When it comes to a debate on diet for diabetes management, trust me, there is nothing that can beat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Avoiding food rich in starches and free sugar is a well-established approach but adding certain foods to your existing diet plan may also help keep the blood sugar levels in check.
Spiking blood sugar levels have been linked to multiple complications including dizziness, nausea and in severe cases even to lack of consciousness. Foods that are slow to digest and rich in fiber improve the overall glycemic load of the diet and help in better management of blood sugar
Some of these are:
Oatmeal - It is a high fiber food and a steady energy source. Relaxed energy supply marks lower rise in blood sugar and it also keeps the levels stable for longer. Another benefit of oats lies in lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels that help maintain a healthy heart as well as improved weight management.
Broccoli - High in fibers and low in carbohydrates, broccoli is an excellent food for people with diabetes. There are certain chemicals in broccoli that help in controlling the artery damage caused due to elevated blood glucose levels. Other vegetables with similar benefits are beans and spinach.
Chia Seeds - Chia seeds are a good source of minerals, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. When eaten, these seeds form a barrier inside the stomach and control the release of glucose into the blood stream, thus maintaining the blood sugar levels. Consuming chia seeds several times in a week improves insulin sensitivity as well.
Cinnamon - It increases the insulin- sensitivity and helps in controlling the raised blood sugar levels. Cinnamon helps in controlling the fasting sugar levels. Consuming one teaspoon of cinnamon powder with lukewarm water every morning helps to keep the sugar levels under check.
Sea Fish - Like Alaskan, Salmon and Sardine are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming these fishes twice a week provides a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids that help control the blood sugar levels. In addition they also improve the lipid profile and keep a check on internal inflammations.
Quinoa - Quinoa suppresses appetite and its fiber helps in dealing with raised blood sugar. Regular consumption of quinoa further helps in managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is also effective in weight management which is a prime complication of diabetes and controlled body weight is directly linked to healthy sugar levels in blood.
Fenugreek - Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fibers, and help lower the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood. Studies also indicate that it corrects the metabolic symptoms associated with diabetes and improves glucose tolerance.
Lentils - Lentils are rich in insoluble and soluble fiber. The soluble fibers reduce the absorption of glucose by creating a gel like consistency in the stomach. Our body does not read the insoluble fibers as carbohydrates and so they do not have any direct effect on blood sugar levels, but keep you feeling full for a longer time.
Green Leafy vegetables - Spinach, Kale, Chard and other leafy greens are a must on the diabetic diet plan. These greens are known to reduce the rate of overall glucose absorption. These are loaded with fiber and when paired with other foods they help in improved blood sugar management, by lowering the glycemic load of the diet.
Nuts - Nuts of all kind are rich in three major nutrients; protein, unsaturated fats and fiber. The combined effect of these nutrients has excellent sugar management properties and also helps improve the lipid profile.
All these foods are excellent in managing the blood sugar levels but to intensify their effects it is important to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Remember, exercise and diet are central to diabetes management and should be taken seriously for a healthier life.