Approximately 31.7 million adults In India suffer from diabetes. To bring it to perspective, 1 person among every 12 people you know maybe a diabetic.
It is a metabolic disorder when the glucose or sugar levels in your bloodstream are higher than the normal amount.
The disease has two types. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, and in Type 2, the body stops responding to insulin production.
Needless to say, diabetes is one of the damaging conditions that one can have- simple because it is a slow killer.
This is why doctors repeatedly ask diabetics to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Let us first take a look at what type of foods can be eaten by diabetes patients:
This makes such a good component of the diet chart because of its low sugar content. Besides that, it is also rich in proteins and fibres, and as is well known, keeping fibre in the diet will boost the body's metabolism.
There is a range of whole grains to choose from - bajra, whole wheat, black gram wheat, oats, quinoa, etc. Try to keep at least one of these in your daily food intake.
Indian households are familiar with preparing a plethora of delicious dishes with various green vegetables.
Fortunately, these are a right fit for the diet chart of a diabetic as green vegetables are low in digestive carbohydrates, which makes them ideal for controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Most green vegetables can be consumed in large amounts because of how low calories they are.
Hardly are there any Indians who don't remember their grandparents and parents "egging" them on to eat eggs. They did that for a very good reason, which still holds for diabetics.
Eggs regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the body's capability to react to insulin. It is also a natural antioxidant and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Pulses And Legumes
With its low glycaemic index, pulses and legumes become an ideal addition to the diet chart of a diabetic. It is easy to regularly include this in the food list of an Indian because of how common a food component it is.
Pulses and legumes not only help to maintain blood sugar levels but also contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fibres which slow down glucose production in the blood.
For years garlic has been used as a flavouring agent in numerous Indian recipes, but that's not all garlic is good for. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on body tissues and also increases metabolism.
Garlic consumption has also been linked to lowered blood-sugar levels and blood pressure.
Garlic also breaks down low-density lipoproteins and cholesterol in the body. This is also why garlic is often also included in weight loss diet charts.
Fruits are the perfect replacement for sweet food, which is a bane for diabetics.
If you have a sweet tooth and are forbidden by the doctor to eat anything sweet, then fruits can offer you a semblance of sweetness and help you to stay healthy as well.
However, fruits that have a high glycaemic index should be avoided.
These are some foods that a diabetic can include in their diet chart, but the question of a balanced diet remains.
Let us now have a look at how we can time the food intake throughout the day within a strict chart: -
Most people these days don't have enough time to eat a healthy breakfast. In this diet plan, you cannot run off to catch a bus with half a toast in your mouth.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and thus starts with something filling and simple. You can prepare oats porridge and pair it with a simple cucumber and tomato salad.
The goal is to eat something that will fill you but not add many calories. Other options you can try are a vegetable upma, a dahlia khichdi, whole wheat bread toast with egg, and stirred vegetables.
People in general and diabetes especially shouldn't eat meals with large intervals between them.
So, take a simple mid-morning snack around 1.5 - 2 hours of having your breakfast. Eat any fruit with a low to moderate glycaemic index as your morning snack.
For this, have non-starchy vegetables fill half your plate. Carrots, spinach, and tomatoes will do. A quarter of the plate should have a protein source such as fish or meat.
In the remaining quarter, add some carbohydrate sources such as rice or roti. If you don't want to have white rice for its calorie count, just go for brown rice.
This is the time of the day when people seem to lose track of their dietary requirements and go for unhealthy fast food.
Avoid that and eat whole grain bread with a thin slice of melted cheese. Sprinkle black pepper on it for taste. Other options you can go for is popcorn made without butter, puffed rice, thin cracker biscuits, etc.
Keep your dinner light but not so light that you get hungry in the middle of the night.
You can eat a light salad but if that's too much work, then just eat one large roti or two small rotis with a stir-fried vegetable cooked in minimum oil. Pair it with some curd.
If you are someone who is a diabetic, then you may have heard many people saying that having diabetes means giving up tasty food. That is not true.
You can still have it once in a while as long as you regulate your dietary intake on most other days.
However, you should avoid sweets as much as you can for a healthy body. Regularly check up on your diabetes levels and take your medicine daily while following the diet, and you will be able to live your life normally.