That we are slaves to a sedentary lifestyle is a well known fact. A sedentary job, lack of time for relaxation and no time to eat, particularly to eat healthy, make the perfect recipe to develop lifestyle disorders. This is when diseases begin to creep into our unhealthy, uncared for bodies. One of the commonest lifestyle disorders, Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, has more than half the world’s population is in its grip and continues to grow for this very reason.
Once diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, we suddenly find ourselves faced with the dilemma of what to eat such that our blood sugars remain under control. Why keep hoping that what we eat doesn’t worsen the blood sugar level, when we can control our food choices consciously with a complete awareness about what is wrong and right? This is especially important for people with accompanying medical conditions like high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, and cholesterol disorders along with diabetes. Here is a guide on the best foods you can eat to keep your diabetes under control:
- Green leafy vegetables:
Green leafy vegetables make for an extremely healthy choice for type 2 diabetics as well as those planning to lose weight. Their high fibre content and low calorie value makes them a super food. Dark green vegetables like spinach, bitter gourd are known to bring down sugars in those consuming at least 2 servings a day every day. Since high sugars are always associated with increased tendency to infections, green leafy vegetables can do wonders at protecting you from recurrent infections like urinary infections, fungal infections, etc. Apart from being of tremendous benefit to diabetics, regular consumption of these reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 14%, making them a great food choice for pre-diabetics or those with diabetes in their family history.
A very good option is to include dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach in your daily routine to keep your sugars under control. Add them to sandwiches and salads and enjoy a sugar-free and stress free meal!
Diabetes can be a nutty affair! Nuts are tiny, but carry huge protein-tial. The potential to drop the high sugars and stop your anti diabetic drugs. Have them daily and watch your sugars coming under control much easier. Nuts are very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which helps reduce insulin resistance. This makes the body more sensitive to naturally produced insulin which in turn helps maintain normal sugar levels. MUFA also protects against heart attack and stroke. This make nuts a highly recommended food for a diabetic. It is advisable to have 2 ounces of mixed nuts daily for the optimum results. However, a word of caution here. Nuts are also high in calories , especially cashew nuts. So choose the right variety.
Almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts are the best nuts to consume. In fact almonds have a very low glycemic index. The best way to have them is to soak them overnight, next day discard the water and the nuts are ready to be eaten. Soaking overnight promotes the release of enzyme inhibitors. Nuts are readily available all year round and can be made a part of any meal very easily. Better yet, just munching on nuts between meals makes for a crunchy, tasty, healthy alternative to chips and biscuits that will raise your sugar levels.
If you have been shedding tears while cutting an onion then it’s worth it. Least does one expect that onions can be best friends of diabetics. Onions contain a substance called chromium which is of immense benefit to those with type 2 diabetes. Chromium not only helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, but also helps the body to use its insulin efficiently. In most diabetics, the body develops a resistance to insulin causing it to underutilized. So, even if the levels of insulin are normal, the body is not able to utilize it completely. In such cases, chromium in onions acts as an insulin potentiator.
It has been seen that 1 cup of raw onions or half a cup of cooked onions contains 25 to 35 mcg of chromium, an amount enough to reverse diabetes. Onions can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Add them to the vegetable dishes along with garlic and other herbs or else bite into a crunchy burger, salad, or sandwich with lots of onions in it.
Fishes come to our rescue once again. Research has shown that consumption of fish at least 3 to 4 times a week reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Studies have shown that around 75% of diabetics die of a heart attack or a stroke. Fishes contain omega 3 fatty acids that prevent plaque formation in arteries there by reducing the risk of a heart attack by 35%. In addition, fish also help in improving insulin sensitivity. Among all the fishes, the pacific wild caught salmon, mackerel, and cod are considered to be the best. However, all types of fishes are beneficial. So having fishing as a hobby might go a longer mile than you ever thought!
All types of legumes and lentils have been used as an age old remedy for high sugars. Beans are very high in fibre and have proved to aid weight loss diet programs too. Obese and overweight people develop more insulin resistance. Beans can help lose weight and curtail this insulin resistance. Half a cup of navy beans contain more than 9 gms of fibre.
A small but regular effort to include these super foods in the diet can make a huge difference to the life of diabetics and pre-diabetics. They can help maintain blood sugar levels at optimum, prevent worsening of diabetes and reduce the risk of diabetes in those with a high risk of developing it. So munching is not bad, as long as you are munching the right foods!