Diabetes is a lifestyle condition where one’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal. What we eat is one of the important factors in controlling diabetes. When you have borderline diabetes or prediabetes, eating certain foods while limiting others will help manage blood sugar levels.
Sometimes it can be tricky to know which foods and drinks are the best choices, but a healthy diabetes meal plan is key to live well with diabetes. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up on delicious foods or feel deprived for you’ll be surprised to find many diabetes-friendly food options directly from your kitchen.
- Whole grains: Choose wisely when it comes to starchy foods. Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millets, and oatmeal have high levels of fiber when compared to white grains like rice and flour. Sweet potato is another great source of fiber and vitamins and you can enjoy it in a variety of ways including baked, roasted or mashed.
- Protein: Befriend protein sources like fish and seafood, chicken, pork, turkey, beef, eggs, tofu and nuts. Fret not if you are a vegetarian. There are many plant-based proteins like beans, seeds, nuts and tofu. These help in quenching the appetite while also reducing the carb intake. That said, focus on including lean meat to your diet and avoid deep-fried anything and higher-fat cuts. Include almonds, flax seeds, and chia seeds in your daily diet as they are rich in protein.
- Vegetables: Fresh vegetables – raw, slightly steamed or grilled are the best ways to consume them. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and are low in digestive calories. You may include them in your smoothies, salads, side dishes, soups, and dinners for it is such a versatile ingredient.
- Fruits: Consume fruits in its natural form and avoid canned, fruit juice drinks, jams, and jellies. Apples, strawberries, and blueberries are a great option for a snack.
- Fats: Plant-based oils are your best bet when it comes to making a diabetic-friendly meal. Extra-virgin olive oil is refined and contains healthy oleic acid. It has benefits for blood pressure and heart health. Avoid trans fats and include foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like mackerel, salmon, and tuna.
INDIAN DIABETIC-FRIENDLY MEAL PLAN
A regular Indian diet is rich in carbohydrates and there is no denying the fact. We love our biriyanis, aloo parathas, and gulab jamuns. But it is imperative to have a balanced meal including plenty of vegetables, protein, and whole-grain foods. It is not hard and there are many diabetes-friendly food options in India.
Here’s a Sample Indian Diet Plan for Diabetes:
A quick word of caution: This is a generalized diet plan followed by me, as a caretaker for a diabetic family member. You may use it as a reference but consult with your doctor or nutritionist with your specific requirements and medical history.
Lukewarm water with a teaspoon of methi seed powder.
1 cup tea or coffee without sugar
2 Marie biscuits or digestive biscuits
2 Palak/Methi Paratha + Curd OR
2 slices of whole wheat bread + egg white omelette+ lots of veggies
2 Whole Wheat/Ragi Dosa OR
A bowl of Vegetable Daliya Upma/Poha OR
A bowl of Oats Porridge
Ensure Diabetes Care Shake with/without Apple/Blueberries/Guava OR
1 whole Fruit
A handful of Almonds/Roasted Channa OR
A glass of Buttermilk
Ensure Diabetes Care is beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels in a diabetic and it has blends of carbohydrates that are slowly digestible. This makes for a filling and satisfying snack.
It caters to diabetic specific nutrition and also contains high-quality protein. This is one of the main reasons why I include Ensure Diabetes Care in the form of shakes or soup [A1] [sa2] every mid-morning or evening while being a caregiver to a diabetic family member.
1 bowl of Salad + 2 Chapatis/Phulkas + 1 big bowl of Vegetable Side-dish + 1 bowl of Dal/ Chicken/ Fish curry OR
1 bowl of Salad + a bowl of Brown rice + 1 big bowl of sabzi + 1 big bowl of Vegetable Side-dish + 1 bowl of Dal/ Chicken/ Fish OR
1 bowl of Vegetable Daliya Khichdi + Curd
Ensure Diabetes Care Shake OR
Green tea/Tea/Coffee/Chamomile Tea/Lemon water with
1 whole fruit OR Sandwich with veggies and chicken (avoid mayo) OR Sukha Bhel with cucumber, onion, tomato and coriander leaves.
Clear Soup +
1 bowl of Salad + 2 Phulkas/Chapathis + 1 big bowl of Vegetable Side-dish + 1 bowl of Dal/ Chicken/ Fish curry
SOME TIPS THAT’LL COME IN HANDY WHILE MEAL PLANNING FOR A DIABETIC:
- Plan ahead and eat every 3-4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
- Air fry your protein or grill them instead of deep-frying.
- Preparing a curry is always better than frying.
Diabetes could be problematic for one’s health. But with eating right by incorporating the right nutrition to your diet and homecooked meals, one can live well, safe, and healthy.
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