According to the World Health Organisation, over 100 million people in the world are diagnosed with diabetes because of unhealthy eating habits, improper diet, stress, and obesity. A major cause of blindness, diabetes can also lead to stroke, kidney failure, heart attacks, and lower limb amputation.
Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, so that it can be transformed into energy for various activities. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes the hormone insulin to help glucose enter the cells of our body. However, if a person has diabetes the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin produced.
"The Glycemic Index, or GI, measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Food low in GI is good for maintaining the blood glucose level," says dietitian Jasleen Kaur, founder and mentor, Just Diet Clinic.
She adds that since black beans are low in GI, they are called the super food in diabetes. Black beans, with a GI level of less than 55, helps maintain the blood glucose levels. Some other foods with low GI levels are oatmeal, oat bran, muesli, bran, peas, and legumes," she says while sharing a few things people suffering from diabetes should and should not do, and the foods they should consume to maintain their blood sugar levels.
What to eat to maintain your blood sugar levels:
Bitter gourd (karela)
Drinking bitter gourd juice in the morning helps keep the blood sugar in control. Bitter gourd is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Bitter gourd can also be consumed in the cooked form.
How to make bitter gourd juice at home:
*Peel the bitter gourd and take out the seeds.
*Cut them into pieces and soak in salt water for about 20 minutes – this will help reduce the bitterness a bit.
*Put the soaked pieces in a juicer. You can add some water and lime juice to cut down the bitterness.
*Pour the juice in a glass and add salt according to taste before drinking it.
Amla is a super food and should be consumed as a vegetable or chutney, as it improves digestion, provides immunity to the body and maintains the blood glucose levels. It also contributes to good skin health.
How to make amla chutney at home:
*Take about 4 amlas and cut them into half.
*In a blender, add the amla, a two-inch slice of ginger, a sprig of fresh mint leaves and coriander, and a slice of raw mango.
*Grind until it forms a fine paste.
*Sprinkle some pink salt and serve.
Powdered jamun helps lower blood glucose levels. It helps in removing toxins from the liver.
Fenugreek seeds (methi)
Soak fenugreek seeds in one cup of water overnight and drink it in the morning. It helps keep blood glucose levels in control.
Fibre plays a very important role in keeping the blood glucose levels in control. Taking Isabgol post dinner can help. If you want to increase the intake of fibre in diet, include jowar, bajra, bran flour in your diet.
Do's and don’t if you are suffering from diabetes:
– Avoid alcohol
– Avoid refined food such as maida, chocolate, canned fruits.
– Have almonds, peanuts, chanas, walnuts.
– Have a protein rich diet – include sprouts in meal.