Sugar patients, also known as diabetics are people who suffer from a health disorder called diabetes. Diabetes is a health problem in which the blood glucose/sugar level of the body is higher than the normal limit. The body gets glucose from the food that you eat, which is transferred to the cells to provide them energy by a hormone known as insulin. Diabetes occurs when there is a disturbance in this process due to either the body not making insulin (also known as Type 1 Diabetes) or the body not using, as well as not making insulin (also known as Type 2 Diabetes). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes that affects people.
Diabetes is a lifelong problem and can only be controlled not cured. Over time, high glucose levels in the body are known to adversely impact the kidney, eyes and nerves. Moreover, people with diabetes are at greater risk of heart attacks and stroke. Diabetes is a progressing problem and intensifies its impact on the body if not kept within control. One very effective way to control diabetes, apart from the medications, is to keep the food you eat under check. As mentioned, glucose is derived from the food you eat, so when the food is monitored, the glucose level will be in check simultaneously.
Some of the best foods for sugar patients include:
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage, bok choy, mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. are very beneficial in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels in the body. Most of these vegetables are non-starchy, rich in fibre, very low in digestible carbs, and also significantly low in calories. All these nutritious vegetables help to provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, which is known to reduce inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels. Moreover, these vegetables are antioxidant and help protect the body from long-term adverse impact of diabetes on the eyes.
- Cinnamon: This essential kitchen spice is rich in antioxidants and helps lower blood sugar levels by imitating insulin, enhancing insulin sensitivity and increasing the efficiency of transportation of insulin into the cells. Further, it is known to lower blood glucose levels after meals, by slowing the process of emptying of the stomach and blocking the digestive enzymes.
- Eggs: Eggs are healthy, a great source of protein and also help to keep blood sugar levels in control. Eggs contain properties that help reduce inflammation and enhance insulin sensitivity, as well as increase the level of good cholesterol in the body and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. Moreover, eggs contain antioxidants such as lutien and zeaxanthin, which are helpful in protecting the damage to the eyes from prolonged diabetes.
- Chia Seeds: A wonderful food item for controlling diabetes. Chia seeds contain viscous fibre which works to slow down the rate of movement of food through the gut and absorption of food. Chia seeds are also low digestible carbs and make you feel fuller for long, helping in weight management. They also have properties that help control blood pressure and reduce inflammatory markers.
- Turmeric: Increasing the quantity of turmeric in food recipes is beneficial for people with diabetes since turmeric is a powerful spice that is known to possess an active ingredient called curcumin that lowers blood glucose levels and reduces inflammation, as well as lowers the risk of heart and kidney problems.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes should become an essential part of all kitchen recipes for a person who has diabetes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which reduces the blood sugar levels, inflammation, as well as the risk of heart problems and cancer in the body.
- Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, etc. are a very healthy food item, especially for people with diabetes. Consuming the recommended quantity of nuts everyday has shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin and bad cholesterol levels. Nuts are highly digestible carbs and hence, make up for a great hunger food.
Moreover, other foods such as garlic, strawberries, flaxseeds, Greek yogurt, etc. are also helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and inflammation in the body of patients suffering from diabetes. That said, it is also essential to adopt certain lifestyle changes apart from the diet, to keep diabetes in check. Some of the modifications that one must make are:
- Do not have long gaps between meals. Instead eat regular, small portions with healthy food.
- Do not eat only one type of food, instead make a healthy combination of nutrient-rich food in recommended quantity including fats, lean meats, proteins whole grains and low-fat diary.
- Switch to fibre-rich food including fruits, green leafy vegetables and whole grains.
- Avoid sweetened drinks, carbonated beverages, tea, coffee or sweetened water. Take natural sugar substitute, if needed.
- Keep all your meal portions in check and eat only the recommended quantity.
- Do not consume any junk or fast food.
- Consume food that is low in salt, spice and grease or if preferably cooked in olive oil.
- Indulge in 30 minutes of walk or any other non-strenuous physical activity each day.
Diabetes may be a life-long health issue, but it can be easily controlled and its impact can be managed to improve the quality of life and ensure good health. You must consult your doctor regarding the most effective health and lifestyle plan to fight diabetes.