Diabetes. It’s that dreaded word that’s become common nowadays. So commonplace, that people have started referring to India as the diabetes capital of the world.
But when it comes to lifestyle diseases, we know that the effects can be minimised with a change in our lifestyle and diet. Especially with diabetes management, there is nothing that can beat a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Avoiding food that is rich in starch and free of sugar is a well-established approach but adding certain foods to your existing diet plan may also help keep your blood sugar levels in check.
We’ve noted down a few of the foods that help you manage your sugar levels:
It is a high fibre food and a steady source of energy. Relaxed energy supply marks a lower rise in blood sugar and it also keeps the levels stable for longer. Oats also has lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels which help maintain a healthy heart as well as manages your weight.
High in fibre and low in carbohydrates, broccoli is an excellent food for people with diabetes. There are certain chemicals in broccoli that help in controlling the damage to arteries caused due to elevated blood glucose levels. Other vegetables that have similar benefits are beans and spinach.
Chia seeds are a good source of minerals, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. When eaten, these seeds form a barrier inside the stomach and control the release of glucose into the blood stream, thus maintaining the blood sugar levels. Eating chia seeds many times a week also improves insulin sensitivity.
Cinnamon increases the insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling raised blood sugar levels. It also helps in controlling your fasting sugar levels. Eating one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with lukewarm water every morning helps to keep the sugar levels under check.
Fish like salmon and sardine are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating these kinds of fish twice a week gives you a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that help control your blood sugar levels. They also improve your lipid profile and keep a check on internal inflammations.
Quinoa suppresses appetite and its fibre helps in dealing with raised blood sugar. Eating it regularly further helps in managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is also effective in weight management which is a prime complication of diabetes.
Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fibres and help lowers the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood. Studies also indicate that it corrects the metabolic symptoms associated with diabetes and improves glucose tolerance.
Lentils are rich in insoluble and soluble fibre. The soluble fibres reduce the absorption of glucose by creating a gel-like consistency in the stomach. Our body does not read the insoluble fibres as carbohydrates and so they do not have any direct effect on blood sugar levels, but keep you feeling full for a longer time.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, Kale, Chard and other leafy greens are a must on your diabetic diet plan. These greens are known to reduce the rate of overall glucose absorption. These are loaded with fibre and when paired with other foods they help in improved blood sugar management, by lowering the glycemic load of the diet.
Nuts of all kinds are rich in three major nutrients; protein, unsaturated fats and fibre. The combined effect of these nutrients has excellent sugar management properties and also helps improve the lipid profile.
All these foods are excellent in managing your blood sugar levels. But it’s not just your diet that’s important. One has to combine it with regular exercise to effectively manage your diabetes.