Diet is the term which generally has a very negative connotation. For people with diabetes, it means forgoing favourite food stuffs and taking only porridges/kanji, dry chapatti, biscuits, bitter tasting foods every day. People feel they have committed a sin and it is a punishment for their indulgence. So they follow these diets without a choice.
The good news is that a person with diabetes can enjoy one’s food as any other individual. There is nothing called a diabetic diet. The principle of dieting for people with diabetes is a healthy change and is good for every adult in the family. Therefore adopting healthy diet habits need not be considered as an act of deprivation of the tasty foodstuffs. The ideal diet for people with diabetes lays emphasis on having a healthy and balanced meal. The family’s diet could be modified similarly for nutritional benefits.
All varieties of cereals, dhal/whole grams, vegetables, fruits should be incorporated in the daily menu. A thali/ plate should preferably include a cereal, dhal or lean meat, vegetables and milk products. Amount of oil used in food preparations should be minimal and a combination of different varieties of oil is better. It is necessary to include one fruit daily as a snack. It is also important to avoid sugar and sweets since they are high in calories, carbohydrate and fats which can lead to rise in blood glucose. Skipping or delaying meals can cause glucose levels to go out of control. So having food at regular intervals consisting of 3 main meals and 1-2 snacks in-between will help to prevent this.
By following these guidelines, people with diabetes can lead a healthy life by
- Attaining and maintaining recommended metabolic outcomes including Blood Glucose, Lipids and Blood pressure.
- Improving health by promoting healthy food choices and physical activity.
- Achieving and maintaining reasonable body weight
- Preventing and treating chronic complications of Diabetes
Other family members can also follow these dietary principles to lead a healthy life.