When you are diagnosed with either Type I, Type II or Pre-Diabetes, It is important to focus on the amount and type of food that you consume throughout the day. Certain foods can cause spikes whereas some foods can actually lower or help control blood sugar levels. Thanks to years of scientific findings, we now know what foods are beneficial!
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with elevated blood sugar levels need to not only monitor the total amount and quality of Carbohydrates in their diet, but also need to include adequate fruits and vegetables, eat lean protein, consume low GI foods, choose foods with less added sugar and avoid trans fat.
Let’s now discuss some of the best foods that can be consumed as a part of a healthy and varied Diabetic friendly diet.
Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd)
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, consumption of Bitter Melon by Type II Diabetes participants reduced their Fructosamine levels to some degree and thereby had a “Modest Hypoglycaemic effect”. It not only has anti-Diabetic and antioxidant properties, but is also a good source of Carbohydrates, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc!
How to consume: Can be consumed in the form of soups, stews, incorporated into stir fried dishes, curries etc.
Okra (Ladies Finger)
As a rich source of blood sugar lowering compounds such as polysaccharides and flavonoid antioxidants, Okra has long been used as a natural home remedy for regulating blood sugar levels. It is also a great source of Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc which makes this fruit that is commonly consumed as a vegetable, a great addition to your Diabetic friendly pantry.
How to consume : Can be consumed raw, pickled, roasted, sauteed or steamed.
“Okra water” (cutting up pieces of Okra, soaking it in water overnight, and drinking the water in the morning) is also a great way of including this fruit in your diet.
Cinnamon is an aromatic spice which has been used for the past several centuries as a component of traditional medicine and in food preservation. Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels by imitating the effects of Insulin and facilitating Glucose transport into the cells. One of the studies conducted suggests that consumption of Cinnamon improved Insulin sensitivity immediately, with the effect lasting almost 12 hours!
It’s a rich source of antioxidants that help in reducing oxidative stress, a type of damage to body cells which is caused by free radicals, and oxidative stress has been one of the reasons implicated for the development of nearly every chronic disease, including Pre- and Type II Diabetes.
How to consume : It can be consumed in the form of Cinnamon milk, Cinnamon tea (Dash of cinnamon added to any of the preparations) and also be sprinkled on top of oatmeals, smoothies and curries.
Fenugreek plant has uses both in culinary and medicinal practices. The Fenugreek leaves are sold both as vegetables and the seeds are used either in whole or in powdered form as spices.
The seeds are helpful in regulating elevated blood sugar levels as they are a rich source of soluble fiber which helps improve the body’s digestion of Carbohydrates and Sugar. They also help lower total Cholesterol, “LDL” Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
How to consume : Fenugreek seeds are often used in spice blends and generally incorporated in curries, pickles and other dips. They can also however be consumed in the form of Fenugreek tea (½ to 1 tsp), or sprinkled on top of soups, yoghurt etc.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is widely used as a powerful medicinal ingredient in Ayurvedic preparations. It is used to treat several chronic conditions including Diabetes Mellitus. According to several research studies, Amla posesses anti-diabetic effects which has resulted in reduction of both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels.
It also contains Chromium which helps regulate Carbohydrate metabolism and helps improve Insulin sensitivity.
How to consume : You can simply consume fresh Amlas or in the form of Amla juice. Dry Amla powder is also readily available in the market and can be consumed with water or sprinkled on different preparations.
Disclaimer : All the above mentioned foods should be consumed as part of a complementary dietary treatment for Diabetes and elevated blood sugar levels and not as stand alone remedies. This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a Dietitian or a doctor for more information.
For any further queries, reach out to the team of Foodnwellness.