Diet & Nutrition Last updated on 2022-02-09 16:01:06
How To Control Diabetes With Indian Food?
- Dr. Abhishtita Mudunuri
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
As a diabetic in India, we are always confused as to the right food choices; most dietary advice or guidelines are based on a western diet which is not applicable to our cuisine. Most Indians think stopping rice is the only solution, and switching to chapatis will help control blood glucose levels. Some believe eating oats and ragi will help, but no, this is not the approach. The most important rule is to restrict carbohydrates. Portion control is essential. So, first, it's important to understand what causes diabetes which would then help structure an Indian diet for a diabetic.
Diet Approach:This graph clearly shows the highest rise in blood glucose levels is after eating carbohydrates followed by protein and fats. A large number of trials and studies have shown that having a low carbohydrate diet coupled with more proteins and fats will help control blood glucose levels.
Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes:The natural history of type 2 diabetes revolves around insulin resistance. Years of excess carbohydrate intake causes a buildup of stored carbohydrates in the form of fats, and this goes on to cause insulin resistance in the years to come. Initially, this is countered by the pancreas by releasing increased amounts of insulin (Hyperinsulinemia), but with time there is a fall in insulin production. All these factors combined together will cause a worsening control of blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Type 1 Diabetes:Here the natural history is different. There is inherently a lack or minimal production of insulin. It's an autoimmune disorder wherein our own body cells attack the pancreatic beta cells. But, carbohydrate intake still plays a huge role in controlling blood glucose levels as the external insulin dose is calculated as per the carbohydrate intake. A low carbohydrate diet will help in better control of glucose levels and reduce fluctuations.
Diet:Therapeutic carbohydrate restriction combined with intermittent fasting is the way to control blood glucose levels and, in some cases, can even reverse diabetes when it comes to Type 2 diabetes and Prediabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, a low carbohydrate diet is the approach. Of course, the diet has to be combined with exercise, proper sleep, and control of stress levels to achieve optimal control of blood glucose levels. Low carb – diet: A diet low in carbohydrates restricts the type and amount of carbohydrates you eat. For a diabetic person, a complex carbohydrate is recommended, while simple carbohydrate is strictly restricted. Carbohydrates are calorie-providing macronutrients that are found in many foods and beverages. A low carbohydrate diet limits carbohydrates which are found in whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fresh fruits. For a diabetic patient, < 30 % carbohydrate per meal is recommended.
Protein — Eat Good Quality and Quantity of Protein:Eat a sizable portion of good quality protein, e.g., egg, fish, chicken, lean meat, etc., in your diet if you are non-vegetarian. However, a vegetarian plate must have protein from plant and dairy sources such as paneer, cheese, different pulses, legumes, soyabeans, mushrooms, tofu, etc. Fat: Good fats such as omega 3 and 6 should be consumed as they are satiating and help you feel full for longer. This way, you are bound to consume fewer carbohydrates. Fat slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, thus promoting blood sugar stabilization. Natural sources of these are daily cooking oils like cold-pressed coconut, mustard, groundnut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, unsalted nuts and seeds, avocado, fatty fish, etc. In contrast, avoid saturated and trans fat, which are present in processed foods like biscuits, cake, vanaspati, mayonnaise, namkeen, chips, ready to eat foods. Frequency of meals – Meals can largely be divided into 3 or 2 parts per day. The plate method: Follow these steps when preparing your meal plate – (1) Fill half of your meal plate with non-starchy vegetables like cucumber, radish, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. (2) Fill a quarter of your plate with protein-rich sources like egg, fish, chicken, lean meat, paneer, tofu, beans, lentils, legumes, etc. (3) Fill the last quarter with whole grains like ragi, jowar, bajra, wheat, rice, etc. (4) Include good fats such as cold-pressed oils or nuts and seeds in small amounts. References:
Consult a Diabetologist
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