Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as Diabetes is a condition where your body cells do not receive the glucose through the carriers called Insulin. This is due to either Type 1 condition wherein the hormone Insulin is not produced enough, or the Type 2 condition, which is more common, while the body does not utilize the Insulin well enough.
Why do Diabetics need to be careful about their diet?
With diabetes, there is an excess of glucose in your body which does not reach the cells to produce energy due to lack of Insulin which does that job of reaching glucose to the cells.
The Higher amount of Glucose in your blood can pose serious health consequences over time. It could affect eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and even amputation of limbs.
Where do you get Glucose from? Diet. Hence it is important to watch what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat.
Diet Substitutions for Diabetics
- Healthy breakfast options like whole grain bread or oatmeal are a good way to start your day. Eggs are a good option as they are high on protein and less on carbs.
- Cut down on sugar intake as they directly affect your blood glucose levels
- When hungry, eat light – raw vegetable salad, tea, soups, lemon water, yogurt or buttermilk.
- Adding proteins and fat in your diet along with carbohydrates will help in slow absorption of carbohydrates and in turn glucose. This helps in avoiding a strong peak in blood sugar levels as in the case of consuming only carbohydrates
- Include leafy greens, avocado, onions and garlic in your diet which are low in carbohydrates. Cilantro, oregano, basil and mint give a great taste to your food and does not mess with your blood sugar levels.
- Glycemic index is the measure to determine how much the food affects the blood sugar. Fatty seeds like sunflower seeds and flax seeds, coconut, nuts like hazelnut, walnut, and peanuts – all these are high in protein and healthy fat, the carbs present is dietary fiber which is low on glycemic load.
- Certain fruits are fine to snack upon like cherries, peaches, kiwi, orange, and apple. They are an excellent source of energy, be sure to keep them in limits.
- Avoid eating large portions of meals – eat small portions and increase the frequency at regular intervals, do not starve or skip meals as this will hamper the blood sugar levels.
- Eat legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils that are slow to digest and hence helps in maintaining blood sugar levels
- Eat a wholesome and nutritious lunch that has greens, raw veggies for salads and yogurt. If you are a rice person, then the categories that have safe Glycemic Index are brown rice, basmati rice, and red rice and these have dietary fiber too.
- Have a very light dinner with whole meal bread and vegetables. Avoid rice for dinner.
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are high in vitamins and calcium and can be consumed in moderation.
- Occasionally you can relish dark chocolates which are low on Glycemic Index and rich in antioxidants.