Diet has an important role in controlling and maintaining blood glucose level. A dietary restriction along with regular exercise shows a positive result in diabetes management. A high intake of sugar, low fiber foods and refined foods are very harmful to diabetic patients. Thus, a high-fiber, low-sugar diet is advisable for the patients.
The diet regimen should based on weight, height, age, gender, physical activity, type, and severity of diabetes. After calculating the weight, the amount of calories or energy required can be easily determined.
Carbohydrates should provide 50-60% of the total calories consumed by the diabetic patient. This depends upon the blood sugar and urine sugar level and the amount of insulin given to the patient. The amount should not be decreased too much.
Proteins should provide15-20% of the total energy, which is more than normally required. The conversion of protein to glucose is slower and there is less available glucose. Children require enough protein to meet growth and development needs.
Total fat intake should be less than or equal to 20% of the total energy intake for obese diabetic patients. It is advisable not to drink alcohol. Beer contains high carbohydrate and wines have high sugar content. Whisky and gin provide about 65-70 kcal of energy for every 25-30 ml.
Increase fiber content so that with a decrease in carbohydrate content you may not suffer from constipation. Fiber also delays emptying of food from stomach and intestine and slows the absorption of glucose. This also helps in appetite satisfaction and you do not feel hungry often. Bengal gram, soybean, apple, guava, lemon, figs and orange are rich in fiber. Grains high in fiber are maize, barley, oatmeal, wheat flour, whole wheat, refined wheat flour (without husk), rice flakes and puffed rice. Coriander seeds, dry pepper, cumin seeds and turmeric also contain fiber.
High carbohydrate fiber containing diet like carrot, drumstick, dry peas and kidney beans may also be given in diabetes diet. Avoid refined foods such as semolina and refined wheat flour. Do not eat rice, sweets, starch and sweet fruits as they increase the sugar level due to the carbohydrate content.
Make bread (chapati) of gram flour and barley flour. As gram flour does not contain sugar, add this to wheat flour as a part to give energy to the body. Eat green vegetables with chapatis. The proportion of vegetables to chapatis should be 4: 1. Sugar will stop coming in the urine if taken for eight to ten days. You may also eat chapatis made from the roast barely flour.
Decrease sugar intake and take honey instead. However, use honey only in very small quantities. Do not take honey with water. Sugar in any form, sweets, rice, potato, chocolates, banana, colocassia, mangoes, grapes, dry fruits, cakes and pastries, oils, cereals and fruits that contain high percentage of carbohydrate and fat are strictly restricted. Similarly, avoid fat and fatty food items. There should be control over the quantity of diet.
Cabbage, coriander, cucumber, coconut, creeper of pumpkin, bitter gourd, chenopodium album (bathu), lemon, radish, carrot, tomato, onion, ginger and buttermilk are advisable in diabetes diet. Take cabbage, tomato and cucumber in good quantities to increase bulk without increasing sugar. Your appetite will be satisfied and you will not eat other food items that contain sugar or carbohydrates. Avoid mango, banana, sapota and grapes.
Some commonly used vegetables, fruits and condiments if consumed in a special way in the daily diet may help in controlling and even curing diabetes. You may take green leafy vegetables, cucumber, radish, lemon, buttermilk, clear soups, tea without sugar and pickles with less amount of oil. Regular use of bitter fruits, vegetables and condiments such as bitter gourd, flowers and sticks of drumstick, turmeric, horseradish etc, helps in curing diabetes.