For diabetics, a healthy diabetes diet is the essence to healthy living along with exercise, of course. But what makes up a diabetes diet for Indians? There are several diabetes diets published online, which include exotic ingredients and food items. But what about ingredients that are locally available to Indians with diabetes? Let’s get a diabetes diet for Indians from the experts in nutrition and diabetology.
Diabetologist, Dr. Sanjiv Bhambani with Moolchand Medcity suggests “A diabetes diet should be high on fiber, must contain milk without cream, buttermilk, fresh seasonal fruits, green vegetables, etc.” But remember to consume these components in moderation.
Diabetes diet for Indians should have the ratio of 60:20:20 for carbs, fats and proteins, the doctor explains, “Per day calorie intake should be between 1,500-1,800 calories with a proportion of 60:20:20 between carbohydrates, fats and proteins, respectively.” He adds that a diabetes diet should “have at least two seasonal fruits and three vegetables in a diet plan.” As for dry fruits, the fructose can spike up your sugar level.
The doctor shares his recipe for diabetes diet for Indians:
- One teaspoon of methi seeds soaked overnight in 100 ml of water is very effective in controlling diabetes.
- Drink tomato juice with salt and pepper ever morning on an empty stomach.
- Intake of 6 almonds (soaked overnight) is also helpful in keeping a check on diabetes.
We move now to nutritionist Rekha Sharma to look for elaborate answers to diabetes diet for Indians. Rekha Sharma, President and Director of Indian Dietetic Association shares some major diabetes diet pointers that one should follow at home or at a restaurant.
Expert Speak: Diabetes diet for Indians
Whole grains, oats, channa atta, millets and other high fiber foods should be included in the meals. If one feels like consuming pasta or noodles, it should always be accompanied with vegetable /sprouts.
Milk is the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins and helps control blood sugar levels. Two servings of milk in a daily diet is a good option.
High fiber vegetables such as peas, beans, broccoli and spinach /leafy vegetables should be included in one’s diet. Also, pulses with husk and sprouts are a healthy option and should form a part of the diet.
Pulses are important in the diet as their effect on blood glucose is less than that of most other carbohydrate containing foods. Vegetables rich in fiber help lowering down the blood sugar levels and thus are healthy.
Good fats such as Omega 3 and MUFA should be consumed as they are good for the body. Natural sources for these are canola oil, flax seed oil, fatty fish and nuts. These are also low in cholesterol and are trans fat free.
Fruits high in fiber such as papaya, apple, orange, pear and guava should be consumed. Mangoes, bananas, and grapes contain high sugar; therefore these fruits should be consumed lesser than the others.
The diabetes diet for Indians includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As always, a balanced and planned diet can build and improve personal health. A controlled diabetes diet may seem like a drag and bore, but a good cook can add life to a diet. Time to call up mom and experiment with diabetes diets!
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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