Nutrition Q&A: Boosting immunity in diabetics

Nutrition and Dietetics expert, Parvathy Radhakrishnan answers readers’ questions on nutrition. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Wednesday.
This week’s answers:

1. Dear Maam, i am 55 yrs old, diabetic for last 8 years. i have low immunity and the smallest weather change makes me sick. im afraid to eat fruits and feel hungry between meals. please suggest soem snacks/fruits and other ways to build immunity.
You should definitely make fruits part of your diet. Fruits like guava, apple, orange, pears, pineapple, melons, pomegranate will help you boost immunity and make good snack too. Other healthy options are nuts, carrots/cucumber/capsicum as salads, low fat yoghurt/milk. Garlic is considered a immunity booster. So also cooked and fresh tomatoes. Use them in your cooking.
As a diabetic you should be having 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks in between depending on your medication. If calculated into your caloric intake you can have other snacks that are pulses or beans based like sundal.
Hope you are also exercising because even as little as 30 minutes will help in boosting immunity.

2. i read recently that it is good to mix 2 oils daily while cooking. does that mean we can mix in a single dish or use different oils for different dishes?
Use different oils for different dishes For example, use olive oil for salads, sunflower for cooking, sesame for pickles. Also instead of sticking to one brand of oil use different ones.

3. hi parvathy. your views on cholesterol are very practical. would like to know if dry fruits are healthy and safe to eat daily.
Yes dried fruits are healthy to include in your diet. Just keep in mind they are high calorie if overeaten.

4. madam, please suggest ways to increase weight for my child who is 2 years and only 15 kgs. he eats well and plays a lot. can i give him all types of fruits?
If your son is active and eats well you should not be worried unduly. You can give him soft fruits, peeled and without seeds. Please wash the fruits well under running water. Best to avoid fruits that cannot be peeled like grapes until he is a little older.

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