Scarcity of the hormone insulin or insulin resistance, results in a condition known as 'diabetes'. The pancreas produce insulin, which stimulates the absorption of glucose from the blood by the cells in the body. Insulin deficiency can lead to high blood glucose levels. This condition is referred to as type 1 diabetes.
Similarly, if the cells do not respond to insulin, then also, elevated blood glucose levels are noticed. This results in type 2 diabetes, which is commonly noticed in the elderly. These days, many children or young people are getting diagnosed with this disease. Overweight people and those with a family history of diabetes are more prone to this condition.
People with slightly higher than normal blood glucose levels are said to have prediabetes. The onset of diabetes or even established diabetes can be controlled with the help of low sugar and low carb diet, regular exercise, and medicine. Foods that control this disorder have low glycemic index and their consumption does not lead to severe fluctuations in blood glucose levels. They are:
Foods with Fiber
Dietary fiber helps neutralize the spike in the blood sugar caused by certain foods. It helps reduce insulin resistance exhibited by the cells in the body. It is better if you start your day with a high fiber cereal. Vegetables and fruits provide fiber; however, make sure that they have low glycemic index.
Foods with Low Glycemic Index
A number from 0-100 indicates the Glycemic Index (GI) of the food. Foods that have GI value less than 55 are considered as low glycemic foods. Glucose is released into the bloodstream at a slow rate when you consume these foods. Cherries, pear, plum, grapefruit, apple, orange, kiwi, all bran, rye, cracked barley, wheat kernels, parboiled rice, asparagus, celery, cabbage, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, boiled kidney beans, green peas, yam, etc., come under this category. They don't lead to severe fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Low glycemic legumes are very effective in controlling the blood glucose levels. Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, etc., should be consumed regularly.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables with prominent colors (yellow, orange, red, dark green) are packed with antioxidants, which help strengthen your immune system. They improve cell function and release of hormones. They help prevent all sorts of diseases and disorders.
The consumption of natural foods help keep the blood sugar in control. Therefore, include natural fruits, whole grain products, vegetables, fish, and lean meat in your diet. Stop consuming processed foods and junk foods if you want to avoid worsening of the situation. Canned food, canned juices and the likes should be strictly avoided. Also, avoid processed oils like safflower, canola, peanut, sunflower, and corn oil. Fries, cakes, candies, cookies, donuts, processed cheese, etc., result in weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes.
Those who want to lose weight or maintain weight cannot avoid fat in their diet. Fat is essential for the functioning of cells. Make sure that you include healthy, good fats like olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, etc. Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins from fish oil help improve your health in several ways.
Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper help regulate insulin function.
Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, almonds, and seeds like sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, etc., should be included in the diet in right proportion. They play an important role in metabolism and energy production.
While including the aforementioned foods in your regular diet, you should strictly avoid table sugar, pastries, ice creams, honey, and other sweets. Depending upon your overall health and considering the symptoms and the risk factors, a doctor can tell you the quantity of carbohydrates in your diet. Avoid simple carbohydrates, and include complex carbohydrates as they are slowly digested and lead to minimum fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Examples of non-starch nutritious vegetables are spinach, broccoli, raw beets, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, eggplant, and cucumber. Balanced diet, regular exercise, use of proper medicines, and correct supplements help prevent and control diabetes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.