What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where your body cannot process the food consumed. Whatever food you eat gets converted into glucose which is the primary source of energy. At times when the level of glucose increases in the blood, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin which curbs the excess glucose and maintains the sugar level. The condition in which the body either fails to produce enough insulin or cannot use its own insulin results in Diabetes.
Diabetes is classified into majorly 3 categories: Type 1, Type 2 & Gestational Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes Type 1 is when your body does not produce insulin. This happens when your immune system attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin, thereby increasing the sugar level in the body. A person suffering from Type 1 Diabetes has to externally take insulin to maintain the sugar level. Type 1 Diabetes usually develops in childhood/adolescent age, although it can develop at any age.
Type 2 Diabetes
Similar to Type-1 Diabetes, in Type-2 Diabetes your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t work as effectively as it should. The cells develop a resistance towards insulin, which again results into imbalanced sugar level. A person suffering from Type-2 Diabetescan start with medicine alone, in extreme situations insulin is externally introduced into the body. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common and it largely develops in middle-aged and older people but it can develop in childhood as well.
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Unlike Diabetes Type 1 and 2, Gestational Diabetes occurs only during pregnancy mostly with mild symptoms, but it tends to create a health problem for both mother and the baby. Gestational Diabetes occurs mostly due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, which restricts your body to make optimum use of insulin.
To fight against Diabetes along with medication, it’s also important to understand about Glycemic Index level to deal with Diabetes in the best possible way.
What is a Glycemic Index level?
Glycemic Index level (GI) is the scale that ranks the carbohydrate containing food you consume and the rate at which the sugar level increases in the blood. A food with higher GI accelerates blood sugar level higher than the food with low GI level. Replacing your higher GI food with lower GI food will help you to maintain sugar level in the easiest way.
Refer the below given GI cycle:
Low GI = 55 or less (Choose more often in your diet)
Medium GI = 56 to 69 (Choose less often in your diet)
High GI = 70 or more (Mostly avoid)
What should be your go-to food in Diabetes?
When you have Diabetes, it is important to know what you need to include in your diet. Having the right kind of food is the best trick to overpower Diabetes. Try to make a perfect platter every meal that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free dairy products, and lean protein sources. Considering that everyone wants to treat themselves with a guilty food, it’s good to stick to a minimum quantity of sweet food ONLY IF your blood sugar level is under control. A lil treat won’t harm you!
Sample Diet Plan: (By Nutritionist Sujetha Shetty)
Methi seeds soaked water- 1 glass + 10 soaked almonds
40 minutes activity
Vegetable Poha with Handful of sprouts/ vegetable frankie-2 + 2 Egg white omelettes
Any seasonally available fruits (100g)/ Green Tea + 5 Walnuts
Or Low fat milk- 200ml
Methi/Palak Phulkas/ Multi-grain roti – 2 + Sabzi + Salad+ Buttermilk
Or 1 small bowl rice + 150g grilled chicken + Salad + Buttermilk
Tea/Coffee/Green Tea/Cucumber mint
Boiled Chickpea salad- 1 small cup
Phulkas- 2 + Sabzi/Dhal + Boiled veggies
Warm low fat milk
Healthy eating guidelines to maintain your blood sugar level: (Lifesaver tips!)
- Have proportionate and regular meals, this will prevent the sudden shoot of sugar level and keeps you energized.
- Control the sugar and salt in your diet.
- Limit your intake of processed and fried food.
- Treat yourself with a frozen non-flavoured yogurt instead of ice cream (we bet you won’t be disappointed)
- Have handful of nuts for munchies.
- Remember portion control is the key to healthy eating.
- Indulge yourself into any kind of physical activity for 30-40 minutes everyday at least 5 days a week.