High fiber vegetables
Include vegetables which are high on fibre such as broccoli, peas, bitter guard, spinach, beans in your daily diet. Studies have shown that people who consume one or more serving of spinach on a daily basis, cut down their risk of developing diabetes by 14 percent. Broccoli is high on fiber (5 grams per ½ cup) and low on calories (50), hence is another great vegetable to include in your diet. A study published in the medical journal, ‘Diabetes’, had found that the compound sulforaphane, which is found in the vegetable, helps to reverse the damage caused by diabetes to the heart blood vessels. Similarly bitter guard contains active substances such as charantin, vicine and polypeptide-p, which have anti-diabetic properties.
Pulses are loaded with proteins, and hence are the go to food for vegetarians. Even though they contain carbohydrates, they have a low glycaemic index, this ensures that they don’t cause the blood sugar levels to rise sharply. Since pulses are a good source of soluble fibre, they help lower your cholesterol levels as well. They are also low in fat, and thus do not harm your heart. Include pulses such as kidney beans, chick peas, butter beans, black eyed beans, lentils, etc in your daily diet.
Fenugreek or methi seeds
A key ingredient in most Indian dishes, fenugreek or methi is known for its diabetes fighting property. Fenugreek is used in its seed form, as a herb in its dried form, or as a vegetable. It is high in soluble fiber, thus helping lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorbtion of carbohydrates in the body. Fenugreek also contains saponins which help reduce the body’s absorption of bad LDL cholesterol from fatty foods. You can add methi seeds to your dishes, or soak them overnight and drink the water. Sprouted methi is also highly nutritional.
Eggs, especially the free range, organic variety, are great sources of protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and B and also of calcium, iron, selenium and phosphorus. Researchers have also found that eating eggs on a regular basis helps cut the danger of developing Type 2 diabetes by 40 percent. This is despite the fact that eggs are naturally high in cholesterol. According to scientists, this may be due to the nutrients that are in the egg, which enables the body to metabolise sugar better.
Low Fat Milk
Diabetes raises the risk of fractures in middles aged and elderly people. Studies have shown that the daily consumption of milk, especially the low fat variety, is beneficial for people suffering from diabetes, as it helps keep bones strong and protects against osteoporosis. Milk contains carbohydrates and proteins, which help keep sugar levels in check. It also contains magnesium, potassium and Vitamin D – all essential for the body to function properly. However, whole milk is high in saturated fat, and thus should be avoided.
Excessive thirst is one of the main symptoms of diabetes. That is because the kidney tries to pass out the glucose through urine, which requires more water. Hence, the risk of dehydration is also higher. Thus making it all the more important to drink water. More oever, a study conducted on 3,600 people in France found out that those who drank more than four cups of water everyday were less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less.
Another staple spice that we add to most of our dishes, turmeric contains curcumin – a compound which, when coupled with Omega 3 fats, can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Turmeric also has anti glycaemic properties, which help maintain the proper functioning of the pancreas – thus helping to regulate insulin production in the body.
As compared to refined grains, whole grains have the germ, endosperm and bran in tact, hence retaining all of its nutrients. High on fiber and with a lower glycaemic index, whole wheat is an important part of your diet. Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, whole oats, whole grain barley, ragi and amaranth, are packed with calcium, contain polyphenols and dietary fiber which help control diabetes, and are a natural source of iron, proteins, B vitamins and vitamin E.
Omega 3 fatty acids:
Studies have shown that consuming Omega 3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish and fish oil, is beneficial for the heart. Research has also shown that diets which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids may decrease insulin resistance in people with diabetes. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herrings are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. For vegetarians, walnuts and flaxseeds also contain the fatty acids.
Meat is a good source of proteins, however red meat has a high fat content, which can be harmful for the heart. Hence, as much as possible, opt for lean meat such as skinless chicken, fish, and turkey, or for low fat red meat such as pork with its fat trimmed off. These have fewer calories, and are good sources of vitamins B3 and B6, choline and selenium, an element which has antioxidant properties.