The first and foremost change you need to bring about is, is your food habits. You need to let go of your old eating patterns to make way for a healthy diabetic diet. Switch to complex carbs in place of simple carbs i.e., opt for whole wheat bread instead of whole wheat bread and brown rice for white rice. You need to include more whole grain foods in your diabetic diet. The main benefits of switching to whole grain foods are that they have a rich amount of varied vitamins, minerals and also has more fibre which essentially slows down the digestion, keeps you feeling full for a longer period and also control post-meal peak in blood sugar levels.
Another key inclusion in a diabetic diet is low glycaemic index level foods. A low GI index food holds many key benefits for a diabetic person like reduce blood sugar levels, helps to lose weight and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, which is a major complication of diabetes. Some low glycaemic index food includes green leafy vegetable, whole wheat, legumes, fruits, nuts, lean meat, etc.
Try and get as much of your protein from plants source, as while a plant protein may provide a protective role, meat protein might increase the risk of type-2 diabetes. Some protein-rich plant-based foods include lentils, beans, oatmeal, quinoa, nuts, seeds, etc.
An indispensable part of any good diabetic diet is green leafy vegetables. The various leafy green vegetables like, spinach, kale, cabbage, bok choy and celery are rich in fibre, protein and other vital nutrients that make them a great nutritionally well – balanced diabetic food. Beside these leafy greens, few other vegetables found to be great for diabetic people include cauliflower, beets, Brussel sprouts, carrots, asparagus, broccoli and bell peppers to name a few.
A great way of getting essential nutrients and minerals minus the carbs is by eating more citrus fruit. That’s right citrus fruits have a high Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, potassium, antioxidants and fibre content that help in reducing blood sugar levels and is thus believed to have an anti-diabetic effect. Some of the citrus fruits you can include in your diet are orange, grapefruit, tangerines, lemon, kiwis, etc.
No decent compilation of the best way to eat to fight diabetes would ever be complete without mentioning the foods you need to avoid to truly win the fight against diabetes and keep blood glucose levels under check. So here’s a tiny list of food you need to avoid to better control your blood glucose levels and live a healthy life.
You need to avoid simple carbs food items like baked goods made out of processed white flour, white bread, sweetened breakfast cereals, sweets, candies and any other food items made with added sugar.
As mentioned earlier a diabetic person should try and get their proteins from a plant source as much as possible. And so you need to limit or avoid eating red meat, fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin on and fried fish.
Whole milk, full-fat yoghurt, full-fat cheese, sweetened and flavoured yoghurt are just some of the items a diabetic person needs to avoid or limit since they contain a high amount of lactose, which is harmful to a diabetic.
Well not exactly fruits but fruit juices and dried fruits are best avoided by a diabetic person since they can spike blood glucose levels. Instead, try eating whole fruits.
Processed foods like chips, sweetened breakfast cereals, aerated drinks, packaged juices, candies, cheese, cakes and biscuits, etc are an unnecessary source of extra sodium, added sugar and unhealthy fat all which are quite harmful and best avoided by a diabetic person.
Now before you jump into adding or removing any food item from your diet, it is best advised that you consult your dietician who will help draw a custom diabetes diet chart that perfectly caters to your likes and needs and also teach you about portion control. And do remember to stick by your diet chart to win the fight against diabetes.
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