Diabetes Diet: The Best Foods for Diabetes and More

A diabetes diet simply means eating healthy nutrient rich foods in moderate amounts and sticking to a regular pattern of meal timings.

A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that improves your energy levels and strength along with making your blood sugar levels steady. It is also rich in antioxidants which helps boost immunity and prevent from complications of this lifestyle disease. 

Pentasure DM : Diabetes Care | Diabetes Protein Powder | 1000+ Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why do you need a special tailor-made diet plan for diabetes?

Everybody has a unique health pattern which cannot be compared with another person. The way a certain disease affects health of an individual varies a lot depending on his or her lifestyle, eating habits and mindset. 

You need a special diabetes diet to be made because the health goals are different from a non-diabetic individual. The plan helps you control your blood sugar (glucose), manage your weight and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats. 

If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications of diabetes, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage.

Making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits through a well planned diabetes diet chart can help keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range.

What does a diabetes diet consist of?

A diabetes diet chart is based on eating 4-6 meals a day at regular intervals depending on your energy and protein goals. This helps you better utilize the insulin that your body produces and makes the medications work efficiently.

A registered dietitian can help you prepare a diabetes diet chart based on your health goals, tastes and lifestyle. He or she can also talk to you about how to improve your eating habits and lifestyle for example choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your weight, metabolism and activity level. 

Your diabetes diet chart will generally consist of slow carbohydrates, high protein, high fiber and antioxidant rich foods. Moderately controlled portions of foods from all food groups are included for a variety of nutrients. 

Slow Carbohydrates

These are the foods which release energy slowly. Once eaten, they will take time to breakdown and get digested and release glucose very slowly in the blood. This allows insulin to do its work efficiently and prevents immediate rise of blood glucose (hyperglycemia). This also allows carbohydrates to be used for energy instead of getting stored as fat.

Examples of such foods are whole grains and whole pulses. The easiest way to include them in your diabetic diet is to substitute white bread with wheat roti, white rice with brown rice and split polished dals with whole pulses etc.

High Protein Foods

Proteins are a base of every nutrition plan. A diabetic diet chart will have good quality protein foods in it. They help maintain muscle in body sparing the carbohydrates for energy.

Since no cell can exist without protein, adequate protein in a diabetic diet makes sure there is continuous repair of cells and tissues and continuous formation of antibodies to help improve immunity. 

Eggs, fish, lean meat, milk and other dairy products, nuts and seeds are the sources of high-quality proteins. For those who do not consume any of these or for people who eat these foods in less quantities and very rarely should always opt for a supplement support.

Whey protein is one of the best quality proteins which has proven benefits in management of diabetes.

High Fiber Foods

Fiber is the most important component of a diabetes diet since it has time and again proven itself to be highly beneficial in management of the disease. In the diabetes diet chart, fiber has to be present in every single meal.

Research shows that presence of fiber in diet helps release glucose slowly from carbohydrates which maintains steady insulin levels throughout the day. 

Fiber also helps improve the composition of gut microbiota which in turn improves body’s natural potential to prevent complications of diabetes. Addition of fiber in a diabetes diet also helps maintain healthy body weight which has shown to be beneficial in controlling the progression of diabetes.

Vegetables and Leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and pulses are some of the fiber rich foods.

Antioxidant Rich Foods

Having a strong immune system is of prime importance in controlling diabetes. A diabetes diet should consist of foods rich in vitamins and minerals which fight the free radical damage in body making sure the healthy cells are prevented from further damage from the disease.

Fruits and vegetables with dark colour, berries, yellow orange vegetables, and dark green leafy vegetables are some good sources of antioxidant vitamins.

Other antioxidants like omega-3 fatty acids help maintain nerve health preventing damage. A diabetes diet should also include healthy fats which can provide omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin E to maintain health. 

What all to avoid?

A diabetes diet should be well planned with all instructions as to what to eat, how much to eat and what all foods to avoid. Mostly unhealthy foods like red meat, high fat foods, foods with white sugar, alcohol and processed foods are to be avoided so that there is no fluctuation in blood sugar levels and controlling weight also becomes particularly manageable. 

Putting it all together

With the help of a dietitian, a customized diabetes diet chart can be planned out to keep your blood sugar in control. This will help prevent complications and make it more efficient to manage diabetes. Not to forget, along with a diabetes diet, exercise is also an important aspect of management of any lifestyle disorder.

A holistic approach towards health is ultimately what will benefit the diabetes management.