Proper nutrition and physical activity are vital to keeping the blood sugar level in check. A person must balance the amount of nutrition intake with proper physical activity to tackle a health condition like diabetes.
Maintaining blood sugar also becomes easier when the person sticks to the best foods for diabetics.
A proper diabetic food plan includes having healthy food in considerable amounts and sticking to the eating timetable.
Generally, a healthy diet for diabetes includes food with high nutrients like fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Top 8 Healthy food for Diabetics
For people having diabetes, there are several restrictions on food. Here, let’s look at the best foods for diabetics.
1. Leafy green vegetables
The leafy green vegetables are highly nutritious and low in calories, and they are also significantly lower in digestible carbs, which help the body maintain blood sugar levels.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, mustard green, Fenugreek, Chenopodium, Colocasia, Moringa, and water spinach, must be included in the meals of diabetic people.
Fruits are an essential source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre and are low in calories and sodium.
Some fruits included in the diabetic food plan are different berries (strawberries, blueberries), peaches, avocados, cherries, apricots, apples, oranges, pears, and kiwis, as these are low in glycemic index (GI).
The GI is a rating system for food items that contain carbohydrates.
The GI number shows how quickly a food item affects your blood sugar level when that food is consumed on its own. Foods or fruits with low GI help you manage diabetes.
Several foods have loads of protein, but not every protein-rich food is suitable for diabetic people.
Some healthy foods with proteins are plant-based proteins (nuts, beans, seeds, tofu), fish, skinless chicken (choose breast part, if possible), eggs, and low-fat dairy.
However, a person must always discuss this with their doctor before consuming protein-based foods.
The body needs carbs to function efficiently, but one should be careful with the amount of carb intake.
Some healthy foods with starch for diabetes are whole grains (brown rice, oats, millet, amaranth, quinoa) and sweet potato.
5. Diary (Low fat or non-fat)
One should always depend on low-fat or non-fat dairy products to maintain blood sugar levels. The best choices for the diary are:
- low-fat yoghurt,
- 1% or skimmed milk,
- low-fat cottage cheese, and
- low-fat or non-fat sour cream.
- Different seeds and nuts
6. Seeds and nuts
Several seeds fulfil the dietary gap. Diabetic people are advised to take different seeds and nuts like chia, pumpkin, flax, and walnuts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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Choosing the right oil for food preparation is important. One should opt for extra virgin olive oil to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It contains oleic acid that improves glycemic management and helps to reduce fasting and post-meal triglyceride levels. The extra virgin olive oil also protects the body against several heart diseases.
When it comes to any drinks, one needs to be mindful. A person with diabetes has to restrict drinks to maintain the level of calories, sugar, salt and fat.
The best choice of drinks for diabetes are unflavoured water, sparkling water, green tea, small amounts of wine, non-fruit mixed drinks, light beer (avoid if possible), and black coffee.
Foods to Avoid during Diabetes
After discussing the healthy food to take, let’s look at some foods that should be avoided to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Avoiding the below-mentioned food items and following proper physical exercises can help a person with diabetes.
The choice of vegetables to avoid are canned vegetables, vegetables cooked in butter, cheese or sauce, and pickles.
The choice of fruits to avoid are canned fruits with sugar syrup, fruit rolls, jams, jellies, sweetened applesauce, fruit drinks, canned fruit juice, and fruit punch.
The choice of proteins to avoid to maintain diabetes and a healthy lifestyle are fried meat products, red meat, pork bacon, regular cheese, poultry with skin, and deep-fried fish or tofu.
The starchy products to avoid are white rice, white flour, white bread, french fries, cereals with sugar and whole grains.
Not all dairy products are okay to fit into a diabetic food plan, and the dairy products a diabetic patient should avoid are whole milk, regular yoghurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and ice creams.
Sugar-free ice creams and sweets should also be limited and, if possible, avoided.
Several soft and hard drinks are unhealthy. The main beverages to be avoided are regular sodas, beer, fruity mixed drinks, regular tea with sugar, coffee with milk and sugar, flavoured coffees, chocolate drinks, and energy drinks.
Choosing the best foods for diabetics is essential for people with diabetes as doing this will helps control blood sugar.
The body needs the right amount of nutrients to function correctly. With diabetes, there are certain restrictions, and they may hamper the healthy functioning of the body.
So, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before starting a proper food plan to fight diabetes.