Dieting With Diabetes
According to a 2011 survey, about 8.3% of the population living in U.S is diabetic. There are millions of people with undiagnosed diabetes and many more millions with in a pre-diabetic phase. Obesity has been found to be a major cause for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. As we all know, diabetes affects all parts of the body from head to toe. The more weight you gain (especially around the abdomen), the more diabetic you become. Losing few pounds will go a long way in reversing the effects of diabetes. A good exercise regimen should be coupled with a well planned diet.
It is a well known fact that diabetics cannot eat the way others do (while dieting) and nor can they starve themselves for long. Hence, diabetics require a special diet for weight loss. A long term low calorie diet has found to lower blood sugar levels. In this article, we shall discuss, what to eat and what not eat and when to eat and when not to eat. One has to understand the kind of foods that increase the blood sugar levels, so that it can be eliminated from diet.Diabetes is a modern day sickness and once upon a time, it was considered the disease of the rich. It was believed to affect those who ate a lot (especially fine food) and worked little. Maybe, this description holds good even today. So friends, forget all those fine foods…by fine foods, I mean the super refined and refined stuff and the artificially sweetened ones and start working out. No more cakes, pastries or that sinful pizza. Give high calorie stuff a miss and adopt healthy eating habits.
WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT NOT TO EAT?
1) Anything that is healthy, unrefined and wholesome. Whole wheat and multi grain breads, oats, barley, rye and millet are good enough. Whole wheat noodles, whole wheat pasta with brown rice is welcome too.
2) Substitute olive oil with other refined oils, while cooking. Use very little oil while sautéing.
3) Vegetables – most of them, especially eggplants, beets etc.
4) Fruits – all fruits. You must be wondering that fruits are sweet. Fruits contain complex sugars, which take a while to break down into glucose and get absorbed and do not cause blood sugar spikes. Fruits with good fiber content like passion fruit, raspberries, pears, apricots, blueberries, kiwi fruits, strawberries and pomegranate.
5) Nuts can be had in moderation.
6) Up the fiber content in your diet. Fiber takes a longer time to digest and hence is filling and releases glucose in a slower pace.
7) Fish is good for you. The omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium in fish have been proved to lower sugar levels.
8 ) Lean meats are preferred over red meat.
9) You can drink unsweetened skimmed milk.
10) Have lots and lots of greens, the antioxidants help repair insulin producing cells.
11) Try substituting avocado pulp with cream and cheese.
12) Anything refined like flour, sugar, oil etc are not recommended.
13) Hyperglycemic fruits (with high sugar content) like over ripe bananas should be eaten very sparingly.
14) No canned fruits or sweetened juices.
15) Avoid sugar in any form – candies and desserts.
16) No soda or fizzy or aerated drinks.
17) High amount of animal proteins like meat, beef, poultry, pork etc increase insulin resistance.
18) Alcohol is better if given up completely. It adds on to the calories and worsens insulin resistance.
HOW TO COOK THEM?
1) Steam, boil or even stir fry with very little oil.
2) Do not deep fry things.
When a meat is barbequed, it releases nitrates, which are harmful to the insulin secreting cells of the pancreas. So, no smoked meat and no barbequed food.
Baking with little unrefined oil is allowed, but no butter or margarine.
Vegetables and fruits are best consumed raw.
WHEN TO EAT?
Even if you are dieting, you need to eat something now and then. Drink plenty of water to keep your basal metabolic rate high. Eat a fruit or few nuts or baked whole grain snack in between every meal. Drink milk instead of coffee. Green tea is also preferred. Eat or drink something every 2 hours, to avoid a hypoglycemic event. Hypoglycemia is a condition in which there is a sudden dip in the blood sugar level and one experiences fatigue, vertigo, nausea, headache and hot flushes.
Unrefined oats and breads are a filling and healthy low calorie options. Subs and sandwiches made out of whole wheat or multi grain are a good option. Sprinkle parsley and cinnamon in your diet. These are well known anti-diabetic foods. Any sweet cravings can be handled with barley malt or fruit salad. Beans and sprouts are healthy vegetable proteins. Sprouted beans and lentils can be had as an in between snack.During, early times, diabetes was a rare occurrence. Back then, the only known treatment was feeding the diabetic person with milk, the whole day. The affected individual was not allowed to eat or drink anything else. Healers back then believed that drinking excess milk increases urination and flushes out the excess sugar from the body. The effectiveness and safety of such a treatment is yet to be proved. One good lesson learnt is to increase your intake of low calorie food and milk. Stress is another factor which worsens diabetes, by increasing cortisol or the stress hormone. So, practice meditation and other calming techniques to keep stress at bay. Don’t forget, ‘Every pound lost through intelligent dieting is a step towards a healthy life’.