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"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease"- Buddha
The same stands true for all out there fighting with diabetes. But before we begin with the nuances of this chronic condition and the ways to battle it, let's get a brief fact-check:
Current population of India: Approximately 1,320 million
Total cases of diabetes in adults (2017): 72 million
Projected rise in diabetes (by 2030): 80 million
Deaths due to high blood sugar: 3.4 million
Alarming, right? Diabetes, indeed, has reached virtually epidemic levels in the modern world.
To clarify further, diabetes is the outcome of either the pancreas generating insufficient amount of insulin or your cells becoming insulin resistant, unable to absorb glucose, despite adequate insulin levels.
And based on this, diabetes is usually classified into two categories-type I and type II-whereas both result in increasing blood sugar levels, above normal. In case of type I diabetes, insufficient insulin levels result in the immune system itself attacking the pancreatic beta cells.
On the flipside, although beta-cell dysfunction varies widely between type II diabetes patients, insulin resistance constitutes a major part of the ailment.
Don't freak out. The key to combating diabetes, truly, lies in following a balanced diet, which is rich in proteins or fats, but lower in carbohydrates. The long-term eating plan that a person chooses, besides physical activity and medication, plays a pivotal role in deciding the overall blood glucose variations that a person experiences throughout the day.
So, in order to help you out, we've summarized a series of proper balanced "diet" that brings together a well-formulated, long-term plan to aid blood glucose control.
Whichever plan you choose for yourself, daily food intake that provides all the essential nutrients is a must. Find your diet plan below:
Low-carb eating is among the first treatments for diabetes, since before injectable insulin was developed. Even as you lower the amount of carbohydrates consumed, you may find lesser need of insulin and/or other diabetes medications.
To produce nutritional ketones, most of you need to consume below 30 g of carbohydrates each day. The majority of calories consumed in a ketogenic diet plan come from animal and plant fats. Please note that even though "keto" and "low-carb" are often used interchangeably, both have very different requirements for protein and fat consumption. Keto is inherently low in carbohydrates but low-carb recipes do not always meet ketogenic criterias.
Insulin resistance and protein escalation can be addressed by adapting to a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diets may again have different variations:
- Ovo-lacto (includes eggs and dairy)
- Pescatarian (includes fish and seafood)
- Lacto (just dairy)
Following this diet, you can often consume bread, pasta, and standard grocery store brands which are meat-free, alongside a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Vegan diet consists of only plant-based foods (no animal products at all). That strictly implies no traditional dairy products and no eggs, even not as ingredients within other foods like bread, pasta, etc. Since no lower-carb animal foods are consumed, vegan diets may be richer in overall carbohydrate intake. All the protein you intake is from plant sources.
5. Carbohydrate Counting:
Now this one is less of a diet and more of an insulin treatment plan. It includes eating your standard diet and adjusting your insulin on an as-needed basis. Often, this is difficult to estimate, especially during times of snacking or with irregular meal times.
When it comes to diabetes management, practically, there is no "one-size-fits-all". Where there are millions across the globe finding success with their personalized meal plans, you definitely need to find what works best for you.
However, being diabetic never implies that you have to deprive yourself of delicious foods.
We, at Boldsky, understand how overwhelming things get for you while battling diabetes: you have to constantly find multiple ways to keep your blood glucose levels in check. So, to ease the roller-coaster ride for you, we've clubbed 10 superfoods in a listicle-including dark chocolate, yes-that work wonders when it comes to keeping your blood glucose levels in correct proportion.
Below find the food items you can incorporate in your regular diet, right away:
Be it kidney, pinto, navy, or black, beans are well-packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. They also hold very high fiber content too. Although beans do contain carbohydrates, but as much as ½ cup also provides amount of protein equivalent to an ounce of meat, but excluding the saturated fat.
2. Green & Leafy Vegetables:
For instance, spinach, collards, and kale represent vegetables which are packed with essential vitamins (A, C, E, and K) and minerals (vitamins iron, calcium and potassium). You can try adding dark leafy vegetables to salads, soups and stews, as these powerhouse foods are low in calories and carbohydrates too.
Eggs bring amazing health benefits to the table, in addition to, keeping you full for hours. Eggs, essentially, cut down on inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels and also modify your "bad" LDL cholesterol. In a study, people with type-2 diabetes consumed 2 eggs each day as a part of their high-protein diet, and experienced magical improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Experts' advice: Eat whole eggs. Majority of the benefits of eggs primarily come from the nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.
4: Fatty Fish:
Salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.-these are few of the healthiest foods. Being great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids, these items are important for diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. In studies, people who consumed fatty fish 5-7 days per week, at a stretch for just 8 weeks, saw significant reductions in triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
5. Dark Chocolate:
Last but not the least, we've got dark chocolates for you. Yes, dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which drops insulin levels and insulin resistance. It might raise eyebrows, but chocolate contains a myriad beneficial nutrients that guard against heart diseases. But larger quantities of chocolate can turn out to be disadvantageous to the health in other ways. So, choose chocolates with higher amounts of cocoa solids, as the sugar and fat content will often be lower, and restrict yourself to eating only a few squares strictly before exercising.
Uncontrolled diabetes necessarily increases your risk of multiple serious diseases. So, it's better to put the brakes on before it touches an alarming parameter.
Follow the above-mentioned diets to keep your diabetes in check, and do not forget to leave your feedback in the comments section below.
NOTE: Please consult your doctor before following any diet.