Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar aka blood glucose is too high in the blood. To regulate the amount of sugar in the blood, obeying dietary guidelines for diabetics patient becomes mandatory.
Diabetes is an illness which majorly affects the diet of the diabetic person, resulting in a set of changes in the diet. Diabetes is of various types and there may be a slight change in diet recommendation by diabetologist for each type of diabetes. Patients who suffer from serious diabetes should include diet plan particularly defined for diabetes patients, so as to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we will consider some points on the dietary guidelines for diabetes & mention what should diabetics eat & foods diabetics should avoid.
Food Diabetes patient must consume
Certain food should be consumed in higher quantities in patients suffering from diabetes. Patients should consume high fiber food items. Here is a list of foods for diabetics, that will help them maintain their sugar level.
- Whole cereals like whole wheat flour, wheat bran, whole wheat bread, Pearl millet aka bajra, jowar & oats.
- Whole pulses like dals with skin, rajmah, chola, kala chana, chowli, etc. Black chickpeas aka Kala chana is good for diabetics as it has a glycemic index of 28, which is considered in the range for low-glycemic index foods.
What is the glycemic index? The glycemic index measures the impact of carbs containing foods on blood sugar levels i.e it marks how quickly blood glucose level rises after having food. Roasted Kala chana can serve as a good snack for diabetic patients.
Jowar has moderate glycemic index & 100 grams, jowar roti contain 334 Kcal of absolute gluten-free energy making is one of the good food for diabetics.
Jowar contains few photochemical compounds which have the capacity to improve the sensitivity of insulin, prevention of cancer, etc. Insulin hormone plays an important role in blood sugar level regulation. Jowar is also said to reduce hepatic gluconeogenesis i.e. liver produced glucose.
- Leafy vegetables, salad vegetable and whole fruit which should be consumed.
- Soybean should be consumed as a high source of protein, iron, and calcium.
- Dairy products like toned/ skimmed cow’s milk are recommended.
- Variety of refined oils should be taken and one of the following types should be considered for your cooking needs which include sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil. Another consideration should be mustard oil, groundnut oil, olive oil, and rice bran oil.
Foods that diabetics should avoid:
Certain foods should be avoided or limited in patients suffering from diabetes including:
- Fats like vanaspati, ghee, butter, coconut oil, and coconut chutney.
- Fried foods which include chips, papad, samosa, pakoras, pure and paranthas should be avoided.
- Foods which are high in sugar including bakery products like cakes, pastries, cream biscuits should be avoided.
- Sweets like laddu, burfis and ice cream should be withdrawn.
- Also, things which should be avoided include refined food products like maida, sabudana aka tapioca, corn flour, custard powder, arrowroot powder. Sabudana comes under the starchy foods list, like potatoes & rice which are said to be bad for diabetics. Tapioca contains high calories & even has a high glycemic index making it harmful for diabetics.
- Groundnut, coconut, and dried fruits should be avoided including almonds and walnuts which should be consumed in moderation.
- Smoking and alcohol should be avoided among patients suffering from diabetes as it affects health adversely.
- All aerated drinks, squashes and fruit juices should be avoided.
- Fatty meats like ham, bacon, the yolk of egg, red meat, organ meat, shrimps, lobster, and prawns should be avoided.
- Pickles which are made in oils should be avoided.
- Canned, tinned, processed and processed food such as tinned fruits, sauces, and processed cheese should be avoided.
- Avoid fruits like mango, dates, bananas, grapes, chickoo & seetaphal should be avoided.
- Vegetables like potato, yam, arbi, sweet potato, and tapioca should be avoided.
Diet For Diabetics
- Fruits: You need to consume 2 fruits daily for maintaining your blood sugar levels.Diabetic diet chart or plan below shows a variety of fruits that are good for diabetics and what quantity they should be consumed
Papaya (150 grams), Watermelon ( 150 grams ), Muskmelon ( 150 grams ), Pear ( 75 grams ), Guava ( 100 grams), Pineapple (100 grams), Sweet lime (100 grams), Orange (100 grams), Apple (75 grams), Amla (75 grams) Jamun (75 grams), Pomegranate (75 grams), Kiwi (1 medium)
- Other things which you need to consume include green tea with lemon which can be included once or twice daily preferably early morning with 5 almonds or 2 walnuts.
- For small meals, you can include roasted chana and kurmura, bhel with sprouts, veg sandwich, buttermilk. Boiled chana, chola, rajmah or chowli with salad vegetables
- Include vegetables in plenty including salads approximately 500 grams daily, carrot and beetroot in moderations.
Tips to Remember for Diabetes
The following tips should be remembered for patients suffering from diabetes including the following:
- Patients should avoid fasting and feasting as this affects the blood sugar level in the body adversely.
- Fish and chicken should not be consumed more than 2-3 times a week in quantities more than 50 grams including boiled, steamed, grilled or baked form.
- The inclusion of wheat flour with black chana flour, bajra, jowar, soy flour and barley flour in the ratio of 4:1 is advisable. Do not sleeve the flour used for chapatti to incorporate fiber in the diet.
Whole wheat bread is preferable to refined flour.
- Methi powder should be incorporated in the diet in quantities of 1 teaspoon.
- Take a liberal amount of water in quantities of a liter or more a day.
- Maintain regularity in the schedule of sleeping and eating.