Diabetes has become a prevalent disease in the past few years; one can blame lifestyle and eating habits for the rocketing cases. Even though the disease is omnipresent, there is not enough awareness about the same.
Diabetes is often linked to elevated blood sugar levels, which is partially true. However, there are broadly two types of diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Insipidus.
Types of diabetes:
It is an uncommon disorder that results in an imbalance of body fluid concentration. This type is caused by disturbed ADH levels (ADH is a hormone)
This is the type that we are familiar with; this type can be linked to spiked blood sugar and reduced insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone responsible for keeping blood glucose levels in check.
Diabetes Mellitus can be further classified into type I and type II diabetes, in which the former is genetic, and the latter is acquired in later stages of life. You can blame lifestyle and eating habits for type II, type I is also called Juvenile diabetes as the symptoms are observed in the early years of life.
Common symptoms of diabetes:
- You Urinate a lot, often at night
- You are losing weight without even trying
- Having numb or tingling hands or feet
- You are very thirsty
- You are developing a blurry vision
- Feeling very tired
- Hungry most of the time
- Have a dehydrated skin
- Having more infections than usual
- Sores are healing slowly
Vomiting, nausea, or stomach pains are common symptoms and usually develop within a few weeks. The symptoms typically start when you are a child or teen; that is why it is also called juvenile diabetes.
The symptoms of this diabetes are common and take years to develop; that is why the disease remains undetected for a long time among many. The condition is reported mainly in adults.
Importance of diet for people with diabetes:
The sugar in your blood comes from specific food components called carbohydrates. The rise in blood sugar levels is directly linked to carbohydrates in food. Examples of foods rich in carbohydrates are candies, tortillas, sweets, sodas, white rice, etc.
In the case of diabetic patients, the blood sugar levels can not be controlled due to reduced insulin production. Therefore, the spiked blood sugar level can cause several health issues like vision loss, sepsis, heart issues, etc. Consequently, it is essential for diabetic people to maintain a balanced diet.
The suitable food items for diabetes patients
Food with a lower glycemic index releases glucose slowly in blood and thus does not quickly shoot in blood glucose levels. Therefore, a diabetic person should follow a strict diet rich in fiber and food with a lower glycemic index.
The list of food items
Green, leafy vegetables
Green veggies are rich in essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals; to the added advantage, they have minimal impact on blood glucose levels.
Examples are kale, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, lettuce, etc.
The leafy green vegetables, especially kale and spinach, are rich in vitamin A, Calcium, potassium, fibers, and proteins.
They are helpful for diabetic people because of their rich antioxidant contents and starch digesting enzymes. The food is highly beneficial for diabetic patients.
People can consume these vegetables in salads, soups, side dishes or combine these with chicken or tofu.
Whole grains are highly desirable for diabetic people because of their high fiber content and lower glycemic index.
A rich fiber diet slows down the digestion process and allows slower digestion of nutrients and glucose, which helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Some examples of high fiber diets are whole grain bread, quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, rye, millets, whole grain pasta, etc.
Try substituting regular pasta and white bread with whole-grain substitutes.
People need specific amounts of good fats for the proper functioning of their bodies and their brain and heart wellness. Fatty fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. Moreover, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats help improve control over blood sugar and blood lipids in diabetic patients.
Several fishes are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. E.g., Salmon, Trout, Sardine, Mackerel, etc.
You can pair the grilled fish with sauteed veggies for an incredible meal.
If you are not a non-vegetarian, you can try plant-based alternative sources for these fatty acids—for example, spirulina.
Nuts, like fish, are rich in good Fatty acids and can keep the heart healthy. Specifically, walnuts are rich in alpha-lipoic acid (ALA); ALAs like Omega 3 are suitable for a healthy heart. And as diabetic people are prone to heart diseases, walnuts make an excellent diet source for patients. Walnuts are also known to reduce the risks of getting diabetes.
You can add a handful of walnuts to your breakfast or salads.
The citrus family is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals without carbohydrates, especially vitamin C. Due to a rich amount of flavonoids, fruits are also known to have anti-diabetic effects.
Moreover, they are rich in potassium, folate, and vitamin C sources.
You can consume Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons.
Berries are a rich source of antioxidants and help prevent oxidative stress, which can be linked to a wide range of health conditions like heart diseases and cancers.
Chronic level of oxidative stress in people with diabetes, due to imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals (Which are highly unstable) in the body.
In addition to that, they are a rich source of Vitamin C, k and minerals magnesium, potassium.
You can consume berries like strawberries and blueberries either in breakfast or in the form of snacks like smoothies.
Probiotic yogurt contains good bacteria, beneficial for gut health and digestion.
Probiotic yogurts are also known to improve blood cholesterol levels and mitigate the risk of heart problems; one of the effects also includes a reduction in levels of inflammation due to oxidative stress and increased insulin sensitivity.
A person can choose unsweetened yogurt for breakfast, snacks, or dessert.
Cut down on sugars!
The intensity with which the diabetes cases are shooting indicates that we need to alter our lifestyle and diet. A balanced diet is vital not only for a diseased person but also for a seemingly healthy individual.
The dietary tips and the list of mentioned foods can do wonders for diabetic patients, bringing their blood sugar levels down.