Diabetes diet will help you in the regulation of metabolism of carbohydrates and lower your blood sugar levels. Diabetes diet will assist you in the regulation of sugar absorption. Diabetes diet will help you in the stimulation of insulin and regeneration of the beta cells of pancreas.
To manage your blood sugar. You will need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medications if you take any. Whatever you choose to eats, how much you eat and when you eat are all important in maintaining normal blood glucose. The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. You might have to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Know that no single food contains all the important nutrients your body requires.
This write-up will enable you to know:
- Diabetes diet you can eat
- Foods and drinks you can consume less
- Foods to avoid and
- Physical activities you can do if have diabetes.
DIABETES DIET YOU CAN EAT
- FIBRE RICH FOODS: Dietary fibre can control the rate at which the insulin and glucose are released into the blood stream. Good examples are: broccoli, avocados,quinoa, oats, okra, white beans, bananas, coconuts, chia seeds, carrots, almonds. Fibre rich foods normalizes bowel movements, help in achieving healthy body weight, lowers blood cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
- NUTS AND SEEDS: Are low in sugar, high in dietary fibre and rich in particular antioxidants that can lower body cholesterol and regulate blood glucose levels. Examples of seeds include: benni seed (sesame seeds), flax seeds, chia seeds, fenugreek seeds, pumpkin seeds. Examples of nuts are: peanuts (known as ground nuts) boiled without salt, cashew nuts, walnuts, hazelnut, almond, pistachio. Nuts are packed with lots of minerals and vitamins including vitamin E and magnesium. Eating of nuts may help lower some risk factors associated with many chronic diseases and diabetes.
- DIARY FOODS AND ALTERNATIVES: Milk, cheese and yogurt have lots of calcium and protein for your bones, teeth and muscles. But some diary products are high in fat. Especially saturated fat. So therefore, go for lower fat alternatives. Check for added sugar in lower products of diary food like yogurt. It is better you go for unsweetened yogurt. If you prefer a diary alternatives such as soya milk. Choose unsweetened one that is fortified with calcium. Benefits of diary foods are: they keep your muscles healthy. They’re also good for bones and teeth.
- HEALTHY FATS: Consumption of healthy fat such as polyunsaturated and mono saturated fat help to lower blood sugar levels and put diabetes under control when consume in moderation. We need some fat in our diet but we need less saturated fat. Some saturated fats can raise blood cholesterol levels. Thereby increases your risk of heart diseases and stroke. The less healthy options are: coconut oil, palm oil and butter. Healthier saturated fats include: rape seeds oil, olive, vegetable oil, spreads produce from these oils and nut butters. The benefits of saturated fats is that they protect your heart.
- PROTEIN: Meat and fish are rich in protein. But a healthy diet means less red and processed meats. Because they had been linked to cancer and heart disease. Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acid that lower bad cholesterol. Free range chicken and turkey are good choices. The benefits of include: fatty fish protects your heart. Protein keep your muscles healthy.
- WHOLE GRAINS: They are source of dietary fibre that regulate the release of insulin and glucose spreading it out evenly for a longer period that prevents sudden rise and fall in blood glucose levels. Good examples are: white beans, sorghum, millet, wheat, soy beans. Whole grain benefit your health by: (1) keeping your digestive system healthy. (2) protecting your heart. (3) having gradual effects on your blood sugar levels.
- LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX FRUITS: Are fruits that contain carbohydrates or starches that breakdown slowly. This benefit your body and prevent quick rise in blood glucose levels. Good examples include: pears, oranges, dates, green plantain, unripe papaya (unripe pawpaw), cherries, strawberries, apples, lime, lemon, African star apple, nectarines, plum, apricots, peaches, prunes, grapes. Having diabetes doesn’t prevent you from taking fruits. Fruits are naturally low in calories. Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibres. Fruits add flavor to variety of meals. Try to avoid juices and smoothies because they don’t contain much fibres. Fruits protect your body from heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Fruits help your digestive system to function properly.
- VEGETABLES: There are different colours of vegetables. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Starchy vegetables contains complex carbohydrates that breakdown slowly. They prevent sudden rise and fall blood sugar levels. Good examples include: water yam (dioscorea alata), Irish potatoes, Coco yam.
FOODS AND DRINKS YOU CAN CONSUME LESS
The foods and drinks you can consume less if you have diabetes include: biscuits, fried foods, crisps, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, butter, and sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are high in calories and raise blood glucose levels. You don’t need any of these as part of healthy diabetes diet. The less often you consume them, the better. You might eat them from time to time. It is better you know how they can affect your body so that you will be able to make better choices. The best drink is water because it is free in calories. The foods and drinks mentioned earlier are high in unhealthy saturated fats. Hence, they are not good for your cholesterol levels and your heart. They may contain excess salt or sodium that can increase your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. PLEASE AVOID DIABETIC ICE CREAM or sweets.
If you drink alcohol, do not drink more than one drink a day. If you’re a woman. If you are a man don’t more than one or two a day. It is best to eat some food when you drink alcohol. If you take insulin or diabetes medicines that will increase the amount of insulin your body produce. Alcohol can make your blood glucose levels to drop too low.
FOODS TO AVOID
If you are following a strict diabetes diet. You should avoid the foods high in in starch (simple carbohydrates or eat them in moderation), red meat, whole milk, processed or fast foods, sugary drinks. Other foods you must avoid are foods high in salt or sodium, saturated fats, caffeinated beverages, foods high in cholesterol, trans fat, excess preservatives, fried foods and white bread. If you must eat these foods. Eat them in moderation. These foods blocks the arteries, lead to cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, obesity, may raise blood glucose levels and cause disruption in the insulin process.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO IF YOU HAVE DIABETES
Be sure to drink water before, during and after exercise to stay well hydrated. If you have been inactive or trying new activity. Start slowly with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Then add little more time each week. Increase your daily activity by spending less time watching television. You can try the following simple activities daily:
- Take the stairs and not the elevator.
- Walk around while you talk on the phone or when watching television.
- Do chores such as garden, take leaves, clean the house or wash the car.
- Make your family outings active such as a walk in in a park.
- Park at the far end of a shopping mall so that you can walk to the store.
In addition, you can prevent foot problems by wearing comfortable, and supportive shoes. Take care of your feet before, during and after physical activity. People that suffer from diabetes may have problems with their feet due to poor flow of blood and nerve damage that occur due to high blood glucose levels.
FINALLY, presently diabetes cannot be cured but it can be treated and controlled. When eating the right foods, you must eat them at the proper time of the day. They (the foods) must be evenly spaced out which is important for people with type 2 diabetes. As the proper diabetes diet will enable you to effectively utilize insulin that your body produces.
You hold the key to managing your diabetes by:
- Planning what you eat and following a balanced diet.
- Exercising your body regularly even if it is walking.
- Taking medicine, if prescribed and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it.
- Monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure at home.
- Keeping your appointments with your health care providers and having laboratory test as directed by your doctor’s.
Have it in mind that what you do at home every now and then affect your blood sugar more than what your doctor can do few weeks or months during your checkups.
This write-up is not meant to be a substitute to where the service of medical professional or dietician is urgently needed.