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A Perfect Food Chart For A Diabetic Patient!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Patients with type 2 diabetes rely on a diabetic diet which are oral hypoglycemic drugs to maintain blood sugar levels. However, it is hazardous to rely on either drugs or surgery for long-term benefits. There has always been a debate going on between physicians and nutritionists on the role of diet in the management of diabetes in the long term. Evidence suggests that certain foods can help to curb sugar spikes and improve insulin resistance that may eventually lead to less dependence on medications. Apart from carbohydrate control, here are some foods diabetics can consume that can be potentially beneficial in maintaining glycemic control.

  • Apples

Apples are a good source of soluble fibre that slows down the surge of sugar after a meal. In addition to this, they also help in controlling cholesterol levels. Studies also reveal that eating apples regularly can help in preventing metabolic diseases. It is believed that quercetin, a compound found in apples, aids in improving glucose metabolism of the liver and skeletal muscles. They are also known to contain polyphenols that help to fight against various chronic diseases.

Diabetic Diet

Read More: 10 Low GI Fruits For Diabetes 

  • Green Tea

Tea’s are beneficial when it comes to diabetes, but green tea emerges as a clear winner. Green tea contains the highest content of polyphenols in all the tea’s. Polyphenols help in metabolizing blood glucose levels and improve metabolic functions of the body. Green tea is also known to contain a high amount of antioxidants that can help to fight cancer, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Read More: 4 Health Benefits of Green Tea

  • Nuts

Research has shown that nuts are highly beneficial for type 2 diabetes. Consuming nuts along with a controlled diet can help in improving blood glucose and cholesterols levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Almonds are known to lower blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal. Cashew nuts help in reducing triglycerides, cholesterol levels and improve HDL: total cholesterol ratio. Studies have shown that pistachios contain the hormone glucagon-like peptide1, which reduces glucose levels and eating a handful of pistachios can help prediabetics in reducing or avoiding the risk of diabetes.

  • Fibre-rich foods – Carrots & Beans

A diet high in fibre has been discovered as the key element in the management of type 2 diabetes. Consuming dietary fibre daily alters blood sugar levels and stimulates a feeling of satiety. A high-fibre diet is also known to help in weight loss, which is an important component of diabetes management. Soluble fibre found in cucumbers, beans and nuts helps in slowing down digestive processes and glucose absorption. Insoluble fibres like vegetables, beans and carrots help in adding bulk to the stools and aids in the healthy elimination of waste products through the digestive tract.

Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease and inflammation may be decreased by omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna. In my opinion, people with diabetes should consume fish (primarily fatty fish) twice a week as advised by the American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Creating a Food Chart

There are several strategies you can use to plan a healthy, balanced diet for diabetic patients. Here’s a few things to note:

Plate method

The plate method is a simple and effective way to support healthy blood sugar levels without tracking or measuring your food. It requires you to adjust your portions of certain food groups on your plate to create a nutritionally balanced meal.

To get started, you must have non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, or cauliflower in half your plate, one-quarter of your plate should consist of proteins like chicken, eggs, fish, tofu. The remaining quarter of the plate should contain a good source of carbohydrates, like grains, legumes, fruit, or dairy products.

Also Read: Lion Diet: A Research-Based Exploration Into the King of the Jungle’s Meals

Glycemic index

This can be an effective tool for maintaining blood sugar levels. It is used to measure how much certain foods increase blood sugar levels and categorizes them as high, low, or medium GI food based on their glycemic index.

This method helps you stick to eating foods with a low or medium glycemic index and limit your intake of foods that have a high glycemic index.

In my experience, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, collards, and kale are bursting with nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, and potassium that are believed to aid in diabetes with their antioxidant properties. I strongly recommend these vegetables as these are quite healthy and contain little calories and carbs as well.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Carb counting

This method is used to manage blood sugar levels by monitoring the number of carbohydrates you consume throughout the day. The number of carbs you should eat for each meal and snack depends on factors like your age, size, and activity level.

Eating healthy with diabetes is not difficult, you can refer to this 1-day sample menu and get started:

  • Breakfast: omelette with broccoli, mushrooms, and peppers
  • Morning snack: a handful of nuts
  • Lunch: chicken salad with spinach, tomatoes, avocado
  • Afternoon snack: Greek yoghurt with sliced strawberries

Dinner: baked salmon

Also Read: Foods to Avoid with Diabetes: A Comprehensive Nutritional Guide

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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