Nutritional Medicine , Separating Fact from Fiction
10 Dietary Changes That Can Help Control Diabetes
by Megha Mahajan
Diabetes! Yes, the one word that makes your mind wander in so many directions. You find yourself asking questions like: Will this last forever? Will I ever get better? How can I overcome this? Well, these are smart questions that anyone should ask. And, yes. You can and will get better. You just make a few tweaks in your lifestyle and you should be just fine. Some of the symptoms and pointers of diabetes are pointed out below:
While it may seem like an insurmountable hurdle, a wall that cannot be breached, there are thousands of diabetics with good testimonies. Aged people who have lived with diabetes for so long that they sometimes forget that they have diabetes, how can this be your testimony? Well, the pointers below show some of the things you can do to kickstart your own journey to overcome diabetes.
Yes! These tips will get your campaign against Diabetes underway and you will begin to see a big difference in no time at all. Of course, it’s not going to be easy to let go of all your favorite meals. But, no one is saying you have to get rid of them all. You’ve just got to be smart about it. Many favorite recipes can be acceptable just by substituting healthier ingredients for the ones making the recipe high in sugar and/or bad fats.
Do not make diabetes “complex.” Make eating “complex” to keep diabetes “simple.” Just as in everything else, a lot of effort has to go into your overall lifestyle if you are to conquer diabetes. Just be conscious and you’ll make headway. To control diabetes, take a step towards improving your eating habits and you’ll not only feel better, but you will have increased control over blood sugar!
SOME DIETARY CHANGES YOU NEED TO MAKE
1. Eat Complex to Live Simple: Eating complex doesn’t mean you have to stop eating everything. It simply means make your carbs complex over simple ones, as these are the best type of carbohydrates for diabetics. Complex carbohydrates digest slowly in the body and maintain steady glucose levels in the body.
2. Make Fiber Important Part of your Diet: Fiber refers to plant-based food that slows down the breaking of carbohydrates and keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time. Yes, fiber can go a long way in improving your situation. And it all gets better. You don’t have to go over and under in search of fiber rich foods. You can get your fiber fix by following these simple tips:
Instead of these, Choose these
White bread Brown bread
Normal roti Bran roti/multigrain roti
Red Meat Fish
White rice Brown Rice
Sugary cereal Whole grain oats, cooked whole grain cereals
Regular Sub Flatbread sub or hung curd vegetable sandwich
Cream cheese dip Salsa dip
Whole milk Skimmed milk
Salted nuts Unsalted nuts
Soda Bottled waters, lime drink
Juice Fresh fruit
Potato sticks Raw vegie sticks
Fried chicken Grilled or baked chicken without skin
White pasta Whole Wheat Pasta
Instead of doing away totally, you can instead opt for close alternatives as shown above. Choose the healthier version of your favorite meals and you’ll thank yourself for it.
4. Say “NEVER AGAIN” to Trans-fat: Trans-fat is basically obtained chemically by the hydrogenation of oils. It will make your condition worse!
To avoid trans-fats, avoid these; Chips, Cookies, Pastries, Margarine, Processed Foods
Incorporate healthy fats by following these simple methods
5. Choose Low-glycemic index foods
Glycemic Index - Glycemic index refers to the rate at which a particular food raises our blood glucose levels. Foods with high GI spike our blood glucose level and vice-a-versa. Again, fiber is your hero! Fiber rich foods have lower glycemic index – another reason why you should take them. Despite the lack of support by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for the use of low glycemic index foods for weight loss (2017) due to lack of evidence, use for control of diabetes is still quite popular and many studies support its use for blood sugar control.
Low GI Sources- Whole nuts, whole cereals, cherries, oatmeal, apple, vermicelli, whole dals, prunes, yoghurt plain, soymilk, whole milk, peaches, channa dal, peanuts.
6. Eat small but frequently – The logic here is, heavy meals spike our glucose levels. So small frequent meals will keep our metabolism high, while maintaining glucose levels.
7. Walk and Exercise are your best friends
Exercise is important as it helps to maintain IBW which is very important for diabetics. Exercising helps your weight loss efforts, and is especially important in maintaining IBW.
8. Limit only high caloric fruits
Except for some fruits like mango, banana, chikoo; one can eat any fruit but in prescribed amounts only.
9. Use functional foods in the diet – These foods provide “extra benefits” to your diet. Apart from nutrition, it provides you a number of benefits. Functional foods are full of antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids and are also rich in fiber. So do not forget to include them in your diet. Foods like mustard seeds, flax seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, chia seeds.
10. Before sleeping ask yourself the following questions:
Am I taking too much of alcohol? If the answer is no, then you are okay.
Am I taking medication properly? If yes, give yourself a pat on the back
My feet are clean? No? Then rush to the bathroom!
Am I feeling stressed? If your answer is yes? Chill with music and take deep breaths. Remember nothing comes at the cost of your health and ensure you feel some relief.
Have I checked my weight?
Did I walk for 45 minutes today? If yes, you’ve done well. Feel good about it because you are on track to eliminate your diabetes
Now, time for sleep... Proper timing is essential. Get good sleep.
You can gain control over diabetes by living healthy. Eating in moderation and eating healthy can go a long way in really giving you good results.
Megha has completed her masters in food and nutrition an
d has a variety of experiences in the field of fitness, weight management and lifestyle management. Megha believes that instead of trapping yourself with a strict diet, we must adopt a healthier lifestyle, which will only ensure optimal fitness throughout your life. She personally believes that in order to manage weight, we needn’t feel deprived of our favorite food, we can actually eat everything BUT in moderation! My mantra for fitness is ‘Strive for Fitness Not Perfection’ - It's all about taking your first step towards achieving optimal health and lifestyle. After all, nothing feels better than healthy living.
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Edited, Kathy J. Shattler, MS, RDN