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Best foods to control diabetes

Zubin D’souza

 

I am sure you know what diabetes is. Well, if you don’t…you should!

Diabetes currently affects 422 million people worldwide and there are approximately 62 million sufferers in India.

It is poised to become the largest killer in the world because diabetes and diabetes-related complications killed over four million people last year which is really shocking because with the right care and knowledge, much could be done to avoid the situation.

With the number of new cases that come to attention each year, this is only going to get worse.

The situation is totally preventable and or controllable. All you need to know is how and that is exactly what I aim to share with you.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease which is consistent with one’s body having high sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. This is caused by either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or there could be sufficient insulin produced but your body may not be responding properly to it. Either way there are serious complications that arise from this malady which may include kidney failure, foot ulcers, susceptibility to strokes, chronic cardiovascular issues and damage to the eyes. Diabetes results in comparatively a higher number of lower leg amputations than accidents and wars combined.

Prevention and control of the situation involves medication, adherence to a diet and an exercise regimen.

Since the diet is one of the primary factors and food is the only thing that really interests me, that’s what we are going to talk about.

The basic diabetes prevention diet involves an increase in fibre and protein in the diet and a reduction in starches and sugar.

I normally always put apples at the top of any list. With their high fibre content, low calories and high amount of antioxidants, they tend to be a nutritionist’s dream. Besides filling you up, they fight bad cholesterol and blunt the spikes in blood sugar.

Beans are another ingredient that is always blindly recommended because of their high fibre content besides imparting magnesium and potassium. Although they may be considered starchy, they provide almost as much protein as meat without the added saturated fat.

Avocadoes, with their rich, creamy texture filled with highly beneficial monounsaturated fats are a dream ingredient for people on the dietary road to wellness. The good fats that are packed in this fruit help prevent insulin resistance. Avocadoes are recommended because they slow down digestion and normally when one has consumed them, the blood sugar does not tend to spike after the meal.

When people talk about carrots increasing your blood sugar really fast, they really don’t know what they are talking about. Although sugar in carrots does convert into blood sugar quickly, they only contain a tiny amount of sugar. What they really have is massive amounts of beta carotene which is essential for better blood sugar control and a lower risk of diabetes.

Heart disease is one of the single deadliest outcomes of having diabetes. Preventing your heart from succumbing to this ailment will give you a longer shot at life and nothing prevents heart disease better than a generous serving of fish. Even eating fish once a week reduces the risk of having issues stemming from cardiovascular complications by a whopping forty per cent.

Olive oil really sets the standard when it comes to fighting diabetes. It has such strong anti-inflammatory compounds that it is often referred to as ‘nature’s aspirin’ and the good fats that this wonder oil contains can even help reverse insulin resistance.

An amazing dish to add to your daily routine is oatmeal. Oatmeal has huge amounts of soluble fibre that just as the name suggests – dissolves in water and forms a paste. This paste forms a barrier that separates the digestive enzymes in your stomach and the starch molecules in your food. It thus takes a longer amount of time for the carbohydrates that you have just consumed to be converted into blood sugar. The fact that it also makes you feel fuller for longer makes it a great dieting aid.

If you are not already eating broccoli for various other reasons – you should! Apart from the fact that this amazing cruciferous vegetable is rich in antioxidants, fibre and Vitamin C, it also contains chromium which is used in long-term blood sugar control.

Nuts and seeds are nature’s Special Forces. They swoop down and solve half your medical issues. In fact five or more servings of nuts a week can reduce the chances of heart disease by 47 per cent in patients who are suffering from diabetes. Seeds are full of fibre, protein, Omega-3s and to top it all they are awesome tasting.

Dark leafy vegetables are great for you. They are low in fibre and calories and there is no ‘too much of a good thing’ when you are eating them.

The fact is that diabetes is not a situation that you would wish that you were in. It is also a fact is that it can be prevented and controlled. All you need is the willpower and determination and you would be sailing smooth with a healthy body.

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