Medical experts constantly stress on the fact that Diabetes Mellitus can be kept under control, with proper nourishment. The components in the food that is taken, regulate the sugar levels. That is why diabetics should know what kinds of food to take and what to avoid, rather than depend on medicines. Medical experts and nutritionists suggest the following foodstuffs, including fruits, that can be taken by diabetics.
Even common people know that eating bitter gourd is beneficial to diabetics. This is because it regulates sugar levels in the blood. Bitter gourd contains a high level of plant insulin. It regulates blood sugar levels effectively. Juice of two or three bitter gourds can be taken daily once in the morning. A teaspoonful of dried and powered bitter gourd seeds, mixed with water, can be taken daily once for good results.
Many diabetics consume fenugreek (methi) regularly. A teaspoonful of methi seeds can be soaked in a glass of water, at night. The water should consumed in the morning, while the seeds can be had as chutney or mixed in roti dough.
Garlic is a natural ingredient that regulates blood pressure. It also regulates blood sugar levels. It contains zinc, sulphur and insulin components. Phosphorus in garlic replenishes the useful nutrients that are washed away in urine. It is essential to make garlic, a part of daily diet.
Flak seeds (Telugu: Avisi ginjalu)
Flak seeds have Omega fatty 3 acids in abundance. They keep sugar level in control. They also provide protein and fibre. Magnesium cells in these help in absorbing insulin. A teaspoon of flak seeds taken on an empty stomach daily in the morning, keeps sugar levels in complete control.
Several studies have shown that Cinnamon improves production of blood glucose and reduces cholesterol. Boil some cinnamon in water and drink the decoction, for remarkable changes.
By consuming more fibrous food, you can regulate cholesterol and sugar levels. Fibrous food does not change in to glucose immediately. They are digested gradually. Sugar is released in small amounts from time to time. Oats, unpolished rice or wheat have more fibre.
Beans contribute a lot to health. The vegetable has abundant fibre. It remains for long in the digestive system. It gives a feeling of fullness. It is beneficial for those who want to reduce weight as well as for diabetics.
Barley water has adequate soluble and insoluble fibre. It can be taken as soup or salad. It controls the sudden rise in blood sugar levels, after a meal, by about 70 per cent. Thus sugar levels in the blood are regulated.
Carrots contain a small amount of sugar. Usually diabetics are advised to avoid carrots. But the sugar level in carrot is very less, so it need not be avoided by diabetics. Natural beta carotene is high in carrots. It necessary to know that this regulates blood sugar.
Amaranth leaves (Telugu: Thotakura)
Consuming Amaranth leaves daily will show marked results. Amaranth leaves increase production of insulin. This helps in increased absorption of glucose from the blood cells, scientists said.
At least two cups of toned milk should be taken daily. The protein in milk helps regulate sugar levels in blood. Dairy products like curd (yogurt) and buttermilk too are effective.
Oats contain water soluble fibre. It becomes a paste when mixed with water. It works as a layer between digestive enzymes and the refined food particles. As such, carbohydrates in the food, take a longer time to metabolise in to blood glucose. Blood sugar will not shoot up suddenly. It gives good results when consumed as breakfast or soup.
Good fats in olive oil stunt the growth of insulin resistance. It also takes a long time to digest.
Cabbage contains fibre and anti-oxidants. It has high chromium levels. It regulates blood sugar levels in the long run. Nutritional experts say that diabetics can make this a part of their diet.
Small portions of meals
Diabetics must avoid heavy meals. Heavy meals drastically raise blood sugar levels. Instead, small portions of meals can be taken for every three hours. At no point of time should you fast or go hungry.
Nuts are high in good fats. They break insulin resistance. It makes blood sugar control easier. Cell are protected by Vitamin E as well as anti-oxidants. It takes care of nerves and eyes from harm. Fibre and magnesium in nuts regulate blood sugar.
Anti-oxidants in pomegranate, protect from free radicals. It is very good for those suffering from long term diseases. As sugar levels are less in it, diabetics can eat pomegranate.
Glycemyx Index (GI) is high in watermelon. Normally, diabetics should consume food that is low on GI. Because it increases blood sugar levels. However, watermelon has low glycemyx load. Experts say that it can be taken in limited quantities. Potassium levels in watermelons helps in effective functioning of kidneys. Sugar patients usually face the threat of kidney malfunction. Also, nerves are damaged. But lycopene in watermelons prevents this condition.
Diabetics should necessarily take vitamin C. One orange daily is sufficient for making up for this. As sugar content is less in orange, it can be taken without fear.
There are adequate vitamins and minerals in Papaya to benefit diabetics.
Guava has the quality of controlling diabetics. Normally, sugar patients suffer from constipation. Fibre in guava helps to relieve this condition. Guava has high Vitamin A and C. It also has moderate levels of GI. It can be safely consumed on a daily basis.
Jamun (Telugu: Neredu)
Many studies have shown that these fruits control diabetes. After consuming the pulp, the seeds can be powered and consumed for good results. Glycoside is present in the seed. It prevents undigested food material from changing to glucose.
GI value in apples is 20. This is lesser in some kinds of apples. Apple can be consumed on a daily basis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that risk of Type II diabetes is decreased by taking apples combined with blue berries or grapes.
This is an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber. Diabetics should consume food prepared out of gooseberry.
Reduce these in diet
Do not add salt to any foodstuffs. Use very little salt while cooking. The natural salts in vegetables are adequate, for daily needs. It is a silent killer when consumed in large measures. At the same time, it is ideal if sugar is avoided completely. Consumption of fatty foods should be reduced. Ensure controlled measure of oil. Avoid non-vegetarian food altogether and replace it with vegetarian meals. Avoid whole milk (more fats). More than two cups of either tea or coffee is harmful. Avoid maida (refined flour). Avoid polished rice. Replace it with brown rice. If this is difficult to digest, use once polished rice. Stay far away from bread, bananas and potatoes that contain high GI.
Diabetics who wake up between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., should definitely consume wake up snacks. If you wake up after 7, breakfast is a must between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Breakfast in these timings is a must even for early risers. Take a snack between 10 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. Lunch time should be maintained between 12 noon and 12.30 p.m. Afternoon snack time is between 3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Ideally, dinner should be had between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Ensure not less than a three-hour gap between each meal. Wait for one-and-a-half to two hours before going to bed, after dinner. Any meal that is consumed should be in the ratio 60:20:20, that is, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Wake up snack
Methi (fenugreek seeds) soaked in water overnight can be had as wake up snack. This can be alternated with one apple or five almonds soaked in water overnight. Three walnuts or a teaspoon of fried flak seeds can be had along with this snack. A boiled egg or omelette, or tomato juice with a pinch of black pepper powder can be also be taken on an empty stomach.
Oats upma, idly, dosa, pesarattu (less oil) can be had for breakfast. Semiya upma with vegetables or soaked whole greengram or channa, can be had raw or slightly boiled. Beetroot, badam or tomato can be added to this. Roti made with spinach or methi is also ideal.
morning snack (11 a.m.)
Apple or any of the fruits mentioned above can be had. A glass of buttermilk, will help in digestion, with its good bacteria. Keera and carrot are ideal. Samosa or pakodi will do. Alternate buttermilk with milk.
Brown rice or limited quantity of white rice, vegetable mix (keera, carrots etc.), one roti and pulses. Raw banana and Alu parata can be had.
Tea or coffee, coconut, dry fruits (dates, walnuts, anjeer, kaju etc.), two or three sugarless biscuits or fried channa.
Rotis made with multigrain atta, cabbage or cauliflower curry, ragi dosa are ideal. One cup of hot milk before bedtime.