Since 2nd century AD, diabetes has been one of the greatest mysteries and challenges in the medical world. Today, diabetes is a health concern worldwide. Diabetes has no cure, but it is certainly manageable by making some healthy lifestyle changes, mainly in your diet. Let’s take a look at the perfect diet for effectively managing diabetes.
First thing’s first. Track your weekly eating habits by checking the following questions:
- Do people, friends, family and colleagues influence what you eat?
- Do you plan your meals before time or give in to last-minute cravings?
- Do you read nutritional labels on food packages?
- How often do you go out to eat and where?
- What makes it harder to eat healthier?
- How often do you smoke or consume alcohol and how much?
You Are What You Eat
You have probably noticed that someone who works out everyday but does not follow a proper diet has a hard time losing weight. This is because your diet plays a crucial role in weight management. An ideal diet does not need to be hard and fast or have a popular name or be endorsed by famous celebrities. It just needs to have the following three secret ingredients:
- Moderation: Whatever you eat, practice portion control.
- Balance: A well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein
- Variety: A diet that gives you all the nutrients you need
For diabetes, the diabetes plate method or 9-inch plate method is the best and easiest way to ensure a healthy meal.
- Half of your plate should contain non-starchy vegetables: green vegetables + red vegetables + fruits
- One quarter of your plate should contain food enriched with lean protein, including nuts, eggs, and chicken)
- The last quarter of your plate should contain grains and starchy food like oats and potatoes. You can replace starch by doubling up non-starchy food portions (just ensure it’s not loaded with cheese, butter or exotic sauces).
- Pair it with water or a low-calorie drink.
Limit your alcohol intake: Moderate drinking can benefit your health, but too much alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain which ultimately increases diabetes risk.
Avoid processed foods: Fast foods are usually high in fats, calories, and salt content. Fried or oily foods should be skipped and instead opt for healthy replacements at restaurants or cook for yourself.
Spice up your taste: Certain spices can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Cinnamon is one that can improve glucose metabolism. Supplementing other foods with cinnamon can help to reduce blood sugar levels.
Avoid sugary drinks & instead indulge in sipping coffee or tea: Drinking sugary beverages increases the chances of diabetes as they have high glycemic content. Instead drink more water, coffee, or tea. This aids in metabolizing the sugar and regulating insulin secretion.
Life is not over because you have diabetes. If you know how to manage it right, you can lead a long good-quality life.