Diabetic-Friendly Foods

Category: Daily Dose 10 years ago
Diabetic-Friendly Foods

Being a diabetic means paying close attention to what you eat. It is often difficult to understand what will keep your blood sugar constant and what will not. "A diet high in fibre and low in glycemic index will help diabetics control their blood sugar," says Dr Vishal Chopra, Diabetologist, L H Hiranandani Hospital. Here are few foods that will keep your blood sugar stable:

Leafy Vegetables
"Include a lot of leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek in your diet," says Dr Vishal Chopra, diabetologist at LH Hiranandani Hospital. Spinach is a good source of dietary fibre, iron, calcium and vitamin C. "The fibre in it prevents blood sugar levels from rising," says Dr Chopra.

"Pulses like green gram (moong), black eyed beans (chowli), red kidney beans (rajma) are a healthy source of carbohydrates," says dietician Sushila Sharangdhar. They are low in glycemic index too and will "not raise blood sugar levels," says Dr Chopra. They are also a good source of protein and vitamins A and B.

Whole Wheat
"Whole wheat is a healthy source of carbohydrates," says Dr Chopra. It is also a good source of dietary fibre. It also increases insulin sensitivity that helps in controlling type 2 diabetes. That is, it increases the ability of insulin to metabolise sugar.
Other such healthy sources of dietary fibre are brown rice and brown bread.

Fruits and Vegetables
Include veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumber in your diet. "They are not just rich in antioxidants but help control blood sugar levels," says Sushila. A colourful salad is also a good source of vitamins A and C.

Fruits that are low in glycemic index are apples, papaya, yellow banana (avoid green banana because it is rich in sugar content) and sweet lime. "These are low in glycemic index and are therefore safe to be consumed," says Dr Chopra. "Apples and papaya are a good source of dietary fibre too," says Sushila. A good amount of fibre in your diet will also keep cholesterol in check and help prevent other related diseases like heart problems and high blood pressure.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids also don't increase blood sugar levels. They contain healthy fats, essential for our body. They are also a good source of proteins and minerals like potassium and magnesium. "Fish and chicken are good sources of omega 3 fats for non-vegetarians and flax seeds and avocados for vegetarians," says Dr Chopra.

Spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cumin help control blood sugar levels as well. "Cumin prevents the excess glucose from binding to proteins which disrupts normal issue function and lead to development of catracts," says Dr Chopra. Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity thus preventing cells from storing glucose.

(Disclaimer: These foods help control your blood sugar levels. However, please consult your nutritionist, diabetologist or general physician before you opt for any of these foods.)
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