If you have diabetes, managing a healthy diet plan is very important to regulate blood sugar levels and to maintain an ideal body weight. A diabetes diet is a healthy diet schedule for people with diabetes, and is also helpful for those without diabetes. If diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, one should ideally consult with a dietician to plan your meal based on your requirement, taste, and lifestyle.
A diabetes diet recommends few foods that are more nutritious and will help in controlling the blood sugar levels.
Foods that have are high in nutrition and help control blood sugar levels include:
- Complex carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are the most important source of fuel for the cells, as it releases glucose on digestion. Among the different forms of carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, found in vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, help to provide a steady source of glucose without any peaks in the blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of dietary fibers. Dietitians will help in keeping track of carbohydrate intake based on your specific requirement. In a diabetes plan, generally one should include about three to four carbohydrates in a meal, in addition to one or two when it's time for snacks. However, a diabetes plan would include more whole grains, low fat milk, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- Dietary fiber – Foods high in fiber aids in the digestion of the contents, and also helps the movement of food through the gut. Including foods high in fiber in your diet is helpful in delaying the absorption of sugar from the blood, and also reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol in blood. They are also good at bringing down the risk of intestinal diseases. As the amount of calories eaten is less with more of fibrous food, the calorie intake is reduced. Fruits and vegetables, peas, and bran products are all good sources of dietary fiber.
- Low-fat foods – Controlling the amount of calories through fats is important in two ways – to reduce the risk of heart disease, and also to maintain a healthy body weight. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats while preparing the diet plan. Including lean meats, plant proteins, low-fat dairy products, vegetable oil, and more of vegetables and fruits are the best way to reduce the calories added from fats. In addition, a small change in the method of cooking also makes a big difference. Avoid frying food and go for methods like baking, grilling, roasting, or boiling.
- Low-salt food options – Increased amounts of salt in the diet may raise the risk of high blood pressure, especially in people with diabetes. Limiting foods containing high salt content, like canned products, ketchup, pickled foods, salty snacks, and monosodium glutamate will help in controlling the salt levels in food.
- A diabetes diet includes complex carbs, dietary fibers, low-fat foods, and low sodium foods.
- A diabetes diet can be planned with a dietician.