Diabetes is a metabolic disorder hence a balanced diet plan can keep the blood sugar under control. Managing diabetes need not necessarily mean giving up the foods that you love to eat. While suffering from type 2 diabetes, you have wide range of foods that are effective in managing the problem.
Understanding the Effect of Foods on Type 2 Diabetes
A balanced diet can manage the blood sugar level and also control the weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a key to keep the blood sugar level within the normal range. A balanced diet in type 2 diabetes includes healthy carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Nutrient rich diet keeps the blood sugar level under control and manages the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
When you eat carbohydrate rich diet it breaks down into glucose and raises the level of blood sugar. Fats and proteins have little impact in increasing the blood sugar level. Following a diabetic meal plan keeps the blood glucose level in a normal range.
Importance of Diet in Type 2 Diabetes
Diet plays a crucial role in diabetics especially when a person is obese or overweight. Weight loss can have a significant effect in lowering the blood sugar level, blood pressure and also cholesterol. Food chosen must meet the nutrient requirement to manage the conditions of high blood sugar. A balanced diet in diabetes has following goals –
Foods for Diabetes
Foods for diabetes must have following features –
1.Fresh vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are low in calories. The fiber content and presence of complex carbohydrates in vegetables makes you feel full and this prevents overeating. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables protects the body against heart problems, hypertension and other risks linked to diabetes.
Adding lot of fruits and vegetables maintains the metabolism and keeps the digestive system healthy. Beans and legumes are a good choice for people with diabetes. These are high in fiber, as a result the digestive system absorbs less carbohydrates and maintains the blood sugar level. Kidney beans, lentils, white beans, etc are some example of beans.
Fruits such as avocados, peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, cherries, etc have low glycemic index and are favorable foods for people with diabetes.
Whole grains include variety of foods such as whole wheat pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, millet, barley, cornmeal, etc. These have low glycemic index, keeps you full for longer and is excellent for digestive system.
Dairy products such as cottage cheese, low fat milk, plain yogurt, are some of the best options for diabetes.
It is a good antioxidant, releases insulin and is considered to prevent sudden rise in blood sugar after taking meal.
Vitamin B6 in garlic helps in carbohydrate metabolism and vitamin C maintains the blood sugar level.
Eat foods that are good for heart. Foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, canola oil are good source of healthy fats.
Foods and Drinks to avoid/limit in Diabetes
People with diabetes must limit or avoid eating deep fried foods, highly saturated and trans fats, high salty foods, sugary foods and drinks, beverages with added sugar and aerated drinks.
To wind up
A change in your food and lifestyle can be challenging initially but taking little steps can help you adapt to the changes. Taking help from your friends, family and healthcare provider makes it easier for you to go with the new changes.