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There are many myths about diabetes, especially related to what you can eat and what you can’t. Lots of people think that diabetics shouldn’t eat sweets at all. This is not true. Similarly, all carbs and fats are not bad. A high protein diet is also not required and there are no special diabetic meals. So, what should you as a diabetic, eat to combat diabetes? Read on to find out:
- Low glycemic index foods: Complex carbs are best for you as they limit the amount of sugar released into your blood stream and are digested more slowly and prevent your body from releasing too much insulin. These are also called low GI foods as well as slow-release carbs and are also high in fibre. Processed carbs like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as sodas, packaged meals, and snacks must be junked. These are all called high glycemic index (GI) foods and spike your blood sugar.
- Manage sugar wisely: Diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t eat sugar or desserts. It means you have to be smart with sugar, like
- Take smaller servings of your favourite desserts as they are best eaten in moderation.
- Reduce the sugar in your diet slowly rather than at once. This will give your taste buds some time to adjust, reducing sugar cravings.
- If you want to eat dessert, hold back on carbs in a meal. Balance out meals so that you don’t eat too many carb-heavy foods.
- Add some healthy fat to your diet, as it slows down the digestive process, which means that your blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly.
- Eat sweets along with a meal and not alone: Sweets eaten alone can spike your blood sugar levels a lot.
- Don’t drink alcohol: Alcohol is full of calories and carbs and cocktails are loaded with sugar. Alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin, as well.
- Avoid junk, soft drinks, soda and juices: They are all packed with sugar.
- Avoid processed or packaged foods: These are loaded with hidden sugars. Eat food cooked at home.
- Remember high protein diets are not always good: Studies have shown that if you eat too much protein, especially animal protein, you may become insulin resistant. A healthy diet for diabetics includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats for the body to function properly.
- Eat more of these
- Healthy fats found in raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, and flax seeds.
- Also eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid juices.
- Eat more high fibre cereals.
- And avoid foods like
- Trans fats which means all deep-fried foods
- Fast foods, especially cakes, pastries, and chips
- Red meat
Remember, your overall eating patterns are very important. It’s also important to eat at regular intervals and avoid missing meals. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.