Diabetes (also called diabetes mellitus) is a medical condition that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is not effectively using it. It is a chronic disease known to have many severe effects on the body’s functioning, especially when it comes to the nerves and blood vessels.
The number of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in India has surpassed the 70 million mark, which makes India the second country in the world ranking of countries with the maximum number of diabetic patients.
- Diabetes Weight Loss
- Why should you consider losing weight if you have diabetes?
- What is a good diet plan for a diabetic patient?
- What foods to avoid?
- Popular diets that have created a buzz
Diabetes Weight Loss
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for not just people with diabetes but for everyone to live a good and healthy life. While losing weight is a challenging task in general, it is harder for a person with diabetes to successfully shed those extra pounds by following a diabetic diet plan.
The body develops a high insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and irregulates the body’s blood sugar levels. The insulin hormone’s ineffectiveness in regulating blood sugar levels further leads to difficulties in maintaining and losing weight.
Why should you consider losing weight if you have diabetes?
On the plus side, there are many advantages of following through with a diabetes diet menu to get to a healthy number on the weighing scale.
- Losing weight will help regulate the blood sugar level of the body.
- It will prominently reduce the risk of developing major heart, kidney, and nerve damage, common in diabetic patients.
- It can help bring down the high level of cholesterol that is generally found in a diabetes patient.
- It can bring about a significant reduction in body fat percentage that will improve the way insulin functions in the body.
What is a good diet plan for a diabetic patient?
Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot that a person with diabetes can eat on a daily basis to lose weight. Indian diet is inherently rich in carbohydrates, which are supposed to be controlled on a diet plan for diabetes.
The key factor used to decide the food item permitted on a diabetic diet plan is its glycemic index. The glycaemic index is used to indicate how much sugar will be released into the bloodstream. Foods with a lower glycaemic index are the best friends of people having type 2 diabetes.
Here are some food items that will fit perfectly in an Indian diabetic diet chart:
1. Fibre-rich vegetables and fruits
Easily available vegetables and fruits in India like spinach, peas, green leafy vegetables, apples, and more are very high fibre foods that help maintain a good bowel movement and keep the stomach fuller for an extended time. They are excellent foods that should take up a major part of every meal that is eaten throughout the day by a diabetic patient.
2. Healthy carbohydrates
While carbohydrates usually have a high glycaemic index, there are some healthy carbohydrates that can be incorporated into a good Indian diabetic diet plan. These include whole grains like oats (avoid instant oats), wheat, quinoa, and whole-grain bread.
It is necessary to keep the carbohydrate count in check, especially if you are taking medication for insulin. Consulting a healthcare professional will be the best option before adding carbohydrates to your diet chart.
3. Low Fat Dairy
While being on a diet, a diabetic person does not necessarily need to cut down on their daily cup of milk as long as they take it unsweetened and with low-fat content. Milk does not contain a huge amount of carbohydrates and can be included in the diet every day. However, it is best to stay away from high-fat dairy items like cheese and butter as they can spike blood sugar levels.
4. Lean Meat
Eating heart-healthy fish like tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as chicken can be very healthy for the heart. Make sure not to fry them and instead have them baked, steamed, or roasted. Avoid red meat and fish types that contain a high amount of mercury which can adversely affect a diabetic patient’s blood sugar level.
5. Good Fats
Some food items rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like walnuts and almonds are rich in fibre and can help keep cholesterol levels in check. They can satiate the hunger for a long period of time and are also good snacking options. Cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts have a little higher saturated fat content so they can also be included but only in a controlled amount.
6. Pulses and Legumes
Pulses and legumes like beans and other staple foods of the Indian diet can fit into a diabetes mellitus diet for weight loss. They are packed with protein that meets your energy requirements every day and are also rich in fibre.
Many doctors suggest that the first thing that a person with diabetes should drink in the morning is fenugreek seeds soaked in water. Fenugreek helps in lowering blood sugar levels as well as insulin resistance. This is a superfood for diabetics and should be a part of the Indian diet chart for diabetic patients.
8. Brown Rice
Brown rice has a lower glycemic index than the white rice used in almost every Indian household. It is also richer in fibre content as compared to white rice. Thus making a switch from white rice to brown rice might just do the trick to help you lose weight faster while keeping your blood sugar appreciably lower.
What foods to avoid?
There are some foods that you should cut from your diabetic diet plan to keep your health in check while also making sure that you are losing weight. These are:
- Foods that can boost your cholesterol levels – Egg yolks, high-fat dairy products like butter and cheese, and high-fat animal products
- Foods containing high saturated fats – Full-fat dairy products, bacon and sausages
- Trans fats – All packaged food like instant oats, instant noodles, chips and beverages containing high amounts of sugar and other preservatives
Popular diets that have created a buzz
There are many diets that people all around the world are following these days. They can be modified to become diabetic-friendly after consulting a healthcare professional.
1. Mediterranean Diet
This diet has foods that are typically staple foods for the people living in the Mediterranean region. This diet is rich in animal and vegetable-based fats and oils.
It usually includes plenty of vegetables, fruits in moderation, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
2. Palaeolithic Diet
This diet aims to make you eat foods that your ancestors used to eat before the world was flooded with unhealthy junk food which are primary causes for numerous health conditions.
It includes healthy fats like walnut oil and flaxseed, proteins like meat and fish, and a whole lot of plant-based foods like non-starchy vegetables and fresh fruits.
3. Vegetarian Diet and Vegan Diet
Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet also has many proven health benefits like improved bone health, lower blood pressure, lower risk of developing cancer, etc. It can lead to greater weight loss as compared to other diets, but it requires certain supplements like zinc, iodine, and B-12 that vegetarian food items cannot provide adequately.
While it may be tempting to hop on to this trend of following fancy diets from the west, diabetic patients should seek medical counseling before starting any diet for achieving weight loss.
There are many diabetic-friendly Indian diet plans that diabetic patients can follow to lose some extra kilograms that can help you keep your health in a better condition. Including all the food items that control blood sugar level and cholesterol can help you stay full for a long period of time. As mentioned above, the food recommendations would be the best options to take along with you on your weight loss journey with diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy body weight will help you stay active for longer times and will ensure that you keep all the heart, kidney and nervous system-related diseases associated with diabetes at bay. You can follow our recommendations or consult a doctor and curate the perfect Indian diabetic diet plan that is right for your body and will help you lose weight easily.