Diet and food tips for diabetics

crop2_240x240_18sep14As one must have heard there is no single or particular standard diet for Diabetics. Generally Type 2 Diabetics tend to be over-weight or obese and may be prone to high cholesterol, hypertension and other ailments as well.

The same healthy foods that are good for all are good for diabetics as well. Its just that people with diabetes must carefully track how many carbohydrates they get each day. Carbs have more impact on blood sugar than fats or protein. Most people with diabetes also have to watch how much fat and protein they get, too.

Making smart food choices helps you keep your blood sugar levels in check. Ask your doctor, a dietitian, or a diabetes educator for advice on exactly what you need.

Glycemic Index generally ranks how various foods affects the blood sugar levels. Diabetics should be cautious and avoid choosing foods with a high glycemic index.

High glycemic index foods include many carbohydrates such as these:

  • White bread
  • Pasta, noodles, spaghetti
  • Rice
  • Low-fiber cereals such as rice flakes, semolina, corn, cornflakes and the like
  • Baked goods
  • Potato
  • Fruits such as Watermelon

Diabetics can opt for foods with medium or low Glycemic foods like:

  • Whole wheat chapatti, Oats, Brown rice, couscous, barley
  • All fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy Products
  • Legumes & pulses.

Health benefits of low GI eating for diabetics

Tips for Diabetics:

  1. Choose foods of different colors. That’s an easy way to make sure that you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean protein.
  2. Watch your calories. Your age, sex, and activity level affect how many calories you need to gain, lose, or maintain your weight.
  3. Go for fiber. You get fiber from plant foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Studies suggest that people with type 2 diabetes who eat a high-fiber diet can improve their blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  4. Be sure to eat only the amount of food in your diabetes meal plan. Extra calories lead to extra fat
  5. In people with type 2 diabetes, extra body fat means less sensitivity to insulin.
  6. Do not skip meals. Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day. If you are taking a diabetes medicine, eat your meals and take your medicine at the same times each day.
  7. Limit fat to 25%-35% of total calories eaten per day. Concentrate on good quality fat like Omega-3, Mufa found in fatty fish, Canola Oil, Ricebran oil, Groundnut oil, Olive oil.
  8. Getting no more than 7% of your daily calories from saturated fat, 10% or less from polyunsaturated fats, and up to 20% from monounsaturated fats (like plant oils or nuts).
  9. Devote 50% to 60% of your daily calories from carbs.
  10. Aim for 20-30 grams of fiber per day.
  11. Protein should account for about 15%-20% of total calories eaten per day.
  12. Last but not the least getting more exercise and keeping up with your medical treatment will ensure your sugar levels are in control.

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Ms. Khushboo Sahijwani
Nutritionist

Khushboo Sahijwani has completed her Masters in Dietetics and Food Service Management. She believes in a holistic approach to health & wellness. In her 5 successful years she has worked as a nutritionist with reputed gyms and has also worked with leading surgeons and doctors.

She not only ensures a balanced nutritious diet comprising of essential macro & micro nutrients but also corrects medical conditions through food. She specializes in providing one-on-one diet plans for lifestyle disorders such as Weight Management, Thyroid, Diabetes, Hypertension/Abnormal Lipid Profile/Cardiac problem, PCOS, Maternity (pre & post), Ageing among others.

Image: Getty Images

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