Diabetes is a chronic disorder that is caused due to the increase of blood sugar levels in the body. This disease which is also known as diabetes mellitus, is of three types - Type 1 diabetes (or juvenile diabetes), Type 2 diabetes (or adult onset diabetes) and gestational diabetes. This health disorder is characterized by a failure in sugar utilization through insulin, the hormone that plays a vital role in glucose regulation. Insulin is produced in the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.
Type 1 or juvenile diabetes is a kind of autoimmune disease, where the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed. This type of diabetes mostly affects children and young adults (or adolescents). Type 2 diabetes is the result of insulin resistance, wherein the body cells become resistant to the action of insulin. The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes which refers to abnormally high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, in women without previously diagnosed diabetes. This can be temporary and may go away after childbirth. But it is essential to keep a check on this condition, lest it increases the risks during childbirth. Let us now see about the list of foods that can be included in a diabetic's diet, and which will help maintain a balance on the blood glucose levels.
List of Foods a Diabetic Can Eat
When an individual suffers from any of the type of diabetes, he is under a strict restriction on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. The best foods for diabetics are the ones with a low glycemic index (GI). GI indicates how quickly blood sugar levels rises after eating the respective food. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes diet are more or less the same with the similar role of controlling glucose in the bloodstream. For expectant mothers, following a gestational diabetes meal plan till the delivery is essential, as it not only keeps a check on diabetes, it also provides the necessary nutrients, both for the mother and child. In addition, use healthy cooking techniques like boiling, baking, grilling, etc. rather than frying.
Given below is the diabetes diet menu, which is recommended for individuals suffering from type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. However, it is advisable to consult the appropriate medical professional and/or dietitian and plan the meals accordingly. The expert will understand your physiology and metabolism better and suggest dietary modifications according to your specific metabolic requirements.
The recommended limits for diabetics are:Carbohydrates
- Carbohydrates: 45-60 grams per meal
- Total fat: 25-30% of total calories
- Protein: 15-20% of total calories
- Fruits like apples, peaches, berries, pears, etc.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, mushrooms, celery, cloves etc. Green leafy vegetables like fenugreek and spinach can also be included.
- Other foods in the menu are whole-grain products.
- Fiber-rich foods also should be included especially in the gestational diabetes diet since it helps in the proper digestion of food and ensures proper bowel movement.
- Vegetables like soybeans, lentils, millets.
- Lean meat like veal, lamb, beef and pork etc.
- Vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.
- Oily fish like mackerel, herrings, salmon and tuna.
List of Foods for Diabetics to Avoid
There are certain foods to avoid with diabetes, since they can increase the symptoms of diabetes and can even worsen the condition. Given below is a list of a few of the food items, that are a strict no-no and must be kept off the shelves.
- Refined/white flour
- Sweet potatoes
- Custard apple
- Egg yolk
- Salad dressings like mayonnaise, margarine, mustard
- Dairy products like cheese, butter
- Sugary foods like jams, jellies, donuts, cookies, canned syrups, ice cream, pastries
- Fried foods
- Dried fruits and nuts
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.