“No, I cannot eat that. I have sugar” is a general statement that we come across in our daily lives. Having sugar in the blood is normal. However, when the blood sugar levels are not in balance, it becomes a cause of concern.
This imbalance of blood glucose levels is diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition that can not be cured but can get controlled through the proper diet and consumption of certain foods.
Here the team at HealthifyMe tells you what diabetes is and what you can eat to keep it under control so you can turn your “I cannot have it because of my sugar” to “I have sugar, but I can have this!”
Diabetes is a chronic condition resulting from your body’s inability to utilise or produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps break down glucose to release energy. In this condition, when cells do not have enough insulin, excess sugar remains in the body.
As per research, if untreated and undiagnosed, diabetes can lead to severe heart conditions, kidney problems and, in some cases, vision loss.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
This form is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself. It stops the body from producing insulin. This form of diabetes presents itself in children and young adults. There is no cure for this, and the patient needs to take insulin daily to keep it under control.
Read more: Type 1 Diabetes – A Comprehensive Guide
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly. It is the most common type of diabetes and has developed over many years. This type is straightforward to delay or prevent with the correct diet and regular exercise.
Read more: Type 2 Diabetes – Symptoms, Causes & Diet Plans
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women. It also puts the baby at a higher risk of contracting health problems. However, this usually goes away once the baby is born.
Read more: Gestational Diabetes Diet – Foods to Eat and Avoid
Unfortunately, it increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes later. It also results in obesity among children and puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Ways to Control and Manage Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Since the body cannot produce insulin, it is crucial to check your insulin levels at all given moments. There are multiple ways to do this:
Testing regularly helps you by keeping a check on your insulin levels and gaining insight into insulin highs and lows.
Weigh out food proportions
Consuming the same foods may show different results on different days. Therefore, you must weigh your food proportions, especially for carbohydrates like rice and potato.
Stick to a routine
Checking your insulin levels regularly and working on how to contain body insulin levels daily in a routine fashion helps keep it under control considerably.
The most important way to regulate gestational diabetes is to record all foods consumed during the day strictly. It helps to monitor sugar levels and maintain a balance.
Incorporating healthy habits into the lifestyle is also essential for controlling gestational diabetes. For example, it can be difficult to do exercises during pregnancy, but walking is better.
The most crucial part is to consult your doctor constantly. Ask before switching up the diet, and share your meal records with your doctor. Verify any new resources you may come across while researching with your doctor.
There are multiple ways in which you can bring type 2 diabetes under control. The primary aim is to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
The American Heart Association makes the following recommendations.
- Managing healthy weight
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Stopping smoking
- Reducing stress
Foods that Help Manage Diabetes
Cinnamon helps lower insulin resistance among diabetes patients and reduces cholesterol levels. There are multiple ways to consume cinnamon. One can consume cinnamon as a powder or take it as a supplement.
The nutritionist at HealthifyMe recommends that the best cinnamon is Ceylon Cinnamon and sprinkle it in soups or beverages.
A study has shown leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, parsley, and others, be they frozen, fresh, or steamed, contain hormones that reduce appetite and make the person feel more full.
This list of vegetables also extends to cucumbers, celery, green beans, and cauliflower. In addition, research has also found that these vegetables heighten insulin sensitivity and, in relation, help in maintaining the blood glucose level.
Lentils, peas, and beans have low calories and are rich in fibre and protein. Consuming foods like this lowers the rate at which glucose will be absorbed in the blood, reducing the glycemic load.
According to the Harvard study, oatmeal is exceptionally high in fibre and helps control blood glucose levels. Oatmeal also contains Vitamin B, vitamin E and antioxidants.
In 2018, a study demonstrated that oatmeal reduces the need for insulin in the body. The study, which included people with type 2 diabetes, had one group consume an oatmeal-rich diet and the other without oatmeal. The people who had an oatmeal-rich diet required less insulin in contrast to those that did not.
A medical study found that people who ate red apples had a 20% less chance of fatality from diabetes-related heart conditions and complications. The chemical responsible for this is quercetin.
Other foods rich in this chemical are grapes, tomatoes and onions.
Vitamin C-rich food
Vitamin C-rich food such as lemons, oranges, kiwis and tomatoes are full of antioxidants.
In addition, studies show that diabetic people tend to have lower amounts of Vitamin C in their blood. Therefore, adding Vitamin C-rich foods to the diet is an excellent choice and aids in better support for treating type 2 diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best ingredients for reducing blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. It claims that apple cider vinegar is the most promising food item. Apple cider vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect that helps maintain and control blood sugar levels.
Research suggests that turmeric can help control type 2 diabetes. The element curcumin is present in turmeric boosts liver function and prevents developing diabetes.
The most common way of consuming turmeric is as a spice in food and golden milk, essentially warm milk with turmeric powder.
A 2012 study found that ginger reduces blood sugar levels in people actively without having to rely on insulin.
The way to consume this root is raw, powdered, or extracted oils in the form of supplements. Ginger also helps with nausea, heartburn and menstrual symptoms.
Studies have shown that taking garlic supplements daily improves blood glucose control over 1-2 weeks.
Other studies show that taking tablets of dry garlic powder reduces symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The same applies to garlic tablets that use allicin.
Managing Diabetes like a Pro
The best and most feasible way to keep diabetes under control is through a healthy and well-balanced diet. A diet with lots of fibre is suggested, with a heavy emphasis on green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach and lettuce.
In addition, a diet with antioxidants containing citrus fruits and green tea, along with food containing Vitamin C, helps maintain blood glucose levels in the body.
HealthifyMe PRO 2.0 helps you understand the body’s response to food and activity levels. Unfortunately, the blood glucose fluctuations throughout a stipulated period showcase your propensity to have a metabolic disorder.
A CGM device BIOS, part of the offering, enables you to understand the reason behind the spikes in your blood glucose levels. The coaches study these data points and offer a plan that eradicates the spikes in your blood glucose levels and, thus, brings your metabolic health in order.
The best part is you also look like a million bucks because you lose all the unnecessary weight in the process. Also, obesity is usually the starting point for a metabolic condition. Therefore, even if you do not have diabetes, you must track your blood glucose levels through HealthifyPRO 2.0.
Diabetes is India’s most common chronic condition, plaguing 1 in 11 people. Although there is less that one can do to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes, there is a lot you can do to keep type 2 diabetes under control. Type 2 diabetes is directly affected by lifestyle. Building a healthy routine through exercise and diet can help significantly reduce its symptoms.
Besides the medication, lifestyle management is the best way to reduce and keep the symptoms under check. For example, certain foods can help you lower diabetes symptoms naturally. These foods should be a part of your daily meal, be it oranges and apples for breakfast to leafy salads for lunches or dinners.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is the best way to control diabetes?
A. There are multiple ways to control diabetes, whereas type 1 diabetes must be under strict observation. You can control gestational and type 2 diabetes most effectively through a well-balanced fibre diet. It would help if you paired up these diets with regular exercise to burn calories to keep diabetes in check better.
Q. What foods should people with diabetes avoid?
A. Diabetics should avoid foods that are high in fats and sugars. Foods such as:
- Fried meats
- Regular cheeses
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
- White bread
- White Rice
- Refined flour products like Pasta, Bakery items etc.
- Fruit flavoured yoghurt
- Sweetened breakfast cereals
- Flavoured coffee drinks
- Packaged snack foods
Q. Is milk good for diabetes?
A. Milk is good for diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. The Glycemic index is a system that rates foods that contain carbohydrates. Milk has a GI of 31, and low-fat milk GI is 27. Hence it is preferred to drink low-fat milk.
Q. Can people with diabetes eat rice?
A. Rice can be eaten but not in large portions and regularly. Consuming seldom is ideal; unpolished brown and red or black rice is the safest. White rice is not advised for frequent consumption by people with diabetes.
Q. How can I lower my type 2 diabetes naturally?
A. Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by regular exercise and a healthy diet. Consuming foods like ginger and turmeric while avoiding fatty and sugary foods can significantly lower the symptoms naturally. You must consult a doctor and never self-medicate using natural remedies that can reduce symptoms.
Q. Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
A. Diabetes is a chronic condition; you cannot cure it totally. However, you can reduce the symptoms through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.
Q. What causes type 2 diabetes?
A. Type 2 diabetes results from gestational diabetes, obesity, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle and incorporating the right foods, exercise, and stress management can help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.
Q. How can I reverse type 2 diabetes permanently?
A. Unfortunately, You cannot reverse type 2 diabetes permanently for a few cases, but remission for it is possible. It needs discipline and dedication. Subscribing to HealthifyPro is a great place to start bringing more discipline to your life and managing diabetes like a pro.