Planning your diet attains special importance if you are diabetic. Those who have type-2 diabetes need to manage their diet to control their blood sugar levels, fight hunger, remain full and energetic for long periods. A diabetic diet primarily focuses on managing the number of carbs consumed. This is indicated by a food’s GI score. Foods with a high GI score raise blood sugar levels, whereas those with low scores are healthier for diabetic patients.
While it is important to watch your carbs, it is also important to include foods in your diet that you enjoy, without giving in to the urges of overeating. Mentioned below is a list of foods that can not only help you keep your blood sugar levels in check but also keep your taste buds happy.
Raw, cooked or roasted vegetables
Adding low-carb vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, eggplant, zucchini, and sprouts are an excellent addition to your meal. They add flavour, colour, and texture making your meal even more enjoyable. You can also add low-fat dressings with your veggies such as hummus, guacamole or salsa.
Whole wheat bread
Most bread contains an abundance of carbohydrates which can very quickly raise blood sugar levels. 100% whole wheat bread or rye bread is an excellent alternative. They have very low GI scores, meaning they are low in carb content. Go for unprocessed bread as the processing removes fiber from the bread which slows down digestion and reduces blood sugar levels.
Most varieties of fruits
Except for pineapples and melons, most fruits have a low GI index. Fruits contain a naturally occurring sugar known as fructose which is balanced by their water and fiber content. It is better to eat whole fruits as compared to fruit juices, as juices have a high GI index. Added to this, a 2013 study found that people who included whole fruits in their diet were at a significantly lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
While you must watch your carbs and consume sufficient fiber and water, you must consume foods rich in protein that don’t offset your blood sugar levels. Yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, and lean meats are excellent sources of proteins. Peanut butter on stick celery is an excellent combo of proteins and healthy fats.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts are one of the healthiest foods a diabetic patient can eat. They not only have a low GI index but are also rich in a variety of other nutrients such as plant-based proteins, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Garlic has been used extensively in traditional remedies diabetes and a range of other health conditions. Garlic contains compounds that help in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity of the body and insulin secretion levels.
Diet is only one aspect of maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Apart from diet lifestyle choices such as sufficient hydration, regular exercise, and managing stress go a long way in ensuring low blood sugar levels.
Note: Always consult a dietitian before trying out any new food or diet.