Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. According to a study carried out at Harvard Medical School, older adults who eat plenty of blueberries (and strawberries) are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline.
Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which combat free radicals. Researchers at Florida State found that older women who started a regime of eating apples daily experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4 percent increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after just 6 months.
3. Dark leafy vegetables
Studies have shown that a high intake of dark-leafy vegetables, such as spinach or cabbage, may significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Spinach, for example, is very rich in antioxidants, especially when uncooked, steamed, or very lightly boiled.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, beta-carotene (vitamin A), potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. The sweet potato ranked number one, when vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and complex carbohydrates were considered.
How well do you know your food?
Did you know – Vegetarian diets that include proteins from legumes, soy, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables can easily meet your protein requirements.
Did you know – Whole grains are high in fiber content, low in fat, and rich in vitamin E, iron, selenium, zinc and B-complex vitamins. Eating and buying them is one of the healthiest choices you can make for yourself and your family.
Did you know – Fish is rich in Omega-fatty acids. Experts suggest that frequent consumption of fish helps protect against several chronic diseases like diabetes. Mackerel fish is both cheaper and healthier which is readily available in market for consumption.
Did you know – A balanced diet contains different types of foods (from all food groups) in such quantities and proportions that the need for all the nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber are adequately met.
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.
Are you tired of hearing don’t do this? Don’t eat this? Restricting yourself from all the joys of life you previously enjoyed before you were diagnosed with diabetes? Relax! And read on to a few handy tips which can really help you and your partner cope up with diabetes.
Invited for lunch/dinner or party- don’t stop yourself go ahead! But remember not to starve yourself. Starving leads to overeating according to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. Instead it is advisable to eat a small meal to avoid hunger pangs while eating at a party. You may choose from various diet plans and methods by various dieticians worldwide, but the Plate method suggested by American Diabetes Association is quiet easy to follow. Fill half of your plate with non-starchy fibres vegetables like grilled or barbequed mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, capsicum, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, turnips and onions. 1/4th of your plate with lean protein like grilled fish/cottage cheese/shrimps or chicken. And the rest 1/4th with Low carbs and whole grain breads. Ideally desserts should be replaced by fresh fruits, but you may have a tiny portion. You may also consult your doctor and take medications.
Have you avoided travelling with family and friends lately? With little preparation, Diabetes induced complications like frequent urination, burning foot syndrome, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, headache, numbness in fingers or simple change in diet can be controlled. Discuss with your physician, your doctor may suggest some medicines or ways to overcome these complications in the best possible way. If you are insulin dependent, you no longer need to compulsorily refrigerate the insulin. There are new and convenient ways of carrying insulin pens and cartridges. For complications like frequent urination adult diapers are readily available for men & women in the medical stores incase of unavailability of proper washrooms.
People tend to get irritated or angry when they are not able to achieve their goals. Relax! You can always start again. According to American Diabetes Management programme along with diet you need to run a successful 150 minutes physical activity program per week. We know this is not easy and many people tend to give up. We at Famhealth urge you to initiate a physical activity routine as small as 30 minutes per day. Once the benchmark is set then we can increase it from 30 minutes to 60 minutes per day. You may opt from a wide range of physical activities not restricting yourself only to gyming. You may want to choose Power yoga, Aerobics, Martial Arts like (Kick boxing Tai chi), Cycling, Swimming, Badminton, Pilates, and Jogging, walking to your friends place, climbing stairs and breaking the monotony of gyming.
This is the most important aspect of diabetes management. Medicines cannot be missed or delayed unnecessarily due to work pressure, mood fluctuations or other engagements. Medicine compliance along with blood sugar monitoring is an ideal way to manage diabetes. Blood sugar levels vary time to time and not remain same even throughout the day. It is very important to monitor your blood glucose levels, as sometimes your blood glucose level may drop causing hypoglycaemia or increase causing Hyperglycaemia. You may discuss with your diabetologist incase you are having more than 4-5 medicines as to which can be taken before meals or after meals based on priority to manage diabetes effectively. You may set an alarm or take the help of your spouse or caregiver in reminding you to take medicines on time.
According to Mariella Meachen Psychotherapist from International diabetes federation, people living with Diabetes may undergo emotional turmoil’s like anxiety, fears, depression, guilt, denial which causes stress. Studies suggest stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol raises the blood glucose level in the body resulting in poor diabetes management. Research suggests Psychological support from spouse and family help coping up with diabetes. American Diabetes Association suggests changing coping styles like accepting a problem, Saying OK, and learning to relax help you cope with stress. You may also choose to join a sports team, Diabetic community, take dance lessons or learn a new craft. There is no harm in talking to a diabetic educator or seeking a medical counsellor.
According to Cleveland Clinic; People with diabetes are more likely to have problems in their mouths—like gum disease, fungus and dry mouth. That’s why mouth care is so important. They should brush with a soft-bristled brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.
As per Joslin Diabetes Center; Ingrown toenails can lead to infection and other problems. Caregivers or family members can help check toe nails once a week for swelling or signs of infection. Toe nails should be trimmed with a nail clipper straight across and then smoothed with an emery board. Don’t round off nail corners.
Mild soap and warm (not hot) baths or showers are best to prevent dry skin. Skip foot soaking, which can dry skin. Dry between toes. She should use a doctor-approved moisturizer—including on her feet, except between toes.
A small thing like a callus or cut on the foot can lead to serious problems for anyone with diabetes. And if she has nerve damage from diabetes, she may not even feel a cut or sore. After a bath, she should do a daily skin check, especially of her feet. Give her a hand-held mirror, or look in the places she can’t see. Look for red spots, blisters, and sores.
Erratic Glucose levels
Sometimes erratic glucose levels may happen, you and your caregiver may be very worried and frustrated.
Discuss that with your physician and your physician might recommend some changes in your medication, diet and lifestyle.
There might be a remote possibility of you becoming insulin resistant. Your physician may change your dosage or add another medication.
You may also consider other factors like stress, weather, your physical activity levels, hormonal changes, sleeping patterns for your erratic glucose levels
You may consider talking to diabetelogist to know how to control your glucose levels. Make changes in your existing diet to achieve your goal.
Living with Diabetes
Right approach and positive attitude is very important in managing diabetes. While you may find it challenging to control your cravings, which may effect your blood sugar levels.
Instead find a way to motivate yourself and your partner to stay healthy and achieve your targets.
Join a community or surround yourself with encouraging and positive people.
You may consider talking to a diabetic educator typically a physician or a dietician who will help you in keeping fit and achieve your targets.
Instead of feeling low and lamenting about having diabetes, find out about the ways of managing this disease perhaps you don’t like gyming.
You may consider opting for a physical activity ranging from Yoga, Gym, Marshal Arts or Cycling.
You need to carefully choose what you are eating that does not mean you cannot eat delicious food. There are many Diabetic friendly recipes available which satisfy your taste buds and also maintain your blood glucose levels.
You can go for parties, you can dress well and feel absolutely elated and keep at par with all your day to day activities.
You may sometimes also enjoy your alcohol provided, do not exceed and have your medication on time and regular basis.
Medicine adherence is one of the most important aspects of diabetes management.
Not everybody is similar certain blood glucose lowering medication may cause low blood glucose levels hypoglycemia.
To read more on Diabetes, click on the link below.
4 cups mixed green leaves (cabbage/lettuce/spinach)
½ large cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
½ thinly sliced red onion
½ cup crumbled cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic minced garlic
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 light tomato-flavour oval multigrain wraps
2/3 cup hummus
In a large bowl combine all the greens, cucumber, tomato, and red onion and cheese. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic and black pepper. Pour dressing mixture over greens mixture. Toss to combine
Spread each wrap about 2 & ½ tablespoon of Hummus. Top each with 1/4th of dressed greens mixture roll up and serve immediately.
Make 4 servings (Amount per serving)
Total Sugars (g)
Total fat (g)
Remember to manage your portion sizes. Recommended portion size should not exceed 2 servings/helpings. Consuming diabetes friendly recipes in inappropriate portion sizes may lead to spiking of your blood glucose levels.
5 Dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked and drained
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp Lemongrass, chopped
5cm/2” piece fresh root ginger’ chopped
1 tsp Turmeric
4 Shallots, chopped
6 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
For the curry: 1 Organic, free-range chicken, about 1.6 kg/3½ lbs
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 cm/1” piece Fresh ginger root, peeled
2 tbsp Coconut oil
12 Shallots, peeled
2 tbsp Cashew nuts
2 tbsp Fish sauce
Water or chicken stock to cover
First, dry the coriander seeds, star anise, cumin seeds, whole cloves and cardamom pods in a small dry pan until fragrant. When cooled, remove the cardamom seeds and discard the pods. Grind the spices in pestle and mortar. Combine these with the other curry paste ingredients and mix to a paste either in a mortar or in a food processor.
Wash the chicken, joint into 8 pieces and remove the skin. Mash the garlic cloves and ginger to make a paste. In a large pan, heat the coconut oil and fry the garlic and ginger paste until golden. Add the curry paste and chicken and simmer for several minutes, turning frequently. Add the whole shallots and cashew nuts. Season with fish sauce. Cover with stock or water and simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Note: The combination of chicken and nuts gives this dish a very high magnesium content (125g per serving). Magnesium is key mineral for diabetics: and it has been shown that people with low magnesium are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.