The common belief is that you must give up all your favorite foods as soon as you are diagnosed with Diabetes. It’s not true, but there are a few items that should be either avoided or eaten in moderation. Before we proceed to our diabetic diet, let’s talk about the five important food groups that should be included in our everyday meals.
Group I: Non-starchy veggies: broccoli, capsicum, bottle gourd, carrot, cabbage, leafy vegetables, onion, lady’s finger.
Group II: Whole grains: like roti, brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, bajra, jowar, barley, corn.
Group III: Lean Protein: like soybean, pulses, eggs, fish, nuts, skinless chicken.
Group IV: Dairy/Dairy products: like low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese.
Group V: Fruits: like apples, berries, papaya, melon
QUICK DIET TIP: While cooking always use the oil in moderation. Make use of all beneficial spices while cooking just like in traditional India cooking.
A healthy diabetic diet should consist of all these above-mentioned food groups in the right portion size. One- half of your plate should have cooked or raw vegetables. One-fourth should have whole grains, and the other one-fourth portion should have lean protein along with one serving of fruit and one serving of dairy or dairy product.
SAMPLE MENU FOR LUNCH AND DINNER FOR A DIABETIC PLATE:
- Whole grains: 2 Roti or 1 cup of brown rice
- Proteins: 1 cup dal, or ½ cup of homemade fresh paneer.
- Veggies: I cup raw salad and 1 cup of mixed vegetables.
- Dairy: 1 cup Raita
- Fruit: 1 cup pomegranate.
QUICK DIET TIP: While planning a diabetic plate, always be careful with the portions.
The right food in the right portion is the key to living healthy with Diabetes. It is always better to ask an expert dietician’s advice to know exactly what and how much to eat from the above-mentioned food groups for a better glycemic control.
WHAT IS GLYCEMIC CONTROL?
To understand glycemic control, we first need to understand the glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is the ability of carbohydrate-containing food items to raise the blood sugar after it is consumed.
High GI: 70 or more. Medium: 56-69 and Low: 0-55
Foods with a high GI are broken down into glucose and very rapidly absorbed in the blood hence increasing the blood sugar levels immediately. This rapid increase in the blood sugar levels also causes a sudden drop in the blood sugar which leads to cravings and overeating. Whereas food with low GI breaks down glucose in a more stable way leading to a gradual rise in blood sugars. Giving time to our cells to utilize the glucose properly hence keeping the sugar levels in control.
For example, Brown rice has a low glycemic index than polished white rice.
QUICK DIET TIP: Plan your meal choosing food items low in glycemic index and high in fiber content, like whole grains, wheat, millet, bajra, corn, rye, buckwheat flour, veggies and fruits, flaxseed, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.
A regular exercise routine plays a vital role in maintaining optimum levels of blood glucose levels. Exercise enables our body cells to use insulin effectively. The cells take up the blood glucose for various processes and hence lowering the sugar levels in the blood.
QUICK MY22BMI HEALTH TIP: A few patients may need to follow up with their doctor before starting any exercise routine. Speak to your doctor about your plans and what kind of exercise you should begin with.
Some Diabetes Diet Related Myths-
- Fruits like Mangoes and Bananas should not be part of a diabetic person’s diet. Not true! In fact, there is a compound called Mangiferin which is an antioxidant and helps in lowering the blood sugar levels. Just mind portion control, and consume during the day time, not in evening or night.
- High fat sweet fruits such as coconuts are not good for diabetic people diet. Not true! Coconut in dry form and coconut oil is good in diabetes.
- Carbs must be avoided. Not true! Carbs are an integral part of a diabetic diet plan. Go for high fiber and low glycemic index carbs while planning the diet.
Aliv Seeds Laddoo (Garden Cress Seeds Laddoos)
This is very healthy sweet to be had for diabetes people during lunchtime when feeling like having something sweet.
- 65 gm Aliv
- 1 1/4 glass Coconut water
- 2 grated fresh coconut
- 450 gm finely chopped jaggery
- 1 tbsp. Ghee
- Take a aliv in a bowl. Add coconut water in it. Mix well.
- Cover add rest it for 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat the ghee in a pan on low flame. Add grated fresh coconut, soaked aliv, and finely chopped jaggery.
- You can add finely chopped almonds and cashews also. It is optional.
- Mix well and cook till the mixture leaves the side of the pan.
- It will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
- Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
- Let it cool down completely. Roll it out into ladoo. Aliv ladoo is ready. Store it in the refrigerator for about 15 days. It will good at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.
Dahi Poha Recipe
An excellent recipe for light lunch or early dinner for a diabetic lifestyle.
- 1 cup poha / aval / flattened rice
- 2.5 cups yogurt / curd / dahi
- 2 green chilies
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- A few curry leaves
- 2 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- If using the thin variety of poha, as I have used here, rinse the poha under running water. Drain the water and set the poha aside for 5-7 minutes.
- If the thick variety of poha is being used, you need to wash the poha and soak it in water for around 10 minutes.
- Chop green chillies.
- Meanwhile add salt to curd and beat till it turns smooth.
- Add the poha to this curd and mix well. Keep this aside for around 10 minutes to let the poha to soak in the curd.
- For the tempering, heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds.
- When mustard seed splutter, add cumin seeds.
- Once cumin seeds crackle, add curry leaves, grated ginger, and green chilies.
- Sauté for a few seconds and remove from heat.
- Add the seasoning to the prepared poha curd mixture and mix well.
- Dahi poha is ready to be served.