The foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently are suitable for diabetes.
Posted on March 2nd, 2015

Dr Hector Perera       London

Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates, sugars and starches found in many foods, into glucose, a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of the hormone insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or is not able to use insulin effectively, or both.

Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach.

Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children and young adults, though it can appear at any age. In the past, type 1 diabetes was called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes is caused by a combination of factors, including insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s muscle, fat, and liver cells do not use insulin effectively. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can no longer produce enough insulin to compensate for the impaired ability to use insulin. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may develop gradually and can be subtle; some people with type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed for years. The charity Diabetes UK estimates that around 850,000 people in England have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed. I wonder how many are in Sri Lanka.

Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. This is sometimes known as pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar level is above the normal range, your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased.

Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older people who are also overweight or obese. The disease, once rare in youth, is becoming more common in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Scientists think genetic susceptibility and environmental factors are the most likely triggers of type 2 diabetes.

firstdaydiet

Beans
If you’re looking for foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently like rolling waves, choose high-quality carbohydrates instead of low-quality carbs like refined grains and sugary foods. Whenever possible, you’ll want to couple these carbs with protein and/or healthy fat. Beans (including black, white, navy, lima, pinto, garbanzo, soy, and kidney) are a winning combination of high-quality carbohydrates, lean protein, and soluble fibre that helps stabilize your body’s blood-sugar levels and keeps hunger in check. Beans are also inexpensive, versatile, and virtually fat-free.

Oatmeal
Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains and high-fibre foods may reduce the risk of diabetes by between 35 and 42 percent. An excellent source of both is heart-healthy oatmeal: It’s packed with soluble fibre, which slows the absorption of glucose from food in the stomach — keeping blood-sugar levels under control. Top oatmeal with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts to add protein and healthy fat, which stabilize blood sugars further. Plus, the nuts add great crunch and flavour to your morning meal.

Fish
Another outstanding source of lean protein is fresh fish. Choose an environmentally friendly variety like catfish, cod, or tilapia; all are mild-flavoured, white-fleshed fish that can be healthfully prepared by baking, grilling, or roasting. Pair fish with the high-quality carbohydrates found in vegetables, lentils, or beans for another balanced meal combination that will keep your blood sugar from rising.

Yogurt
Low-fat yogurt naturally contains both high-quality carbohydrates and protein, making it an excellent food for slowing or preventing an unhealthy rise in blood sugar. Studies also show that a diet high in calcium from yogurt and other calcium-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Be sure to stick to low-fat or non-fat brands; fat-free Greek yogurt is my top pick because it has twice as much protein as regular non-fat yogurt. Sometimes there is nothing like curd from down South of Sri Lanka and coconut or kitul palm trickle.

Almonds
Almonds provide a healthy, low-carb mix of monounsaturated fats plus magnesium, which is believed to be instrumental in carbohydrate metabolism. A large study out of Harvard University found that high daily magnesium intake reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent. Therefore, including more magnesium-rich foods like almonds, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and Swiss chard in your diet is a smart move.

Non-starchy Vegetables
Chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, non-starchy vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and peppers) are an ideal source of high-quality carbohydrates. Because these low-calorie, nutrient-dense veggies have a low-impact on blood sugar, they’re an integral component of your diabetes food plan. When you say peppers, how about Malu miris” stuffed with Maldives fish mixture?  For most people (including those looking to lose weight), this is one food group that’s okay to eat as much as you like!

Wild Salmon
Omega-3s from food help reduce your risk of heart disease, which is important for those with type 2 diabetes, whose risk of cardiovascular disease is already elevated. (Over time, high blood glucose levels can lead to increased deposits of fatty materials in blood vessels, which contributes to clogging of arteries.) Wild salmon, sardines, mackerel or even king fish [Thora malu] are not only rich in omega 3s but also contain a healthy-fat-and-protein combination that slows the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, keeping blood sugars on an even keel.

Egg Whites
Rich in high-quality lean protein and low in carbs, egg whites are another healthy choice for controlling or preventing type 2 diabetes. One large egg white contains about 16 calories and 4 g of high-quality, filling protein, making egg whites a perfect food for blood sugar control, not to mention weight-loss or maintenance.

Avocado
Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low–quality carbs may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health — an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Add a few thin slices of avocado to your sandwiches in place of mayonnaise, or mash a ripe avocado with cilantro, lime juice, and diced tomato for a delicious guacamole dip.

Broccoli

Broccoli is an anti-diabetes superhero. As with other cruciferous veggies, like kale and cauliflower, it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from the cardiovascular damage that’s often a consequence of diabetes. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes, so this protection could be a lifesaver. Sulforaphane also helps flip on the body’s natural detox mechanisms, coaxing enzymes to turn dangerous cancer-causing chemicals into more innocent forms that the body can easily release.

Now that you know which foods can help control blood sugars, find out which ones can lead to terrible diabetes complications. With all this list some people must be wondering, how about a takeaway, fish and chips or chicken and chips or hamburgers?  Your comments are welcomed [email protected]

 

One Response to “The foods that raise blood-sugar levels slowly and gently are suitable for diabetes.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    How about BITTER GOUD? “Karavila”?

    That is supposed to be the BEST for blood sugar control.

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