Vegetarian Diet and Diabetes

: April 27, 2015
diabetes,veg diet for diabetesImage Source:ShutterStock
A person has diabetes when the level of sugar in the blood is more than normal. Sugar or glucose that we obtain from our diet is required by our body to generate energy. Blood carries the glucose to the cells and with the help of hormone insulin (which is secreted by the pancreas) the glucose from the blood is removed and taken up by the liver and fat cells and is stored for generating energy. For some reasons in some individuals the amount of insulin is not sufficient or insulin does not function properly. As a result the glucose from the blood is not removed and the sugar level in the blood is more than normal and the person is then said to be diabetic
There are three types of diabetes:
1. Type I where the amount of insulin produced is not sufficient
2. Type II where the insulin does not function properly.
3. Gestational which is seen in pregnant women

It is very important to keep diabetes in control as there are several diseases which cannot be cured if the blood sugar level is not maintained and it can prove to be fatal.
Diet control is of utmost importance in case of diabetes. A person suffering from diabetes should preferably opt for a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diet keeps the weight in check, controls cholesterol, is good for the heart and helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels.

The best preventive measure for diabetes is diet control. Chalk out a diet which is rich in fibers and low in fats. Always pick low glycemic index food items which reduce the blood glucose levels by increasing the uptake of glucose from blood.

Diet For Diabetic Patients

1. Whole grains:

Whole Grains diabetes
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Whole grains like wheat, soya, and oats have rich fiber content. Fiber is type of carbohydrate that is not broken down by human body .Hence it does not increase blood glucose levels. It also adds bulk and hence makes one feel full. Soya flour mixed with black gram flour and oats is very good for diabetes.

2. Milk:

Milk Diabetes
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Milk twice in a day helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Milk has high calcium content. Diabetes increases the risk of bone fractures and calcium rich food definitely is good for the bones. But always opt for unsweetened, low fat milk. Soy milk is also a good healthy option for those who do not like regular milk.

3. Vegetables:

Vegetables Diabetes
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Include lots of raw vegetables which reduce the requirement of insulin and bring down the fat levels .Include bitter gourd, peas, spinach,beans.Increase the amount of onions in your meals as it contains chromium due to which body cells respond to insulin.Tendli suppresses the activity of enzymes which are required in glucose production.

4. Fruits:

fruits diabetes
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Raw fruits like papaya ber, oranges, jamuns, and cherries increase the sensitivity of insulin to glucose. Figs are rich in potassium and help in controlling blood glucose levels. Avoid bananas.

5. Beans and Pulses:

Beans Lentils diabetes
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Several types of beans like rajma (Kidney beans), moong, chawli are rich in proteins and contain fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B which help in keeping the blood glucose level in control.

6. Bajra:

Bajra Millet diabetes
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Bajra facilitates slow release of sugar in the blood stream and therefore is good for diabetic patients. It also provides iron and is a good source of energy.

7. Foods containing Omega3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats:

Flax seeds
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Flax Seeds, fish contain omega3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats .These food items lower cholesterol and help in controlling diabetes.

8. Nuts:

Dry fruits
Several nuts have low glycemic index and thus are beneficial in controlling blood glucose levels. Include peanuts, almonds and walnuts in your daily diet.

9. Foods to be avoided:

Avoid aerated drinks
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Refined flour, sweetened fruit juices, canned fruits should be avoided. Give preference to brown rice instead of white rice. Avoid aerated drinks and alcohol.

It is not such the selection of food but also the portions that you eat also plays a vital role in controlling diabetes. While eating always keep in mind that the amount that you consume should be in limits. Since you are opting for a healthy vegetarian diet does not mean that you can eat voraciously because large meals results in large blood sugar levels. Also eat only nutritious vegetarian food, avoid the unhealthy stuff like fast food. If pastas and noodles are a must for you then whole wheat varieties are readily available.

Keep in mind that the calories that you consume daily should be around 1800 calories. You can seek the advice of a dietician and chalk out a diet plan to keep the calories in check.
Healthy vegetarian diet and portion control is the key to successful controlling of diabetes.


Sarjita Pradhan

Sarjita Pradhan

Sarjita Pradhan born and brought in Mumbai has a degree in Masters in Analytical Chemistry and a wide work experience in various fields...

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