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Dietary Measures you should Take to effectively Manage Diabetes

Dietary Measures you should Take to effectively Manage Diabetes

As time passes by, lifestyle diseases become a part of life. Often we see many senior citizens suffer from diabetes and have misconceptions about which diet is the best for them. Let’s clear some doubts and see the clear picture, shall we?

But firstly, let us understand the basics of a diabetic diet. It does not mean that the patient has to stop eating all the fruits or sweets, but that they have to eat the healthiest foods in moderation while sticking to regular mealtimes. A diabetic diet’s goal is to achieve and maintain healthy body weight while controlling blood sugar. If one’s weight and blood sugar levels are in check then common diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. 

There is no specific diet that can be recommended to diabetes patients, as it will differ from person to person. However, ideally, it should include a healthy mix of nutrient-rich foods with low fat and calorie content. The key elements of such a healthy diet plan consist of an array of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

In addition to following such a diet, one should cut down on fried foods, avoid sugary drinks and anything that is overly salty or fatty in nature. The basics of a diabetic diet should focus on eating every few hours to keep sugar levels steady while including vegetables, fruits, low-dairy healthy fat, and lean protein in major meals.  

Let us see which foods can help in controlling diabetes and high blood sugar levels: 

  • Fish and eggs– Both foods are rich in protein. Fatty fish is considered to be one of the healthiest foods for diabetics, whereas eggs can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments.
  • Beans and lentils– An alternative for the ones who follow a vegetarian diet, kidney beans, and lentils are a great source of protein.
  • Leafy green vegetables– Leafy green vegetables like spinach significantly control blood sugar and keeps it from rising.
  • Broccoli and sweet potatoes– Super vegetable broccoli promotes insulin sensitivity while reducing blood sugar levels. Whereas, sweet potatoes control blood sugar levels. 
  • Garlic– Kitchen staple garlic prevents many diseases while helping in raising insulin levels in the blood hence keeping the blood sugar levels in check.
  • Nuts and seeds– While nuts and seeds are considered cholesterol promoting but chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios regulate insulin levels. More so chia seeds are high in fiber yet low in digestive carbs which is effective in weight management.
  • Greek yogurt– If unsweetened, Greek yogurt makes an excellent snack that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.
  • Apple cider vinegar– Including ACV in daily diet can help in lowering blood sugar levels while promoting weight loss and good heart health.
  • Extra virgin olive oil– While cooking meals consider using extra virgin olive oil to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Shirataki noodles– Often called the miracle food, shirataki noodles are good for regulating weight which reduces diabetes-related complications.
  • Strawberries– This fruit works as a perfect dessert because it doesn’t quickly raise blood sugar levels.

While including the above foods in one’s diet will help in regulating their blood sugar levels, but which foods should one eat if their glucose levels are low?

  • Whole wheat bread or Rotis
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Nuts 
  • Garlic

Now that we know which foods are good for a patient, however, there are many fruits that are healthy but should be avoided in a diabetic diet plan. So, which fruits should a diabetic patient avoid?

  • Watermelons 
  • Apples
  • Pomegranates
  • Overly ripe bananas
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes 
  • Dried dates
  • Prunes and raisins

For many people, fruits like bananas and apples might be a healthy fruit choice. However, if one is on a low carbs diet to manage diabetes then even a small banana contains 22gm carbs which may be too much for a diabetic patient. But for snacking, one can consider having sandwiches, fruits with peanut butter, or even roasted chicken in between meals. 

Also, keep in mind that not all fruits have high levels of sugar, in fact, some fruits with moderate sugar levels make for a great snack or an add-on to breakfast.

  • Blackberries
  • Figs
  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges
  • Honeydew
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Peach
  • Grapes 

However, for guilt-free snacking one can consider having fruits like rhubarb, apricots, cranberries, raspberries, and kiwi. 

Following a diabetic diet can be hard but with so many options and possible variations— one can make a perfect diabetic diet plan as per the blood sugar levels of a patient. Still, if you need help in planning the patient’s diet or want to have them supervised to eat regularly, Samvedna’s Senior Care experts can come to your help. Choose from diet management, meal planning, and diet monitoring services, and give your loved one complete care. 

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Samvedna Senior Care, C-13 Anand Niketan, New Delhi