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Diabetes food myths and facts

Myth: People with diabetes should never have sweets! 

Truth: Good news folks! People with diabetes can have sweets occasionally. American Diabetes Association advocates that desserts and sweets are  to be relished and consumed on special occasions and festivals albeit, your blood glucose level are under control and you are taking prescribed medicines regularly.

Myth: People with diabetes cannot have juices.

Truth: People with diabetes can very much enjoy fresh juices, but they definitely need to avoid canned and packed juices because of its added sugar content and high glycaemic values.

Myth: People with diabetes cannot have fruits.

Truth: People with diabetes should offcourse have fruits keeping in mind the glycaemic indexes.  According to National Institute of health, USA fruits are a very good source of fibres and vitamin C “ascorbic acid”. All citrus fruits are rich source of vitamin C which boosts our immune system to fight against common diseases.

Myth: A big NO-NO to potatoes

Truth: People with diabetes may have potatoes (baked, grilled or steamed) in meals. Potatoes are to be ideally consumed, along with non-starchy vegetables and salads.

Myth: Diabetes diet is a very strict diet

Truth: A Diabetes diet is one of the healthiest diets, and has no hard and fast rule. Diabetes diet can be even followed by people without diabetes. You may select from a variety of options like the Mediterranean, flexitarian, vegan, Ornish to know more refer to Diet options in Famhealth.

Myth: Say no to all carbohydrates and yes to proteins

Truth: Yes carbohydrates do turn into sugars, but having overload of proteins and no carbs may lead to fatigue and cardiovascular diseases. Having more of proteins eventually leads to accumulation of fats in the body leading to cardiovascular diseases. ADA suggests, making a smart choice of having low carbohydrates will keep you energetic and prevent you from feeling low and tired.

Myth: Diabetes diet does not contain eggs, as they contribute to high cholesterol levels in the body

Truth: People with diabetes may have eggs, as eggs are a good source of protein and vitamin D. ADA says, “What really matters is the way it is cooked”. Boiled eggs with yolks removed can be consumed, to ensure that it does not aid to cardiovascular complications.

Myth: You can eat whatever you want if you are taking medications

Truth: This is one of the major myths associated with diabetes. Medications only help you to convert sugar to energy, but if you supplement your body with more than required amount of food then, it will lead to spiking of blood glucose levels and poor diabetes management.

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

Diabetes Types & symptoms

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

Diabetes Recipe – Tropical Banana Freeze

Diabetes: Tropical banana freeze by Famhealth

Serves: 4, Time taken: 10 minutes plus 1-hour freezing

Nutrition Facts
Makes 4 Servings (Amount per Serving)
Calories (kcal)189.8
Protein (g)2.3
Carbohydrates (g)33.6
Total Sugars (g)17.4
Dietary Fibre (g)3.8
Fat (g)7.2
Saturated Fat (g)5.2

1 tbsp Grated fresh, frozen or desiccated coconut4 Bananas, peeled

1 tbsp Sesame seeds

100ml/3 fl oz Coconut milk

1 tbsp Honey

1 Lime, juice only

Steps:

  1. Slice the bananas into 2.5cm/1” pieces, lay them on a baking tray and freeze until hard (at least one hour)
  2. Dry fry the coconut and sesame seeds, stirring frequently, until browned
  3. Just before serving, take the bananas from the freezer and place in the blender with the coconut milk, honey and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Serve in small glass bowls, garnished with the toasted coconut and sesame seeds.

Note

The Glycaemic Load (GL) of banana depends on the variety of banana, where it was grown, and most importantly, how ripe it is. Choose slightly underripe bananas and the GL can be low as 11, and even the mean of 10 studies was only 12.

For more related recipes, click the link below.

Diabetes