One of the various lifestyle disorders that set in with age is Diabetes. Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a group of diseases characterised by high blood glucose concentrations resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both.
It can be further classified into various types: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, latter being the more common. Another type of diabetes that occurs in about 7% women during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes that is relatively short termed and goes away by the time pregnancy ends. This disease mainly affects the heart and hence diabetic people are more prone to heart-related diseases.
Thus, special care needs to be taken of one’s health and nutrition. Lifestyle, healthy and appropriate food choices and physical activities play a huge role in prevention and treatment of this disorder.
One of the best ways to promote better health choices is to consume fewer carbohydrates and calorie-rich foods. Instead of them, non-starchy foods that also have high fibre content should be taken. Also, exercising daily and going for regular check-ups helps in maintaining consistency in health to keep problems at bay.
Some of the highly beneficial foods that can be incorporated in diabetic peoples ‘daily diet include:
- Asparagus– It has fewer carbs, calories, and dietary fibre per serving; which makes it one of the ideal food for diabetic people. It also has a high quantity of antioxidants that help in easing the effects of diabetes. Asparagus can be consumed in the form of dry potato-asparagus vegetable or any other similar combination.
- Apples– They help in lowering bad cholesterol if consumed daily because of the numerous antioxidants present in it.
- Avocados– Known for their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat content, they help in improving cholesterol levels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart diseases.
- Beans–Beans have good fibre content and are a rich source of protein that regulates blood sugar level and lowers blood pressure when consumed regularly.
- Blueberries– It has antioxidants that give this fruit its blue colour which helps in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Blueberries also contain a good amount of flavonoids and fibre that improve overall health.
- Broccoli– Similar in appearance to a cauliflower, this non-starchy vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and various other minerals and vitamins. Moreover, it is a good source of folate and fibre.
- Carrots– Non-starchy, very less carbohydrate content, beta-carotene rich, are the few qualities of carrots that help in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Fish– Recommended to be eaten twice a week, this seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which promote good heart health and lowers blood pressure.
- Garlic– A magic ingredient that works as both medicine and a flavouring substance helps in treating high cholesterol and heart diseases.
- Melon– A naturally sweet food item that comes in many varieties has a lot of healthy nutrients and antioxidants that promote good heart health.
- Nuts– It comes in multiple types, like almond, cashew, walnut, peanuts, groundnut, etc. Nuts are one of the healthiest food choices that one can make. It is a heart-healthy substance rich in omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats, vitamin E and fibre content.
- Oatmeal– With good fibre content, oatmeal has the highest proportion of soluble fibre in comparison to other grains, that helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases by reducing bad cholesterol. It also helps blunt the rise in blood glucose level by delaying stomach emptying and providing satiety.
- Red grapefruit– Sweet, juicy, delicious fruit rich in antioxidants and vitamins lowers bad cholesterol roughly by 20%.
- Onions– It is a good source of antioxidants, fibre, potassium, folate; and has high flavonoid content that provides protection against many health diseases.
- Red peppers– Red peppers are basically green peppers that had been left on the vine to ripen further. It is a nutrient, antioxidant and vitamin-C rich that reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancers and diabetes.
- Soy– Soy in its various forms has high-quality proteins, low saturated fats and cholesterol. It is also rich in niacin, folate, zinc, potassium, iron and alpha linoleic acid (ALA) that can be converted into omega3 fatty acids, hence offering a lot of health benefits and protection against disorders.
- Spinach– Rich in folate and vitamin C, spinach is a non-starchy, low calorie, low carbohydrate green leafy vegetable that has a lot of vitamins and minerals.
- Green tea– It is an antioxidant rich food product that reduces heart-related problems because of the presence of flavonoids in it.
- Tomatoes– Vitamin A and C rich juicy tomatoes have good antioxidant content that protects people against cancers and reduces the risk of heart-related diseases.
- Yoghurt – It is calcium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), protein rich food item that contains health promoting bacteria beneficial for the human body.
To put it in simple words, the best foods for diabetes are mostly whole foods that are not processed. Above mentioned are few of the examples of such food items that would help people suffering from diabetes in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, meeting their nutritional needs and lowering the risk of diabetes-related complications. Eating these foods will prove beneficial to the consumer and even incorporating some of these into dishes will provide good nutrition to the diabetic person.
Where to buy?
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Know the Author
Kriti Khatri is a student of Bachelor in Sciences at the University of Delhi and wants to pursue a career in the field of Mass Communication. Her time is mostly spent reading and socializing. She has a keen interest in books and nature photography.
Proofread and Edited by Samara Vivian