Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Several studies have indicated that diabetes problem is now a truly global epidemic with the number of people with the condition rising more rapidly in past few years.
In India, the number of diabetes patients increased by over 30 million in the last one decade owing to sedentary lifestyle and erratic schedule mostly common in the age group of 20-40 years. The country has been declared as the "world diabetic capital", with cases to touch 70 million by 2025.
While there is no cure for diabetes, making few lifestyle modifications and eating a healthy diet can help manage the disease, commonly referred to as 'lifestyle disorder', effectively. Since controlling blood sugar levels is a vital part of diabetes management, eating the right diabetic diet can help you maintain healthy glucose levels or prevent diabetes. Here are a few dietary tips for diabetics:
- Focus on fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran. These foods help your body digests and controls blood sugar levels while it can also make up for the lack of other vitamins and minerals.
- Eat fruits with less natural sugar like papaya, guavas and apples while mangoes, bananas, and grapes should be consumed lesser since they contain high sugar.
- Avoid eating foods with high sugar content as well as starchy saturated and packaged food that contain transfats.
- Limit intake of high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon that contain saturated fats.
- Eat small frequent meals at regular intervals as an erratic, large meal gives rise to higher blood sugar in one's body.
The bottom line is that diabetic patients should follow a diet which is low in carbohydrates, high in fibre and contains adequate amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals. They should avoid fatty foods and sweets and should also take frequent small meals (preferably 5 meals pattern).