Diabetes is called the disease of the 21st century. And with our eating habits, we are adding more and more eligible to the never ending list. And nobody knows how to effectively control their sugar levels. But for that, they first need to know what is diabetes- what types of diabetes exist – and which one is theirs – and most importantly which food products are the largest sources of sugar.
I am going to clear the muddy waters for you once and for all. Diabetes is considered a genetic disorder. If you don’t have it in your genes, the chances of getting it are very rare. Diabetes is caused by the insufficient production or absorption of insulin in the body. Insulin’s job is to decrease the amount of glucose when the latter increases in blood. So, quite naturally, when there is insufficient amount of insulin, glucose levels increase. That is how diabetics have higher levels of glucose in blood.
Diabetes is basically of two types – type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 is usually detected in childhood itself. In such children, pancreas (where insulin is usually produced) fails to make any insulin at all. So there is no insulin to counteract the effect of glucose. And blood sugar(glucose) increases. Such people must take insulin in the form of injections. And they must follow a strict diet throughout their life..!!!
The type 2 diabetics usually find out their condition in their thirties, forties or fifties. In them insulin is produced; but it is not in a form which can be utilized by the body. So their insulin has to be converted into absorb able form. That job is done by the medications they take. They too have to follow a strict food regime.
Diabetes is not a simple or silly condition. If uncontrolled, it can take a severe toll on your life. Diabetes prominently affects the nerves; especially of eyes, brain and kidney and most importantly it affects the heart. And the worse part is that the impairment it creates is irreversible. So, be careful when you take your diabetes lightly..!!! With a basic understanding of what to eat and what not to, you can effectively get a firm grip on your glucose levels…!!!
How Much to Eat???
The diabetics usually have a healthy appetite. And they eat large amount of food for their meals…THIS IS WRONG!!! Diabetics must increase the number of their meals. But at the same time, they must decrease the amount of food during each meal. By eating upto 5 or 6 times a day, they would never be hungry or tired. And by eating less amount of food during each meal, they can keep their sugar levels from shooting too high which usually happens when you eat large amount of food per meal.
P.S : Increase the frequency and decrease the amount.
What Not to Eat
First of all one must know which are the richest sources of carbohydrates(glucose is a carbohydrate).
Rice is a rich source of carbohydrate. So try to decrease the amount of rice in your meals. For certain populations, rice is staple. In their case, minimize rice to once a day.
Whichever food that are sweet to taste contain glucose. Fruits, pastries, chocolates, ice-creams, soft drinks etc. There are certain stuffs which are not sweet, yet are rich in carbo. Potato and tapioca(cassava) are examples.
Those who have uncontrolled or extremely higher glucose level, must avoid medications like cough syrups, tonics and tablets which are sweet or sugar coated. There always are sugar free variants of them available in the markets.
P.P.S : Sweets are a big no no!!!
What to Eat
If you are a tea or a coffee person, then make sure that you drink it without sugar. It would certainly be difficult in the beginning, but i promise that you would get used to it and even start enjoying the taste. And trust me, this simple thing would work wonders on your glucose levels…!!!
For breakfast, chapattis (dosa or idli in less nos:) or wheat dishes would be the best choice for Indians. Brown breads are ideal for diabetics. And if your sugar levels are not very high, a small slice of fruit would do no harm.
Between lunch and breakfast , try to take a glass of juice. Cucumber with lemon and salt; or snake gourd juice with lemon and salt; or tomato juice with a pinch of salt; or even green gooseberry juice could make a healthy and tasty yet sugar free drink. Through this we can have some fluids and at the same time decrease the amount of lunch at noon.
Most of the Indians or anyone for that matter need something wholesome for their lunch. For Indians rice is almost a must. Or rice noodles, or fried rice or anything of that kind. But you must make sure that in lunch, you eat less rice and more vegetables. Salads would be a great addition. Curd with lavish portions of onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, Chinese-cabbages and capsicums would fill your appetite and they are yummy.
Different types of salads can be tried on different days to avoid a monotonous menu. Drink water between morsels. Fish is a great food; even for those with high cholesterol. And if you have no issues with your fats, then you can include meat and eggs into you meals, thus decreasing the amount of rice.
P.P.PS : Fish and salads are great for lunch!!!
If you drink tea or coffee in the evenings, stick to the rule in the morning…no sugar for tea or coffee.
Lime juice with salt; or buttermilk with salt, pepper and crushed ginger can all be tried for evening drinks. After the drink you can try some home made snacks. Sprouted grams garnished with finely chopped green chillies; or boiled beans with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or a lovely vegetable soup would fill your appetite quite sufficiently.
The supper should be simple and healthy. Pancakes made of wheat, upma from wheat or sooji , a slice of fruit, and a glass of warm milk would make you sleep like a baby.
Tips for Your System
Drink water as much as possible in between meals. It wonderfully hydrates your body and fills your system so that you would eat less.
Include iron containing sugar free foods like green gooseberries and liver in the diet. Elevating the hemoglobin levels and increasing blood circulation is good for diabetics.
Try to take food at a fixed time.
Do some light and regular exercise to keep yourself fit and your body active and taut. It improves blood circulation and nerve conduction.
Always try to stay relaxed and happy and get proper sleep.
P.P.P.P.S :Your mind really controls your sugar levels.
Diabetes is not the end of the world. Eating a sugar free diet doesn’t mean that you are sacrificing the culinary tastes of your life. By tactfully and logically planning your menu, you can in fact have a better and more delicious and healthy meal than anyone else. So, my dear ones, plan your life and conquer diabetes. It is not that difficult…!!!