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Meal Plan

Meal Plan

Food and Nutrition are an intrinsic part of what keeps us going. Some of us ‘eat to live’ while others ‘live to eat’! The problem, unfortunately with the latter, is that it starts showing on our body and the weighing scale fairly rapidly.

All leading medical professionals and nutritionists are unanimous in saying that eating abundant ‘empty calories’ in the form of junk and processed foods has a direct relationship to our health. Excessive fat around the abdomen leads to obesity that in turn leads to lifestyle disorders like Diabetes and Heart Problems … even Cancer.

With the help of a leading panel of experts from around the world, we have curated content and meal plans for Diabetes and Weight Loss. We wish you luck and hope these plans help you. But remember you should always seek a dietician’s advice to put together a plan that works best for you.

Diabetes-Friendly Grocery Shopping Items by Famhealth

Diabetes Friendly Grocery Shopping Items

Going for grocery shopping for yourself or your loved one? Take a look at the nutritive items you must bring home and stock up your Frigidaire. Besides nutrient content, the glycemic index (GI) of a food may also help you make healthy choices. The GI measures how quickly a food will raise blood sugar. Low GI foods have a score of 55 or less, while high GI foods have a score of 70 or more. In general, lower GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes. Foods that are both nutritious and have a low GI are helpful in managing health and blood glucose levels.

Keeping the Indian supermarket in mind we bring together some easily available items extremely beneficial for you health.

Here’s your guide:

Starchy foods:

Starchy foods are always referred Carbohydrate rich foods. This category stands very important as it provides energy to the body to perform vital actions. Whenever you are going to the supermarket next for grocery shopping make sure, a good portion of your cart contains items from this category. So, we bring you some healthy options which can help you to shop quickly. Of course the options given below are not the only options you may choose, but incorporating some or all into your diabetes meal plan may help you and partner improve the overall health. 

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole-Grain Bread/ Flour

Non-Starchy

This category of veggies goes a long way in satisfying your hunger and boosting your intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals. They are the lowest in calories and carbohydrates. Non starchy vegetables are highly recommended by dieticians around the globe for weight loss and diabetes management.

Here are some non-starchy veggies you may wish to bring home today.

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Brinjal
  • Red peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Lettuce

Fruits

You may choose to add non starchy low glycaemic index fruits in all your meals and snacks. They contain natural fructose which may act as a dessert after meals to satisfy your taste buds.  According American Diabetes Association guidelines, at least 4-5 servings of fruits needs to be consumed daily by people living with diabetes. They nourish the body with plenty of vitamins and fibres.

These are some options you may choose to shop today.

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Guava
  • Star fruit
  • Papaya

Dairy products

ADA recommends, we should include dairy products as a part of our healthy diet, as they are high in both protein and calcium.  Evidence till date suggests, that milk product consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes. So, we are sharing a list of milk products you may wish to add in your cart. But it’s advisable to check on fats while consuming milk products.

Here are some healthy options.

  • Low fat Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Butter milk
  • Unsweetened lassi
  • Cheese
  • Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • Protein containing products

You may choose to include a variety of protein-rich foods in your diabetes meal plan.  Proteins are derived from both animals and plant origin, which are very essential for the repair and growth of human body. As you already know protein also provides energy and is an excellent source of macro nutrient known as the “building blocks of life”.

Here are some healthy choices; you may wish to take home today.

  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Nuts

Nuts and Seeds

Research conducted in Louisiana State University found, that people who regularly consumed nuts have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes. So, next time, you crave for foods high in sugar and fat, you have healthier options and can choose to munch on some assorted nuts. It can be an excellent snack option as well, such as pumpkin seeds known to deliver taste and crunch, or peanuts and other seeds which are rich in protein, fibre, and good fats. They’re also a source of magnesium, a mineral that’s key to blood-sugar control because it helps cells use insulin. So, on the basis of their great benefits, we are recommending you these

  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Musk melon seeds

Oils and Fats

As you may already know, oils and fats are also a very essential part of our diet, as it provides nourishment and a major chunk of cooking is done with them. Oils and fats are a good source of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is true that all fats are high in calories, so it is important to watch portion sizes you are consuming. But a smarter way can be adopted by opting for unsaturated healthy fats than saturated and Trans fats, while substituting the healthy fats in their place. 

Here’s a small list of Cooking oil and fats.

  • Mustard oil
  • Soya bean oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Low fat butter
  • Margarine
  • Peanut butter
  • Ricotta cheese.

Herbs and Spices

The herbs and spices from our Indian sub-continent seem to be the most explored and active component in maintaining blood glucose levels.  A number of research and studies are being conducted to support this theory.

Let us find the essential spices and herbs one must have in their kitchen

  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • And other salt free spices
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Beverages

As you may already know, if you are having diabetes, doctors recommend that you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink specially canned or packaged drinks which contain hidden sugars. So to prevent spiking in the blood sugar levels, American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends choosing zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks.

Here are some options which may benefit you while consuming beverages.

  • Water (unflavoured or flavoured sparkling water)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Sugar-free fruit juice
  • Low-fat milk

Snacks

Who doesn’t love snacks?  Everyone loves to much on snacks in between meals; there are lots of healthy choices that can be used as snack foods.  As you may already know, while taking medications you are advised to snack in between meals to avoid low blood sugar levels.

So we bring together some quick readymade snacks you can directly pick from the super market.

  • Popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Fruits (as mentioned above)

Remember this list is not exhaustive you may pick and choose other food items as well, according to their Glycaemic Index. This list is quick shopping guide keeping the Indian market in mind.

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.

Diabetes Types & symptoms

The Correlation Between Diabetes And Food by Famhealth

The Correlation Between Diabetes And Food

The Correlation Between Diabetes And Food by Famhealth

The Correlation Between Diabetes And Food by Famhealth

As Diabetes is a disorder due to the body’s inability to process sugar, there is a direct and intrinsic relationship between Diabetes and food. In fact, managing food intake is also one of the first steps in managing and living with Diabetes.

Once you have received a positive diagnosis for Diabetes, one of the first things the doctors advise is managing your diet and nutrition. At this point, it’s helpful to become aware of the term “Glycaemic Index” and what that means for your diet plan. Glycaemic Index is a value associated with food items that indicates the food’s effect on an individual’s blood glucose levels.

Selecting the right food items by checking out their Glycaemic Indices is very important in managing Diabetes with diet and nutrition. Choice of low glycaemic value foods can help you come out a winner and stay on top of your condition!

What to eat?

One of the first questions that comes to the mind of people and families living with Diabetes is: “What to eat?” The good news is, people living with Diabetes can, in fact, eat almost anything, as long as it is in small portions, barring selected high processed sugar items, discussed in our food corner of Famhealth,s diabetes community.

The term “diet plan” can be a stress point in itself, as it hints at the need to change established eating patterns. However, if you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, this is one stress you need not take, as the “Diabetes diet plans” are some of the healthiest plans and can easily be followed by anyone, with the possible exception of small children.

In fact, there are no specific, rigid meal plans that are to be followed. People living with Diabetes can eat almost anything –moderately.

Do you want to control fluctuation in your blood glucose levels? 

Sometimes you will note your blood sugar levels are fluctuating form high to low. There is a simple reason behind this – chances are there is something that you have been eating that is not fitting in with the management of your condition.

Blood sugars are affected by many things that include the food you ate, how long ago you ate, your physical activity, stress levels, sleep patterns, and your emotional wellbeing. If you use Insulin to address these fluctuations, chances are you may get stuck in a high-low cycle that is bad for your long-term health.

It is a good idea to keep a daily record of your meals and physical activity levels as it has an impact on how stable your blood sugar levels are. People with diabetes need to eat small meals frequently, especially when they are on medications such as Insulin, to watch out for low blood glucose levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, a daily intake of 1400-1500 calories is a must, in accordance with the individual’s BMI and physical activity levels.

Do check with your doctor about how much activity and how many calories your body needs daily as you plan your diet and exercise routine. An ideal diabetes meal includes a variety of low carbohydrates, proteins, fibrous non-starchy fruits and vegetables. However, before we delve into the list of suitable food items, let us take a quick look at the myths and facts surrounding Diabetes-friendly foods.

Smart Eating Strategies

  • Keep a Food Diary
    • One of the smartest ways to manage your condition is to record what you are eating throughout the day. Leading dieticians around the world recommend keeping a detailed record of what you are eating so as to better understand how they impact your condition. Studies in United Kingdom confirm that people who maintained food records lose the extra weight, and keep it off better than people who did not record their intake.
  • Watch your food labels
    • Want to grab your favourite drink or take a bite of the potato chips? It is a good idea to read the nutritional information given on the package label. Knowing the calorie content and glycaemic index can get a little cumbersome, but research suggests that awareness of the calorie content and sugar levels helps people living with Diabetes keep track of unsuitable food items that may spike their blood glucose levels.
  • Start with a good breakfast
    • Starting the day with a good breakfast powers you up with energy and helps you maintain your blood glucose levels throughout the day. There is enough research out there to support this statement. The old saying “breakfast like a king” stands correct if you choose low carb breads & cereals, fresh juices, boiled eggs, nuts, oats, yogurt, cheese, and milk.
  • Eat by the plate method
    • This is an interesting method advocated by ADA, which subscribes filling half of your plate with non-starchy fruits and vegetables, one fourth of your plate with lean proteins such as grilled fish or chicken and the balance with low carbs. This is a popular model which not only aids in weight loss, but also keeps the blood glucose levels under check.
  • Carb counting
    • Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is not a diet plan, it is a meal planning strategy for people with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates in the foods that you eat every day.
      Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Completely cutting down on carbs may lead to fatigue and restlessness. One must choose wisely and replace unhealthy carbs with Diabetes-friendly and healthy low-carb foods.
      According to National Institute of Health, USA, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables are a vital part of a healthy eating plan as they provide both energy and nutrients such as vitamins & minerals and most importantly fibre. Fibre can help in preventing constipation, lowering cholesterol levels, and controlling your weight.
      Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients and they often spike your blood glucose levels leading to poor diabetes management.
  • Eat more small meals
    • People with diabetes should eat four to five small meals during the day, instead of three large meals according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Eating small meals allows the body to replenish itself, while at the same time slower, continuous absorption of food prevents cravings and hunger pangs. Among the benefits associated with this are decreased blood sugar levels after meals, reduced insulin requirements during the course of the day, weight loss and lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Always stock up your refrigerator
    • Stocking up your refrigerator with healthy food items is all about keeping your supplies ready. This prevents you from eating high calorie and sugary food items when you feel hungry or have any cravings. You can choose from a wide variety of fruits, nuts, cheese, and low carb multigrain breads and protein shakes to quickly make mini-meals and avoid binging. 

To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below. 

Diabetes Types & symptoms