Whether you are trying to prevent or manage diabetes, diet and lifestyle changes play a crucial role. Gone are those days where you needed to eat a strict diet and live with deprivation, avoid sugars in all forms, make a list of forbidden foods and struggle to get sugar-free options.
Following a diabetic diet is no rocket science! You only need to take care of what to eat, when to eat and how to eat. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diabetes but certain do’s and donts can help you tame your blood sugar, keep your weight in check and keep other diseases and disorders at bay. Do consult a Dietitian or a Registered professional to help manage your diet in accordance with your blood sugar.
Make small lifestyle changes
Give up the all or nothing approach. Tiny lifestyle tweaks can make a huge impact on your diet goals. Rewiring your habits one at a time will ease up the process for you and won’t demand extra time or effort. Establishing and maintaining small goals like eating small frequent meals, drinking 8 glasses of water every day, getting your 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, stretching for 20 minutes every day etc, are realistic and easy. Rewire one lifestyle habit and follow it for a week’s time.
Manage your Carbohydrate intake
Carbohydrates have been damned for an eternity now. Do you know that carbohydrates are the most preferred source of fuel for your body and that absence of enough carbohydrates can have delirious health effects? What is a determining factor is the type of carbohydrate you pick. Simple carbohydrates like in the processed fast food, bakery products & ready to eat meals get readily absorbed in the body and excess of it is then converted into fat and stored whereas complex carbohydrates is what you need more. Examples of foods with complex carbohydrates are whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes vegetables and fruits. Managing the type and amount of carbohydrate is what you need to do.
Cut the Bad Fat
It’s time that we get rid of the old school approach that eating fat makes you fat. What we eat is broken down and absorbed in terms of nutrients by our body which helps with its daily functioning and fat plays an important role than just packing up extra pounds for you. You need to cut down on Bad saturated fat and consume Good unsaturated fats. Examples of good fats are Olives, Nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews), Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and sardines), Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, soymilk and tofu.
Say Hello to a Fiber-Rich Diet
Many people do not know that fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not broken down by the body and thus does not raise blood glucose levels. Soluble and insoluble fiber provides us with a spectrum of health benefits. Fresh fruits and vegetables are power packed with fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and nutrients that prove beneficial for our well-being. Include as many different fruits (avoid banana, mango, grapes, custard apple and chikoo), vegetables, whole grains and legumes in your diet.
Control Your Portions
How much you eat is as important as what you eat. The last decade has seen a rise in our portion sizes that makes us eat in larger quantities than required. The portion of food you eat is closely related to your blood sugars. Control your portion sizes and make sure you do not eat more that what is required. Monitoring your daily intake of food required to satiate you can be a good practice. Split your meals into smaller portions and eat frequently instead of eating large portions in one go.
Make judicious food choices
Swap your daily unhealthy snacks to healthier options. Consume grilled meat instead of deep fried variants, choose olive oil dressings on your salads instead of the creamy and calorie dense dressings, go for baked dishes when you are eating out and always read the food label at the supermarket. Stay wise, stay fit!