You thought sugar, flour & white rice were irreplaceable? Here’s how you can keep your taste buds satisfied without aggravating diabetes
Type-2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) is characterised by high blood sugar and a relative lack of insulin in the body.
Those battling this health issue need to be super careful about what they eat and drink, so, here’s a quick guide to understanding what you must avoid if you have Type-2 diabetes and healthy replacements for your favourite foods.
1. Sugar (and sugary foods)
Processed white sugar is extremely harmful for people with diabetes, and it needs to go out of your kitchen shelves, stat. If you need a sweetener, opt for stevia instead. A 2016 paper studied its effects on people with high-sugar and found that this sweetener significantly lowered blood sugar levels during fasting time and after eating food.
They concluded that “… Stevia can safely be used as an anti‐diabetic herb, as a sweetener substitute and may help to prevent cardiovascular diseases in patients with long‐standing diabetes.”
2. Fried Food is an enemy of diabetes patients
High in carbohydrates and trans fats, fried foods are a complete no-no when it comes to patients of Type-2 diabetes, as the fat content in them can lead to an increase in weight and worsen the effects of the disease.
If you are used to munching on fried chips, fries or such other food, make a conscious choice to switch to baked wafers or seeds. Yes, they are not the same but if you give them a try, baked foods can be just as delicious and munching on flavoured seeds is much more beneficial to your body.
3. Full-Fat Dairy Products
Saturated fats are bad news for those battling type-2 diabetes and particularly for people susceptible to weight gain. The saturated fats in ice-cream (which also contains copious amounts of sugar), butter, cheese and milk increase insulin resistance and worsens the diabetic conditions.
Try to go for non-fat or low-fat milk varieties such as almond milk, soya milk etc.
4. Processed cereal is bad for diabetes
While cereals make for a quick-fix breakfast, the garden variety brands are loaded with sugar and when mixed with milk, can lead to a spike in sugar levels.
Instead, opt for oats, muesli or groats which are always more nutritious and a healthier option for those living with diabetes.
5. White rice is a no-no for patients of Type-2 diabetes
Most white rice varieties are carbohydrate-heavy and increase the risk of diabetes if consumed daily. For those battling diabetes, the high carb and glycemic index (GI) of white rice (usually between 70-90) spells bad news for their health and insulin levels.
But don’t worry, your favourite rice dishes can still be prepared using diabetic-friendly varieties of rice. This brown rice, for example, has combined walnuts, flax seeds, almonds etc. to make your rice nutritious and diabetic-friendly.
If you prefer to keep it simple, this Sona-Masoori variety is developed to have a low GI (51.5). Click here to buy it now.
6. Refined white flours need to be a thing of the past
Refining flours smoothens their texture but eliminates their nutritional content. What’s more, this also adds to their carbohydrate content. In most cases, such refined flours also contain glucose.
Go instead for flours designed to be gluten-free and diabetic friendly. Such flours are free of preservatives, MSG and artificial flavouring. You can purchase one such healthy flour by following this link.
7. Flavoured coffee isn’t the healthiest brew
While on its own, coffee is quite healthy and controlled consumption is even recommended, when it comes to flavoured coffee, it may contain added sugar and is high on calories.
Diabetes is a sensitive health condition and requires you to undergo lifestyle changes. Try switching your morning coffee with diabetic-friendly green tea. Such teas regulate blood sugar and can also stimulate insulin production. It’s a small compromise if you calculate the health benefits.
8. Yoghurt, meat, packaged snacks and others that cannot be replaced
Flavoured yoghurt contains sugar, meat is full of fat, and the packaged snacks you love, have high MSG, carbohydrate or glucose levels. These are guilty pleasures that need to be shown the door if you are battling Type-2 diabetes. Surprisingly, fruit juices too, are in this hit-list since they contain sucrose and fructose- two types of glucose. Your diet needs scrutiny now more than ever, so study what in your regular intake aggravates diabetes and replace it with food and beverages that control blood sugar.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)