Diabetes and obesity are two major disorders, causing serious health issues if left untreated and ignored. Most people don't give their blood glucose levels a second thought unless they suffer from diabetes; but studies show that consuming foods that send your blood glucose levels on a roller coaster ride can increase your blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease by 12 percent. And this doesn't just end here; consuming such foods everyday can chip away your memory and make you more susceptible to cancer. Here are seven tips to manage your blood sugar levels.
Choose Low GI Foods
Low glycemic index (GI) foods like hummus, broccoli, milk chocolate and even sponge cake, with a GI value of 55 or less, help the slow release of energy and don't just spike up the blood glucose level within minutes. They help in keeping your blood sugar levels steady. Choose from carbs like chickpea, rajma, soyabean, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts, most vegetables (but not parsnips and pumpkin), and fruits such as pear, plums, and orange.
Include 2 to 3 Fruit and 5 Veggie Servings a Day
Most fruits and vegetables are low on carbohydrates and packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Adding more of these, especially in the raw form, makes for a blood-glucose friendly diet.
Don't Skip the Protein
Protein curbs hunger, making weight loss easier. Also, it helps lower the overall GI index of your meal. Choose from lean meats, poultry and milk products. Vegetarians can include more nuts, legumes, pulses, soya milk and peanut butter in their diets to make up for their protein requirement.
Add More of Acidic Food in Your Diet
Acetic acid is a boon for all diabetic patients. It is that single efficient food that is versatile enough to be included in your diet every day, and can single-handedly keep your blood sugar from rising too high. Lemon juice, vinegar, citrus fruits and their juice, all of them are amazing blood sugar controllers. Squeeze lemon juice over fish and seafood; it tastes yummy and it's healthy too. You can also use mustard (contains vinegar) instead of mayo in your sandwich.
Eat Smaller Portions
Smaller portions mean low blood sugar levels and this doesn't just apply to carbohydrates. Even low glycemic index foods contain calories, so larger portions of any food may add up on calories, which could lead to obesity - another dangerous issue for diabetic patients. Smaller portions coupled with exercise works wonders with weight management.
Favor Good Fats
Saturated or 'bad' fats can make it difficult for your body to stabilize blood sugar levels. On the contrary, 'good' or unsaturated fats can help your body deal with elevated sugar levels. Keep up your 'good' fat content by including more almonds, figs, walnuts and low fat milk in your diet.
Go for Whole Grain Food
A diet that includes whole grains is a sure way to combat heart disease and stabilize blood sugar levels because of their high fiber content. Swap the white bread for whole-grain bread but again be careful not to overconsume whole grains. Two - thirds cup of brown rice or 2 slices of whole grain bread per meal is considered a safe amount. Combining whole grain food with protein rich food (such as beans or nuts) can help blood sugar regulation better.