Diabetes brings down many a dream of relishing that
favourite sweet! However, many go overboard while accepting the reality associated with the bitter truth for
a diabetic - Stay away from anything sweet! The reality is, the affected can still enjoy and relish that favourite
fruit or other foods without affecting the sweet killer disease and probably even help to combat it! Read on to see
what foods can keep your life sweet and still not affect your health! Though dietary management becomes imperative
for a diabetic, maintaining a fine balance is important.
WHAT DOES YOUR FRUIT BASKET HAS TO OFFER?
Along with all the sweets that our Indian kitchen's traditional preparation has to offer, fruits too are generally
categorised in the "NO NO" section for a diabetic. However, diabetics forget the concept of a GI (Glycemic Index)
which can be monitored to understand sugar intake. Fruits being high in fiber and micronutrients have a very low Gl
and hence qualify to become good Food for diabetics. But fear not! You can still enjoy a small portion of fruits
(selected ones of course) in a day or maybe alternates.
These sweet sour tiny drupes are low on carbs and filled with fiber that will keep you full without affecting your
sugar levels. Berries, touted to be diabetes super foods fulfill your daily requirements of vitamin C and a good
amount potassium too, which keeps a check on blood pressure. A controlled portion of berries such as strawberries,
blueberries or even coupling them with cereals or oatmeal for breakfast can be a lovely treat. Research has also shown
blueberries to have an association with lowering the chances of being affected by type 2 diabetes.
This earthy flavoured fruit has a mild sweetness to it which makes it a good pick for a diabetic. A considerable
portion of musk melon for breakfast can not only provide the daily requirement of vitamin A and C, but also helps
to improve sugar
metabolism and insulin activity. A component known as 'oxykine' present in musk melon is also known to help in
slowing down the progression of diabetic nephropathy (a disease which affects the functioning of kidneys in a
An Apple a day can surely keep diabetes at bay! Apples are loaded with fiber and antioxidants called 'quercitin'
that help in regulating many of your heart's functions. The fiber again contributes to keeping the levels of blood
sugar under control.
A native of the Indian subcontinent, this purple fruit is the one which a diabetic can have without any hesitation.
The powder of jamun seeds which contains jamboline is also believed to have many properties that can keep Diabetes under
This buttery tasting fruit is rich in good fats and low in carbs, While the good fats contribute to a
healthy heart, the low value of simple carbs and more of fiber contributes in keeping blood sugar levels under control.
So relish the scoops of half an avacado or pair thin slices of it in a carb-checked sandwich.
Other low Gl and fiber rich
fruits include peaches, cherries, apricots, oranges, etc. which can also be included without worry.
DON'T LEAVE THE GREENS BEHIND!
While vegetables are filled with many vitamins and minerals, there are still many of them which are high in
carbs too. Thus, when it comes to a diabetic, it is necessary to check which veggies are the best. Listed down
are few of the veggies which are rich in fiber and have least of carb content in them.
This green flower head vegetable is low on carbs and high on fiber, making it the best option for a diabetic.
Broccoli is also rich in vitamins A and C, and is also known to carry a special compound called 'sulforaphane'
which helps in protecting blood vessels that might have been damaged due to diabetes.
Yet another flower head vegetable, it is surely a boon for diabetics as it is again low on carbs and rich in fiber,
and one of the most affordable veggies in the market. This makes it a very versatile and a good choice for a diabetic.
Cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C, and minerals such as calcium and iron.
Yet another member of the above two vegetables family; cabbage is an affordable veggie with low carb and high fiber
content. Again another inexpensive way to fill your diet with vitamins and Cand loads of antioxidants.
This green leafy vegetable popularised by the toon character Popeye, is loaded with iron and fiber and forms the best
choice for an anemic and a diabetic too! Spinach is again low on carbs and contains vitamins K and B9. Rich in folate,
this veggie becomes an easy addition to salads.
Other low carb additions include tomatoes, cucumber, etc.
ALL IN GRAINS!
Grains form a major part of diet and cuisine in every region of our country. Hence, giving up on this basic ingredient
is difficult. But worry not! Affected by diabetes does not mean you have to cut down the intake of this important form
of carbs completely Research on whole grains has proven it to be a blessing for even preventing onset of type 2 diabetes.
A great food for the unaffected, pre-diabetics as well as the affected, read on to know which grains and in what form will
still keep you sugar free, filled and happy.
Our country has majority of population whose staple food is rice. Unlike the white polished rice, brown has
the outer skin (bran) retained onto it which not only contributes in increasing its nutritive value, but also makes it
the best choice for a diabetic. Besides being a recommendation for diabetes, it is also a great choice for people who
are working on losing those extra flabs. Rich in selenium and fiber, it reduces the risk of diabetes to a great extent.
This special cereal grain has widely been recognised and recommended for people working on maintaining a healthy weight.
In addition, oats are also a good option for a diabetic Oats have maximum amount of fiber and thus become the best option
to keep your tummy full and also decreases the chances of hike in the blood sugar levels. However, the choice on the type
of oats when it comes to a diabetic also matters. Among the different variants of oats, the steel cut types which are the
sliced forms become a good choice (as they have low Gl and also aid in reducing LDL levels). Also, the natural form of
oats over the enhanced variants (one's with fruit flavours and seasoning) should be preferred.
Breads or biscuits made out of whole wheat are the best choice for a diabetic. The reason being, whole wheat is full of
carbohydrates which digest slowly and hence decrease the chances of a steady hike in blood sugar, which is otherwise
not the case while including the processed variety. This also keeps your stomach full and helps in avoiding binge
eating. At the same time it is also important to avoid consumption of refined wheat flour products as these comprise
more of simple carbs which digest fast and cause rapid elevation of blood sugar levels.
This low GI super food is gluten free and is also a widely advocated grain to be included in a diabetic affected
individual's meal plan. Harbouring more calcium than even milk, it is rich in vitamins, making it an ideal for type
2 diabetes. Other popular grains include buckwheat, millet, amaranth, barley, etc. which become a low Gl blessing.
Not many are aware about the power of spices, which apart from adding flavour to our favourite dishes can also
contribute in managing diabetes! Yes, that spice box which rests in your kitchen too has many such ingredients
that will help you control your diabetes.
These sweet spicy flavoured bark sticks are popular must
additions in many of the Indian cuisines. In addition, it also finds
its place in the home remedies for cough and flu and to provide relief from sore throat. Besides, cinnamon aids to
control blood sugar levels, as it contains certain compounds that help in stimulating the insulin receptors which
help in better utilisation of glucose from the blood.
A yet another common spice having a nutty and slightly sweet flavour adorns many Indian curry powders that are used
for seasoning savoury dishes of meat. Fenugreek seeds find their place in many home remedies for solving digestive
problems, lowering of cholesterol levels, etc. Diabetics are advised to consume fenugreek seeds soaked overnight as
it has the ability to control fasting glucose levels and also improve insulin efficacy.
A herb, garlic is a strong pungent commodity due to the chemical allicin, and is again a common condiment in many
Indian cuisines. Along with its many health benefits extending from maintaining cholesterol levels and blood pressure,
garlic is also found to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin in diabetics, though few research
findings have not been able to support the claim. Moderate amounts of garlic supplements under supervision, has been shown
to aid in diabetes management.
Other beneficial spices include turmeric which aids in controlling inflammation, ginger, etc.
Apart from those mentioned above, dark chocolates, green tea, almonds, etc. can also be relished by a diabetic.
However, the only thing one has to take care is to keep a tab on intake of carbs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
with regular exercises. Having diabetes is definitely not the end of your 'sweet world', but just a call for a