Diabetes is a health condition in which the body is unable to metabolize sugar. This happens because the body is unable to produce or use insulin hormone. This results in a rise in blood sugar levels. Over time, diabetes can become a chronic condition and cause serious problems to organs like kidneys, eyes, and heart. Apart from taking medications, it is also essential to make dietary changes to manage the disease. Here are some dietary tips for diabetes patients:
- Swap carbs with healthy fats
Carbohydrates can increase the glucose level in the blood, which can be counterproductive in managing diabetes. Hence, diabetics are recommended to reduce foods rich in carbohydrates like bread, pasta, spaghetti, and corn to increase the amount of healthy fats in their diet. Some healthy fats include avocados, nuts, and olive and canola oil.
- Understand portion sizes
This is one of the most important dietary tips for diabetes patients. Health experts suggest that the portion can impact the diabetes symptoms. Hence, it is recommended that diabetics get around 45 percent calories from carbohydrates and the rest from other food sources such as lean meats like chicken, fatty fish like salmon, and plant protein like soy and tofu.
- Opt for whole-grain foods
Whole-grain foods such as whole-wheat bread, brown bread, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice have lower amounts of carbohydrates than their traditional counterparts. Apart from this, whole grain foods are more filling and contain more fiber.
- Diabetes-friendly cooking
This is yet another one of the most crucial dietary tips for diabetes patients. Most dieticians and endocrinologists suggest baking, grilling, or broiling instead of deep-frying. This can reduce the use of oil and unhealthy fats, thereby better managing diabetes. It is also recommended to switch to heart-healthy olive oil for cooking, which reduces the risk of suffering from diabetes further.
- Choose desserts carefully
This is a no brainer that including more sugar in the daily diet can increase the risk of suffering from diabetes. However, some amount of sugar is needed to produce glucose. In this case, it is recommended to switch to natural sugars from fruits and yogurts. Adding healthy fats such as peanut butter or ricotta cheese to these can help feel full for longer, thereby avoiding binging on unhealthy foods.
- Swap aerated drinks with fruit juices
Sweetened aerated drinks are one of the major triggers of diabetes. Food experts suggest that a can of fruit-flavored soda has more sugar than a piece of cake. Hence it is highly recommended to switch to freshly squeezed juice and cut down on sugar in tea and coffee, as it reduces the risk of suffering diabetes by almost 15 percent.
- Ditch processed foods
Processed, packaged, and even frozen foods contain some amount of artificial sugars with preservatives that can trigger diabetes symptoms. Check the food label for sugar content or prefer freshly cooked food to keep diabetes symptoms at bay.