If you are living with diabetes, you need to be careful about your carbohydrate intake to keep your blood sugar levels under control. To compensate for reducing carbs and to help you stay full for longer, you could try a high protein diet with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
What You Should Know:
- How does protein-rich food benefit diabetics?
- How to create a protein-rich meal plan?
Precautions to take before starting a protein-rich diet
How does protein-rich food benefit diabetics?
When you get used to following a certain diet it can become very difficult to feel satisfied if you omit certain foods. Indian diets for example, include white rice or rice flour dishes as well as wheat flour foods like roti. Having grown up eating these foods daily, to have to stop eating white rice or roti with every meal can be a shock to the system.
An easier way to transition from a high-carbohydrate to a diabetes-friendly diet is to substitute some of the foods with healthier alternatives. White rice and wheat can be replaced by healthier or grain-free alternatives. These protein rich food substitutes not only help reduce the overall carb intake but also keep you feeling full for longer as they take more time to digest.
How to create a protein-rich meal plan?
You can make a great breakfast with these high-protein vegetarian foods. Use red rice flour to make your idlis, dosas and poha for breakfast or make dal cheelas (savoury pancakes made from lentil flour). It not only tastes delicious, but is also rich in fibre which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. You can replace potato bhaji with channa (chickpeas) or dal with a few pieces of potato in it. Eggs are also a good option for a high protein breakfast. You can have boiled or poached eggs with whole-grain toast to keep you full all morning.
Brown rice instead of white rice can give you the same feeling of satisfaction after a meal, but with additional nutrition value. The protein and fibre in brown rice will help to prevent sugar cravings late in the afternoon. Adding lean meat like chicken breast or fish to your meal also increases the protein food content, and ensures you get your full range of nutrition. Add a full serving of vegetables to your meal to make it a balanced diet.
Dinner is a good meal to experiment with cutting out carbs altogether. You could try having a fresh vegetable salad with a protein rich food like eggs, fish or chicken. Veg protein rich food could include mushrooms, channa, any other lentils or dal, nuts and seeds. A soup made with dal could be a good way to satisfy your hunger.
Precautions to take before starting a protein rich diet
People with diabetes could also suffer from a diabetes-related kidney condition called diabetic nephropathy. If this is the case you will need to restrict your protein intake. It is always better to check with your doctor and a registered dietitian before starting a diet of protein rich foods.
You can get more information and support to help control diabetes on the Lifestyle and Fitness sections of the Activ Living Blog. You can also make use of the Health Tools to keep track of your overall wellbeing.