Many would just relate Diabetes to sugar and just automatically think, stay completely away from sugar. Well it would be virtually impossible to keep sugar completely out of your diet. Sugar isn’t bad for Diabetics, it all comes down to discipline and portion control.
At the Diabetes course I attended there was a classroom full of diabetics taking part and asking questions. Many of the questions came in the form of sugar levels and how to control them.
To battle blood glucose levels here are some tips:
Less sugary Foods
Most importantly in my opinion to achieve these goals and to maintain a consistency on track to these goals, you need to eat foods that breaks down into glucose slowly (Slow energy releasing foods).
Food like a chocolate bar, besides the fact that it contains a high level of sugar, is also bad because the chocolate is only nutritious enough to give you a quick boost/sugar rush then bring your energy levels back down quickly to a horrible low. This could all lead to the following:
Breaks down in body into high level sugar with no use for energy source.
Make you eat more frequently because you’ll be in search for more energy after the sugar rush.
Consuming more will build up in calories and you’ll gain weight.
Raises fat levels which can clog up arteries and create organ problems.
Overall makes Diabetes less manageable.
What’s important for diabetics is to eat food with high nutritional value, that can be of use for fuel so you can get out there and enjoy life to the full. This doesn’t mean that your food experience now has to be boring(Picture above is an example), its just a few changes and some strict monitoring. Here are the foods diabetics should look for to eat on a regular basis:
High in Fibre
Basmati rice instead of long grain
Eat Potatoes with skin left on them
Porridge, Alpen, Weatabix
Plantain, Yam, Sweet potatoes
Avoid white flour
Eat Seeded/Whole-meal bread
Fruit and Vegetables
We get our Glucose from Carbohydrates. What to look out for is not just sugary foods but a lot of the time it’s also the starchy foods that are the problem. For example Chips contains many carbs because from its original potato form, it has been stripped from its goodness. The skin has been taken off and its been deep fried in oil, so now your just left with white raw carb deep fried in fat… Not good for diabetics as it wouldn’t give them any nutritional value and the chips would break down into short lasting energy sugars for the body. This would create too much glucose, calories, weight gain, fat and all ends in less manageable diabetes. Also for non diabetics it would be good to lay off too many chips also.
A good solution in this instance would be a jacket potato, meat and vegetables. Below is a diet chart that shows foods and how frequently they should be eaten.
Treat yourself every now and then to a couple of biscuits or a slice of cake but all the goodies must become a treat and not a regular fixture in the diet. Fruit is another concern of many diabetics and without knowing could be the cause of your high blood sugar levels. Although fruit does contain natural sugars, I’m sorry to say that sugar is always just going to be sugar no matter where it comes from so this also has to be portioned. Diabetics should keep to 2-3 portions of fruit a day of 80 grams per sitting (avg. the size of the palm of your hands). Also fruit juice has a lot of sugar so its also a great idea to cut down on that. The amount of sugars you have in your tea can build up to a large amount over time. I myself have gone from 3 sugars to now no sugar at all in my tea and I know it will make a difference in my future 10-20 years down the line.
My last two foods I’ll mention to cut down on are Alcohol and butter. These two can really put on the pounds and can be a real danger for diabetics and non diabetics a like. A pint of beer is around the same damage as a packet of crisps so having a few pints especially if its often can become a bad for diabetes. Also butter is the highest calorie and fat count in all diet and the problem is that its always disguised in cakes, biscuits etc.. and you’d have no idea of how much fat it is generating. If you work and keep your distance from these foods, living with diabetes can be a breeze and also sets a great example for family and friends looking for a healthier lifestyle.
The next chapter will be tips on fighting diabetes with fitness!
Thanks for reading!