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A Guide to Choosing a Perfect Diabetic Diet

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A Guide to Choosing a Perfect Diabetic Diet

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Patients diagnosed with diabetes have many doubts regarding their diet. This article attempts to clear this confusion by providing very simple guidelines.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At October 23, 2018
Reviewed AtAugust 1, 2023

The most common question asked by patients who are diagnosed with diabetes is - doctor, what do I eat now? The answer is very simple - there is nothing you cannot eat!

Yes, you read it right. There is nothing you cannot eat as long as you eat regular, qualitative meals and make the correct food choices.

So, what comes under correct food choices?

  1. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, oatmeals, potatoes, and brown rice.
  2. Proteins like fish, chicken, eggs or egg whites.
  3. Fibers like beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  4. Vegetables, especially green, leafy ones.
  5. Healthy fats like olive oil, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and flax seeds.

Also, it is important to know how much of these food items you can consume. If you eat more than you need, your blood glucose will rise. The Canadian Diabetes Association suggests a very simplified guideline to measure your portion size by using your own hands.

The Guideline

  • How many vegetables?

Choose vegetables as much as you can hold in both your hands.

  • How much of grains and starches?

Grains and starches should be up to the size of your fist.

  • How much fruit?

Similar to grains and starches, that is, up to the size of your fist.

  • How much milk?

One cup (250 ml) of low-fat milk with a meal.

  • How much of milk alternatives to consume?

Choose an amount the size of your palm and the thickness of your little finger.

Being diagnosed with diabetes does not mean living in deprivation. It can also mean eating a tasty, balanced diet that will help you keep blood sugar under control, boost your energy and improve your mood. It all depends on how the patient perceives it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What should Be an Ideal Diet Be for a Diabetic Patient?

Consuming nutritious food is essential to manage diabetes. The ideal diet for diabetes should contain vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy products. Sweets and fried foods high in salt should be avoided. Vegetables include broccoli, tomatoes, greens, carrots, peppers, potatoes, corn, and green peas. Fruits like melon, berries, oranges, apples, bananas, and grapes can be taken. All the whole grains and proteins can be consumed. Heart-healthy foods like fish, nuts, and avocadoes can be included.

2.

What Are the Foods That Diabetics Can Eat Without Any Restrictions?

Beans like kidney beans, navy, and black beans can be taken as they contain more vitamins and minerals than carbohydrates. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards can be consumed. Berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes can be eaten. Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and barley can be consumed.

3.

Are There Any Foods That Reduce Diabetes Quickly?

There is not any one particular food that will bring down the sugar levels, but certain foods can keep the sugar in check. Whole wheat bread, fruits, yams, and sweet potatoes can be taken. Nuts, legumes, and fatty fish can help keep the sugar in control. Oatmeals and yogurts are also certain foods that will not spike the sugar level.

4.

What Vegetables Should Be Included for Lowering Blood Sugar?

Most vegetables are good for people with diabetes. There are certain foods that are considered best for diabetes. Some of them are carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, bitter gourd, lady’s finger, beans, radishes, beets, and tomatoes.

5.

What fruits must be avoided by diabetic patients?

Certain fruits with high levels of sugar can affect the glycemic index, and they should be avoided in diabetic patients. Watermelons and over-ripened bananas should be eaten in moderation as they can spike blood sugar levels. Fruit juices and dried fruits that are mixed with sugar should be avoided.

6.

Can Bananas Be Consumed by Diabetics?

Bananas can be consumed by diabetic patients as they contain fibers. Eating fiber can lower blood sugar levels. However, overly ripened bananas should be consumed in moderation. Bananas contain a lot of potassium, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Consuming one banana in a day would be good for diabetics.

7.

How to Flush Sugar Out of the System Fastly?

Drinking a lot of water can help remove insulin and toxins from the body. Normal daily water intake can help maintain the blood sugar level. At least two to three liters of water is recommended for consumption in diabetic patients.

8.

Is Cucumber Good for Diabetes?

Due to the high water level of cucumber, it is safe for diabetic people. It will give a hydrated and full feeling. Cucumbers can help maintain blood sugar levels in this way. They also have a very low glycemic index.

9.

What Vitamins Should Be Avoided in Patients With Diabetes?

Niacin can raise blood glucose levels when not eating, that is, the fasting blood glucose levels. Diabetes management can become risky in people who include Niacin in their diet. Niacin has been proven to have side effects of raising glucose levels in diabetic people. Consider seeking the advice of a physician before taking vitamin supplements.

10.

Does Blood Sugar Reduce if Water Consumption Is More?

Drinking an adequate amount of water every day helps flush out the toxins from the body. It also helps eliminate the excess insulin present in diabetic people. Keeping the body hydrated by drinking at least two to three liters a day would be ideal.

11.

How Many Boiled Eggs Are Diabetic Patients Allowed to Consume?

Eggs are rich in protein and are rich in micro and macronutrients. They also do not contain sugar and are safe for people with diabetes. A maximum of 12 eggs can be consumed in a week. So ideally, a person with diabetes can have one to two eggs a day.

12.

Are There Any Spices That Lower Blood Sugar?

Turmeric, cloves, garlic, and cinnamon are safe for people with diabetes. Turmeric helps manage blood sugar levels and prevent further complications of diabetes. Cloves and garlic have helped promote the secretion of insulin and help in managing blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is an important spice to be considered by the diabetic population, as it can lower blood sugar levels.

13.

Are There Any Foods That Can Lower Blood Sugar Quickly?

Certain food items can help regulate blood sugar levels and bring them down. They include broccoli, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, nuts, lady’s fingers, seafood, flaxseed, beans, and lentils. A low carbohydrate diet is fit for a diabetic to have regularly in the long run. Drinking throughout the day and an adequate amount of low-glycemic foods can help lower blood sugar levels.

14.

How Many Bread Slices Be Consumed by a Diabetic?

Slices of bread that are made of whole grains and less processed grains can be consumed. Consuming white pieces of bread is not a great fit for diabetics as they are processed and refined. Two medium slices of whole-grain bread would suffice for a diabetic individual.

15.

For How Long Can Metformin Be Taken?

Metformin is used for treating type 2 diabetes patients. It helps in lowering blood sugar, and the doctors mostly suggest it be taken for four weeks. When there is an underlying kidney disease, Metformin might be stopped, and an alternative drug will be given.
Dr. Kazi Rufiat Nasiruddin
Dr. Kazi Rufiat Nasiruddin

Community Medicine

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