Diabetes Mellitus: Lower Blood Sugar With These Low-Carb Food Swaps

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which our body fails to respond to a protein that regulates blood glucose levels, called insulin. This is why there is a need to regulate and lower the increased blood sugar levels in our body. Those with diabetes mellitus have to be particularly careful about the amount of carbohydrates they consume. This is because our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. This spikes our blood glucose level. Diabetics are asked to stay away from high carb foods for this reason. In general, a high carb diet is bad not just for those with diabetes. It can also lead to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. It’s not difficult to switch to a low carb diet. All you need to do is make smart food swaps.

Swap white rice with brown rice or grated broccoli:  White rice can spike your blood glucose level. Diabetics are usually asked to avoid white rice or eat with caution. Brown rice has a low glycemic index and is therefore recommended for those with type 2 diabetes. You could also use broccoli rice as well which is quite the trend these days. All you need to do is blend broccoli in a blender till you get granules and then steam to cook it. Season it with salt. You could try doing the same with cauliflower.

Swap white bread with vegetables like sweet potato: When it comes to toasts or sandwiches, you can easily replace white bread with more nutritious foods like vegetables. White bread is devoid of nutrients and can cause insulin resistance and worsen type 2 diabetes symptoms. Just roast and season sweet potato slices and put your fillings in between these two slices.

Swap maida-based pizza based with cauliflower pizza base: Consumption of maida or white refined flour for diabetics is a big NO-NO because it can cause insulin resistance. To make a cauliflower pizza base, simple whisk cauliflower in a blender with salt, pepper, oregano, cheese and eggs. Spread the mixture on a baking tray in a pizza shape and bake. Add pizza toppings and bake further to make your pizza.

Swap regular wafers with vegetable chips: Deep fried potato chips are bad news for your blood sugar and waistline. Instead, thinly slice vegetables like beetroot and carrots. Season them salt and pepper. Brush them with olive oil and bake them. These vegetable chips will be crunchy, tasty and good for your health.

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Beat diabetes with walnuts and these 5 other nuts

Are you a diabetic looking for healthy snack options? Ditch your regular high carb food and have walnuts instead. Consuming walnuts regularly has been shown to help manage and treat diabetes by positively impacting metabolic syndrome according to a study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice. Walnuts can also increase your good cholesterol and decrease fasting glucose level.

Nuts are loaded with powerful nutrients that are extremely beneficial for everybody. When it comes to diabetes, too, nuts exert positive effects. In fact, studies have proven that nuts can actually significantly cut the risk of developing diabetes. Nuts contain healthy fats, and, when consumed in moderation, can actually make you feel full and lower your appetite. This will help you manage weight.  Eating just a handful of nuts daily has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, a common cause of death, heart attacks, strokes and disability among people with Type-2 diabetes. From controlling blood sugar to blood pressure to increasing metabolism and fighting inflammation, nuts are superfoods for diabetics.

Don’t just stick to walnuts; here are some other nuts you should have to beat diabetes mellitus:

Cashew nuts: Many avoid having kaju or cashew nuts because of the misconception that it can be bad for your waistline and your heart. But the truth is that the humble cashew with monounsaturated fat can decrease the systolic blood pressure and increase the good cholesterol in your body. Just don’t have more than 10-15 in a day.

Almonds: The health benefits of almonds are many. Full of omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and protein, almonds reduce bad cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity which make them excellent for diabetics.

Pistachios: Pistachios have been shown to reduce Body Mass Index in those with prediabetes or those in the intial stages of diabetes by suppressing hunger. They do not increase the weight and are hence considered apt for controlling and managing diabetes.

Peanuts: Nuts can be expensive. But if you are looking at a cheaper but equally healthy nut to control diabetes, opt for peanuts. Rich in protein and fibre, peanuts have a low glycemic index. Peanuts have the ability to reduce fasting blood glucose and postprandial glucose. Stick to a handful of peanuts every day.

Macadamia nuts: One of the most highly recommended healthy food options for diabetes is macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts have healthy carbs and fibre that can help beat diabetes.


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Tackling Diabetes Amongst Pregnant Women

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder caused due to either insulin deficiency or decreased sensitivity to the action of insulin.

In pregnancy, this condition exists in a few varieties; (1) a known diabetic woman becomes pregnant (2) a woman who has a history of pre-diabetes becomes diabetic during pregnancy and (3) Gestational Diabetes Mellitus(GDM), when woman becomes diabetic during pregnancy and after the pregnancy is over, her diabetes disappears.

“However, GDM is now thought to be a forerunner of type-2 diabetes and almost 25 per cent of GDMs eventually turn out to be diabetic. Pregnancy induces progressive changes in maternal carbohydrate metabolism. As pregnancy progresses, because of certain placental hormones, there is a compensatory increase in insulin secretion,” Dr Anil Bhoraskar, Senior Diabetologist, S.L. Raheja Hospital.

When this compensation is inadequate, gestational diabetes develops. Ideally, all women should be screened for diabetes during 24-28 weeks of gestation. However, it is best to screen once during all trimesters.

Women at risk of GDM are:

1. Positive family history of Diabetes- parents, siblings, immediate aunts and uncles, grandparents

2. Previous history of being an overweight baby (over 4kgs above the average)

3. Previous history of repeated pregnancy loss or stillbirth

4. Obesity

5. Being over 30 years of age, while attempting to get pregnant

6. Frequent Candida infections

7. Polyhydramnios- Accumulation of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus

“Pregnancy worsens diabetes. Vascular changes like retinopathy, nephropathy and coronary artery disease worsens during pregnancy. During pregnancy, it increases the risk of abortion, preterm labour, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and vaginal candidiasis. There is also a high risk of Preeclampsia (high Blood Pressure during pregnancy) and a high chance of delivering a big baby,” added Dr. Anil Bhoraskar.

Nutrient intake plays a significant role in the health-related outcomes of all pregnant women. It is noted that calorie restrictions will help glucose control, but too severe a restriction is undesirable.

“Carbohydrate intake should be limited to 35-45 per cent of total calories. Self-monitoring of blood glucose, particularly post meal monitoring, is recommended. Insulin is recommended when women are unable to achieve the target glycemic goals or show signs of excessive fetal growth (baby becoming large),” said Dr. Alka Kumar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, S.L. Raheja Hospital.

• Overfeeding- too much of rich food, laden with harmful fats must be avoided

• Omega 3 Fats and Vit supplements can help overcome pregnancy-related Depression

• Remember the growing fetus is an obligate parasite; whatever the nutritional contents of the mother’s diet, it will suck every single nutritional element required for its growth and development, depleting the mother of vital substances

• Milk, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, iron-containing foods and at least 2 tsp. of homemade ghee should be consumed regularly

• Avoid chivada, bhajiyas,sev, vadasgathiyas and sweets

• Reasonable physical activities such as careful walking or yogic exercises can be taken under supervision if permitted by the obstetrician.

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