smaller portions.
- Go for a healthy choice of oil as well as fats
- While out on a meal, make sure you have a good look at the menu options and see what is most healthy and beneficial for you.
- Take your medicines and other prescribed drugs on time.
- Finally, you need to remember that it is not the food alone which will help you better manage your condition. You have to adopt a healthy lifestyle and be regular in exercising to maintain the condition.
We hope that the above post gives answers to the various questions you might have with respect to how diet can play a role in controlling and managing diabetes. Do remember, however, to consult a medical expert before settling on a particular meal plan!!