Number of people suffering with diabetes is increasing day by day, both in developed and developing countries due to changing lifestyles. Diabetes need to be managed with the combination of medications and dietary discipline. So, the question that most newly diagnosed diabetics ask is, “What should I eat?”
Every person needs a certain amount of calories depending upon person’s BMI (body mass index) and his daily lifestyle (more active people need more calories). Small and frequent meals are better than large fewer meals for maintenance blood glucose level.
Here are some basic tips for a healthy diabetic diet:
1. Wide variety of food with different nutrients in right amount should be included (with advice from your dietitian).
2. High fiber diet like oats and millets should be included in one’s diet plan.
3. Non-starchy and fibrous vegetables like green beans, broccoli, carrot, leafy vegetables (like spinach) should be included in diet.
4. High fiber fruits like papaya, orange, guava, pear, etc should be included in diet.
5. Pulses with husk and sprout are a good and healthy option.
6. Whole grain food are better than processed food products. For example, brown rice should be preferred over white rice.
7. Take non-fat dairy products like skimmed milk, non-fat yogurt, etc.
8. Take good fat like Omega and MUFA (mono unsaturated fats) since they are low in cholesterol and trans fat free. They can be obtained from canola oil, flax seed oil, etc.
9. Avoid high calorie drinks (like soda drinks), desserts and food.
10. For non-vegetarians, chicken (with skin removed) and sea food can be taken in place of red meat. One should also avoid egg yolk as it has high cholesterol.
Having diabetes does not necessarily mean that you have to eat a boring diet. If smartly planned (in consultation with your dietitian), one can enjoy a delicious meal while staying healthy.