Diabetes: What A Daily Diet Of A Diabetic Should Be Like
- Diabetics must adhere to a the diet to lead a healthy life
- Fluctuations in the diet can cause a spike in sugar levels
- Sugary foods must be avoided at all costs
Diabetes is commonly occurring disease which restricts the pancreas’s ability to produce enough insulin, or restricts the body from utilising the produced insulin. The global number of people affected by diabetes in the world exceeds 422 million, of this 70 million or 16 per cent are in India, making it one of the most commonly occurring diseases. Diet forms an active part of diabetes control, primarily because diabetics are required to follow a strict diet regimen. Consuming foods with excessive glucose can lead to a spike in sugar levels. It is necessary for diabetics to follow a diet that is well-balanced and has all the essential nutrients.
Diabetes is also known for causing other ailments like high-blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity. Hence, it is necessary to follow a diet which ensures that these other ailments do not affect a diabetic.
Before beginning your daily diet, keep these essential tips in mind:
- Have three meals per day and don’t put a gap of more than six hours between each meal to control blood sugar levels.
- Food items rich in sugar, such as desserts, candies, jam and items such as chips and fried foods must be avoided as they can increase the sugar level and cause you to gain weight.
- Have high-fibre food items such as whole grain breads, cereals, lentils, brown rice, fruits and vegetables to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly to avoid gaining any extra weight
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since diabetics are advised to stick to small meals throughout the day, a light breakfast comprising essential nutrients is recommended. A proper breakfast for a diabetic should ideally consist of the following:
- ½ cup of cereal
- A slice of whole grain toast or one chapati
- An orange
- A cup (250 ml.) of low-fat milk
- Two teaspoons of peanut butter
For diabetics, lunch should be light and consist of proteins and whole grains so that there is no spike in sugar levels. Lunch is moderately heavier than breakfast, but that is because it is a wholesome combination of all the essential nutrients required by a diabetic. Following are the items a diabetic’s lunch should ideally consist of:
- 2 slices of whole grain bread or 2 small chapatis
- 60 grams of chicken or fish or assorted green vegetables
- One teaspoon of margarine
- ¾ cup of low-fat yogurt
- 100 grams of grapes
In case you’re hungry between lunch and dinner, try avoiding eating junk food as it will imbalance the nutritious diet you’re following. As a light evening snack, four whole-grain crackers 30 grams of low-fat cheese should suffice.
Dinner is the last big meal of the day and should be light, containing calcium and protein in moderate quantities. It is important for diabetics to maintain bone strength and metabolism and both calcium and protein are the proper nutrients for that. An ideal dinner menu for a diabetic person should consist of:
- One medium potato or 2/3rd cup of rice
- One cup of boiled assorted vegetables or 60 grams of lean meat, chicken or fish
- One cup (250 ml.) of low-fat milk
Though this is a recommended diet for diabetics, deviations from this routine may happen from time to time, but care must be taken to regulate the deviations. It is advisable that people diagnosed with diabetes try and follow the recommended diet for best results. All the food items in the diet are helpful in keeping the sugar level under control, while improving metabolism for the body. It is important to stick to the diet regimen because fluctuation or irregularities can imbalance the sugar level in a diabetic. Diabetics must avoid fruit juice, dried fruit, sugary food items, white rice and full fat dairy to keep a tab on their sugar levels.