Diet control is one of the most important aspects of battling diabetes. Diabetes is a condition characterized by insufficient insulinproduction, which makes it tough for the body to process sugars and fats. So, typically, a diabetic’s diet is devoid of carbohydrates, starchy foods, sugars and excessive fats.
However when a diabetic diet is planned several factors and terminologies related to them are kept in mind. These are:
Keeping the Glycemic Index in mind
6.5% of world’s population is diabetic
Blood sugar level should be between 90 and 130 before meals and less than 180 a couple of hours after meals
The whole point of sticking to a well regulated diet is to keep blood sugar levels low. This can be achieved by eating foods that are ranked low on the glycemic index. There are three levels on this scale:
- low Glycemic Index (GI)
- medium GI and
- high GI.
Foods that are categorized as low GI, are non starchy and non sugary fruits and vegetables, pulses, legumes, whole grains, nuts and foods containing fructose. Diabetics need to stick to low GI foods. It is recommended that you consult a dietician and formulate a meal plan that provides all desirable nutrients and is still low in the undesirable ones.
Remember the ABCs of diabetics
Diabetics have to plan a diet such that A1c blood sugar test produces normal results, Blood pressure is normal and Cholesterol levels are healthy. These are the three ABCs of a diabetic’s diet. All of these goals can be met by consuming foods from low GI category.
Steering clear from alcohol
Alcohol; be it beer, whiskey, rum or brandy is high in sugars and not good for diabetics. Wine, on the other hand, shares a love-hate relationship with them. One glass of dry red wine helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol; is a rich source of antioxidants and contains no sugars. White wines however, are high on sugars and harmful for diabetics. Check your blood sugar level after you drink red wine for the first time after being diagnosed with diabetes and drink in moderation.
The right diet
A diabetic’s diet has to be rich in all the basic nutrients; it is also important to keep a track of calories consumed. Depending on daily activities, weight and physique of a diabetic not more than 1200-1400 calories should be consumed per day. In addition, high fiber foods that meet the daily requirement of 25 to 35 gm of fiber each day must be included.
Control your serving size to limit the calorie intake. Ensure you eat the same amount of food, at the same time to allow your systematic functioning of your biological clock. Never skip meals and follow instructions about medicine usage. For women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, small, frequent meals are best.
Following a regulated diet can be a life saver for diabetics and can prevent further complications such as kidney failure.