A diagnosis of diabetes is devastating in its way. It comes with a whole baggage of monitoring everything you eat, as well as taking your drugs – whether it’s insulin or metformin and the likes. In attempts to curb the amount or type of food they consume, many people living with diabetes tend to feed poorer than before getting a diabetes diagnosis. They begin shying away from all carbohydrates; others confuse fats and oils; others deliberately stop eating meat. The consequences of this are – they end up causing significant harm to their bodies that culminate in a fast progression of diabetic complications due to poor blood glucose control. Today, we guide you through the etiquette of a thorough diabetes food chart. We outline in simple terms what your plate should contain in terms of food to keep afloat on the road to maintaining your blood sugar levels within the recommended ranges and prevent the early onset of diabetic complications or even don’t acquire any.
The most crucial aspect of managing diabetes is learning how to live with it. Apart from acquiring a glucometer to keep track of your blood sugar levels, lifestyle modifications towards healthier living will keep you out of the hospital beds for a long time. They include smoking cessation, reducing alcohol intake or stopping it entirely, an appropriate diet, exercising and weight loss. Food assortment is the most crucial component of the gamut.
The foods you feast on should contain carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables but, the proportions matter. We estimate that for any plate of food, 50% of it should be vegetables, 25% carbohydrates, and 25% proteins.
You may fry the vegetables with modest vegetable oils or, you can steam them. They should be non-starchy, for example, salads, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber,’ Nakati’, ‘Doodo’, ‘Bbugga’, and the likes. They aim to provide enough fibre to increase the bulk of food and facilitate a smooth digestion process. If you intend to make gravy or curry, avoid using fats or too much oil. Avoid taking only foods with a high glycaemic index especially, tubers like yams and sweet potatoes.
Proteins make up one-quarter of the plate. They may include eggs, fish, and chicken. The idea is to eat meat that is low in fats. Curb the amount of red meat (beef, mutton) you consume. Plant and animal proteins all do the magic. It’s preferable that you alternate animals with plant proteins. However, if you cannot afford animal proteins, plant proteins can suffice – say, beans, lentils, peas, and the rest. It also works for vegetarians.
The remaining quarter of your plate constitutes carbohydrates like cereals, brown bread, and brown rice. Refrain from feasting on refined foods as they have a high fat and carbohydrate content with no fibre. Maintain a balance between foods with a high and low glycaemic index. Replace table sugar with artificial sweeteners and refrain from taking too much honey. When you want to take milk, consider the one with low-fat content.
It’s prudent to understand the nature of the locally available foods and use such. Don’t break the bank because you want to sustain a plate full of cucumbers, oats, and fish. It isn’t sustainable. Remember that these lifestyle modifications you make are for a lifetime. Choose a pocket-friendly package that you and your family will afford. It makes no sense to consume unpalatable foods because you wish to maintain their values. You must learn about sustainable culinary skills that involve modest frying with healthy oils. Olive oil isn’t for every tom, dick, and harry. If you cannot afford it, use groundnut oil. It is nutritious.
Lastly, keep in touch with your health care provider. They will advise on which other foods to avoid depending on your liver and kidney function indicators. Having diabetes shouldn’t be a recipe for poor dieting. Moreover, you may die sooner if you mind about what you eat in adequate amounts.