Diabetes is a challenging condition to manage, especially when it comes to food choices. As a diabetic, you may find yourself constantly struggling to balance your love for food with the need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
From navigating the supermarket shelves to figuring out what to order at restaurants, it can often feel like there are no safe food options.
But the truth is, managing diabetes is not about giving up all your favorite foods. With the right knowledge and a few modifications, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious diet that supports your health and well-being.
Here are five mindful food habits to include to balance your diabetes:
Bitter Veggies to the Rescue
Vegetables like bitter gourd, turmeric, leafy green, etc. help with insulin regulation. These vegetables have a bitter taste due to the presence of compounds called charantin and polypeptide-P, which have been shown to improve glucose tolerance and lower blood sugar levels.
Plus, bitter vegetables have a low glycemic index, meaning they break down slowly in the body and do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. They are also high in fiber, which helps slow down digestion and regulate glucose absorption.
Anti-inflammatory spices, such as cinnamon, fenugreek, and cumin, have been shown to have a beneficial effect on managing diabetes by reducing inflammation and regulating glucose levels.
Cinnamon, for example, has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels by increasing glucose uptake into cells and slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Fenugreek seeds contain soluble fiber, which slows down the absorption of glucose and helps regulate blood sugar levels. They also contain compounds that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
Say No to Processed Foods
Processed and packaged foods are often high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and added sugars, which can contribute to the development of diabetes.
High levels of unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats, have been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. These unhealthy fats can also increase inflammation in the body and contribute to the development of other health problems.
Sodium, found in high amounts in many processed and packaged foods, can also contribute to insulin resistance and an increased risk of diabetes. Excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
Added sugars, often found in processed and packaged foods, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and increase the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Eating large amounts of meat, particularly red and processed meat, has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Red meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb, is high in saturated and trans fats, which have been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of diabetes. Processed meat, such as ham, bacon, and hot dogs, is also high in sodium, contributing to high blood pressure and increasing the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
In addition, consuming large amounts of red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of obesity, which is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
It is recommended to limit red and processed meat consumption and choose lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, legumes, and whole grains, as part of a balanced diet.
Get your vitamins and minerals from food.
Vitamin and mineral pills are the everyday stories of a diabetic. This might look like an easy option but supplements can affect your medications, cause kidney problems and make your diabetes worst!
Instead, try to include food that is high in vitamins and minerals in your meals, Like oranges, bananas, spinach, and broccoli.
Maintaining a healthy diet is key for anyone living with diabetes because it prevents complications associated with diabetes.
Controlling your food intake through meal planning and portion control can improve your overall health by helping reduce cholesterol levels, fatty acids, and saturated fats.
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