Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dietary guide lines for Diabetics.

Dietary guide lines for Diabetics

A diabetic diet has to be planned in such a way that the blood sugar needs to be maintained at the normal level (80-120 mg/100 ml of blood) always for that:
Be a vegetarian
Eat before you start feeling hungry
Follow meal time religiously
Instead of the usual 3 main meals, stretch food intake to 5 or 7 meals a day
Meal time to be pleasant with positive discussions about foods /or any other matter.
Skipping of breakfast should be completely discouraged
Identify the meals which, you crave for in your routine( Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner) and half an hour before this meal consume a salad or soup with low glycemic index ( composed of fruits, vegetables, greens, germinated pulses)
More than 50 percent of the meal items to be composed of greens, vegetables and fruits
Include daily whole grains and pulses rich in complex carbohydrates. Soaking and or germinating the pulses enhance the protein availability and B complex vitamins and reduce flatulent.
Plant protein foods will have to be preferred over animal protein foods unless suffering from kidney problems
Poly unsaturated fatty acids(PUFA) in nuts and unprocessed vegetable oils are to be preferred over animal fats in the diet and should form 10 percent of the total energy intake in a day.
Energy requirement of a diabetic is to be decided by age, sex, height, weight, special requirements and activity. Uniform distribution of energy in all the meals is essential
Replace major portion of rice with wheat, oats, barley and millets of much lower glycemic index.
Try to include fiber rich foods
Avoid foods rich in fats and oils
Prefer water as the medium of cooking over oil and prefer stir fry with minimal oil
It is preferable to use soaked or roasted fenugreek seeds in dishes where they could be used
Low glycemic index foods are, as indicated earlier, mainly Soya in various forms, vegetables, fruits with high water content, greens, germinated pulses and whole cereal grains
Non-nutritive artificial sweeteners are safe, if consumed minimally.
Exercise has to be performed but synchronized with meals consumed and medicines taken such that blood sugar is maintained at normal level

(Dr.Prema Lalitha, Former Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, Kerala Agricultural University)

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