Blood sugar levels in the body maybe affected the most by your diet. Following a healthy diet, rich in complex carbohydrates, vegetables, as well as fruits with low glycaemic index, is essential for people suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. It is crucial for diabetics to replace processed carbohydrates from junk foods with healthy carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Usually, it is advised that diabetics must avoid starch in their daily diets as it can lead to sudden spikes in levels of blood sugar. This is because simple starches are easily absorbed and digested and release glucose instantly in the blood. However, there is a type of starch that diabetics can benefit from - resistant starch.
Diabetes: What Is Resistant Starch?
Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not easily digested in the upper digestive tract and consequently a small part of it remains in the gut unchanged. This functions as sustenance for the bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in benefits for the body. It results in growth of helpful bacteria in the gut as well as leads to release of short chain fatty acids, which are essential for colon health. There are a number of different types of resistant starch as well. Some types can be consumed through dietary sources, while some others are synthetically manufactured via chemical processes. The main benefit of resistant starch comes from the fact that it is soluble and fermentable fibre.
Benefits Of Resistant Starch For Diabetics
Resistant starch is important for feeding the cells lining your colon. However, it is also said to have a number of powerful health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity in diabetes patients. Here's how resistant starch can help diabetes patients:
1. Improves Glucose Metabolism
Meals with resistant starch in them have been said to reduce blood sugar spikes after the meal. Resistant starch has also been known to improve the body's responsiveness to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for metabolising sugars and keeping blood sugar levels under check. A 2010 study, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, concluded that consuming resistant starch improved insulin sensitivity in metabolic syndrome patients.
2. Aides Weight Loss
Foods rich in resistant starch tend to be low in calories. Resistant starch has been shown to promote feelings of satiety or fullness, thus, keeping hunger pangs at bay and aiding weight loss by making them eat lesser calories. Losing weight can help diabetics manage the condition better as weight loss improves the body's ability to effectively respond to insulin.
Diabetes Diet: Foods Rich In Resistant Starch
Here are some of the foods that diabetics may add to their diet to improve their intake of resistant starch and the respective quantities of resistant starch in them*:
1. Raw banana and Banana flour: Contain 4.7gm and 42 gm resistant starch, respectively.
2. Oats and oatmeal: 17.6 gm and 0.5 gm respectively.
3. Lentils: 5 gm
4. Cooked White Beans: 7.4 gm
5. Cooked Pearl Barley (Jau): 3.2 gm
*Data according to Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008; all quantities are specified for portions equivalent to 1 cup (approx. 227 gms).
Diabetics are advised to consult their nutritionist/dietitian before adding anything to their daily diet. Excessive consumption of resistant starch has also been known to cause flatulence.
One of the most common myths about diabetes is that it is caused by consuming too much of sugary foods. Indeed, sweets can affect your body but they do not cause diabetes. Diabetes is a health condition which is caused by high blood sugar levels. It is extremely unhealthy and can adversely impact the overall health. However, there's also no denying the fact that intake of sugar items in such conditions can increase it significantly. Hence diabetic patients should avoid high sugary foods in order to prevent hyperglycaemia, also known as high blood sugar. If you're suffering from diabetes, then it is of utmost importance to take care of your carbohydrate intake as it can trigger the sugar levels to a great extent.
When it comes to desserts, it is essential for diabetic patients to not go overboard with them. Having diabetes not always means that you totally have to cut yourself from sugar. Instead, you may swap it with some other natural sweets. According to Expert Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "Diabetic patients can have desserts until the desserts are providing them with nutritional requirements. They should make sure that the desserts are made with artificial sweeteners and with the help of natural ingredients. You can even have brown rice with milk with some artificial sweeteners and can add some dry fruits to enhance the taste. What matters is that they should be made up of natural ingredients and sugar substitutes must be there"
Desserts like cookies, pastries, cakes and ice creams should not be eaten as they won't be providing you with the sufficient nutritional value. Instead, you could opt for low-fat sugar-free frozen yogurt, fig bars, or even some unsweetened oat cookies. If you happen to have a sweet tooth and find it difficult to resist on them, then make sure that you buy one bar at a time, instead of buying in bulk and storing it at home. This will save you from unnecessary odd hour munching. Apart from this, it is quite important to give priority to the nutritional value in the anything you consume. So, choose wisely!
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body's ability to process blood sugar normally, leading to an excess of glucose in the blood. There are two different types of diabetes - Type-1 diabetes and Type-2 diabetes. While the former is a result of the pancreas producing little or no insulin, the latter is a lifestyle disorder, resulting from the body becoming insulin resistant. Diabetes affects millions of people in India every year and common symptoms of the condition include frequent thirst, frequent urge to urinate, fatigue and hunger and even blurred vision in some cases. Diabetics need to be very careful about what they eat on a daily and even hourly basis. Diabetics need to be extra careful of their diet. They should include food that is high on fibre content. Fibre enables slow release of sugar in the bloodstream that prevents abnormal spikes.
There are certain foods and drinks that people can include in their diet to regulate their levels of blood sugar and onion is one of them. The vegetable may prove to be beneficial for diabetics, especially during summers.
Benefit Of Onion For Summers
Onion is an indispensable part of the Indian cuisine. It's used in preparing almost every curry and rice dish, and is a common part of sides and accompaniments like chutneys, salads etc. Onion also comes with a number of health benefits, including boosting skin and hair health, as well as protecting the body against symptoms of heat stroke. Red onions, which are the most common onions used across the Indian subcontinent, are rich in the compound quercetin, which is a flavonoid and which is said have anti-histamine properties. This means that it stops the release of allergen histamine from cells. It may, therefore, help prevent rashes due to heat on the skin. It also helps in preventing allergies and fights inflammation in the body.
Benefit Of Onion For Diabetes
Onion or onion juice may be consumed during summers to fight adverse impacts of the heat, as well as to regulate levels of blood sugar. A recently published review of studies on the impact of quercetin has indicated that the compound may help diabetics. The review that was published in the journal Phytopherapy Research said that daily consumption of quercetin supplements in dosage 500 mg or above for eight weeks, lowered blood glucose levels in metabolic syndrome patients. The participants were at a high risk of developing diabetes. Other than that, the juice from onions is also recommended for consumption as well as external use during summers, to treat heat stroke and soothe sun burns, respectively.
Another study conducted on rats concluded that diets containing 5 percent onion extracts for a period of 28 days were able to decrease fasting blood glucose levels. These anti-diabetic effects of red onions come from the presence of both quercetin and sulphur compounds in it.
Include red onions in your salads, sandwiches, savoury porridges, brown rice dishes etc. to reap the benefits of the vegetable. Pregnant women may be advised to stay away from excessive consumption of too much onion. In case of food allergies or chronic illnesses, it is advised to consult your dietitian or physician before adding any food to your diabetes diet.
Nutritional Composition of Raw Onions
One cup of chopped onion contains approximately:
- 64 calories
- 15 grams of carbohydrate
- 0 grams of fat
- 3 grams of fibre
- 2 grams of protein
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 7 grams of sugar
- 10% or more of the daily value for vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and manganese.
- They also contain small amounts of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and the antioxidants quercetin and sulfur.
Diabetes is emerging to be one of the most prevalent health conditions around the world. According to a study, around 98 million Indians are at risk of developing diabetes by the year 2030. Diabetics need to be very cautious with what they include in their diet. While we know that junk food, processed food, and sugary goods can cause immense blood sugar fluctuations, but did you know that some of the healthiest fruits too could take your blood sugar levels for a toss. You must have heard of starchy and non-starchy foods. If you are a diabetic, you must know about the carb content of the fruits that you're eating. Here are some tips you should know about if you are planning to include different types of fruits in your diabetes diet.
1. Go for fruits with low glycemic index: The glycemic index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Eating high glycemic index foods tend to spike your blood glucose levels. On the other hand, consuming foods that have low GI index enables slow release of sugar in the bloodstream. Fruits like guavas, apples, pears, and grapefruit are all low glycemic fruits you can have in moderation.
2. Do not go for overripe fruits: Overripe fruits tend to be much denser in sugar than the raw or perfectly ripe ones. Therefore, it is best to avoid them if you are a diabetic.
3. Some healthy fruits can also prove to be risky: Fruits are indeed a healthy addition to any diet, but sometimes even the healthiest of fruits could cause an upsurge in blood sugar levels. Fruits like melons, watermelons, mangoes and chikoo are packed with healthful nutrients and antioxidants, but diabetics need to be very careful with these fruits as they also have high natural sugar content. If you like to snack on these fruits, make sure you balance them well with low-carb, low-sugar fruits and nuts too.
4. Do not juice your fruits: It is best to eat your fruits whole. It is a good way to ensure that all good fibres are going inside your body. Fibres take the longest time to digest; since they take a while to breakdown and metabolise, fibre tends to prevent sugar spikes. If you juice your fruits, you lose out on a considerable amount of fibres. It is also a wise idea to avoid market-based juices as they are often concentrated with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
5. Try to have fruits with their peel on: Fruit peels contain a significant chunk of fibres; hence, you should try to have fruits with their peel on, whenever and wherever you can. For instance, apples, pears, guava, plums should be consumed without peeling.
6. Diabetics should not have dried fruits like raisins, prunes, dried peaches. According to consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, "One should ideally avoid dry fruits as they are concentrated versions of fresh fruits. Naturally then, in these concentrated forms, everything goes up. The sugar levels, the glycemic index."
Take note of these points, and if you happen to see any abnormal fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, consult an expert.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which our body’s use of food for production of energy is affected. Most of the food we eat is carbohydrates, and this is broken down by the digestive juices into a simple sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. After digestion, the glucose passes into our bloodstream where it is available for body cells to use for growth and energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, facilitates the entry of glucose into our cells. When we eat, the pancreas is supposed to produce the right amount of insulin to move the glucose from our blood into our cells. In diabetics, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. Due to this, glucose levels rise in the blood, floods into the urine and passes out of the body, making the body lose its main source of fuel.
Most diseases are surrounded by a number of myths. This stems basically from ignorance or lack of proper information. Similarly, diabetes too has given rise to a number of imaginary beliefs.
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: There is no proof that sugar is the main cause behind diabetes. Diabetes is more related to family history, wrong eating habits and little or no physical activity.
Myth: Healthy foods don't raise blood sugar.
Fact: The fact is that all foods provide carbohydrates. And if there is enough insulin present in the body naturally or provided by injections, it will utilise the carbohydrates and consequently the blood sugar will not rise. However, if your body is producing less insulin or not utilising it sufficiently, then blood sugar is bound to rise even if you eat healthy foods.
Myth: Only medical treatment can control diabetes.
Fact: Diabetes is a disease that requires dietary intervention along with medical treatment. Medications are only a part of the cure. What is also needed is a healthy lifestyle behaviour that will allow the medication to work more effectively. This comes with a healthy, well balanced diet as well as a regular exercise routine.
Myth: Diabetics have to eat special foods.
Fact: Diabetics can eat the same food as non-diabetics, but in moderation.
Myth: No diet modification is required, if external insulin is being administered.
Fact: Insulin is not replacing a meal plan or involvement in any physical activity. Thus diet modification is needed, irrespective of whether insulin is being given or not.
Myth: Exercises are of no help in diabetes.
Fact: Exercise helps the pancreas to secrete more insulin, while at the same time, keeps the stress levels under control. Both these factors help to keep the blood sugar under control.
Myth: People with diabetes can eat any number of sugar free products
Fact: Sugar free does not mean calorie free. It is advisable to keep a check on the calorie product of the food, before consuming it. This way the total calorie intake can be kept under control and will further help in keeping a check on the blood sugar.
Myth : I don't have a family history of diabetes, so I won't get it.
Fact: Some people are born with a greater chance of developing diabetes than others. However, plenty of people diagnosed with the disease don't have a family history of diabetes. Your weight and lifestyle can be factors in whether you develop diabetes.
Myth: The strain and stress of everyday life is not related to diabetes.
Fact: The fact is that everyday stresses, as well as emotional and crisis situation can play a role in raising the blood sugar. Hence people with diabetes should take time out to relax and keep their stress levels under control.
A proper understanding of any disease means having a thorough knowledge about the disease, its causes and effects. That is why it is mandatory for all diabetics to be well informed and to be able to separate the myths from the facts.