Diabetes is a condition that occurs when blood sugar levels in a person increases and goes very high. Pancreas secretes a hormone called Insulin, which helps to break sugar/glucose in the body into energy. This energy is used or burnt by the body. When pancreas does not produce enough amount of insulin, the glucose does not get utilized properly. When there is too much unutilized glucose in your blood, it causes many health issues and causes diabetics.
There are 3 different types of diabetes.
Type 1: This is the type where your body not produce enough amount if insulin. Like an autoimmune disorder, it attacks the cells in your pancreas that helps to produce the hormone, insulin. This type of diabetes needs insulin supplement every day to have a normal life.
Type 2: This type of diabetes occurs when your body does not use the produced insulin properly. This type is also related to poor lifestyle and habits.
Gestational diabetes: This is the type of diabetes that affects pregnant women. It is usually identified during the second trimester and usually goes away after delivering the baby. If a women has gestational diabetes, there are high chances of type 2 diabetes post-delivery.
What can diabetes cause when not treated?
When diabetes is not treated at the right time, it can cause the below mentioned health issues.
- Cardiovascular issues
- Dental diseases like ulcer, tooth decay and gum swelling
- Nervous breakdown
- Kidney issues
- Problems in vision
When someone is diagnosed with diabetes, a big confusion starts as to what a diabetic can eat and not eat. Every single person will start suggesting what you should eat and what you should avoid. Though you need to be very careful in choosing the right food, there are many myths that prevent someone from consuming nutrition rich food.
Myth 1# Diabetics cannot consume grains
Grains are rich in carbohydrates and many say carbohydrates is bad for diabetics. That is totally wrong! Grains are very nutritious and yes, they do contain carbohydrates. They are also a good source of protein, fat, Vitamins and essential minerals. When a person regularly consumed whole grain food, it helps to prevent type 2 diabetes. Whole grains are low glycemic by nature, which leads to slow digestion. This particular factor, helps to avoid spikes in the blood sugar levels.
Myth 2# Diabetics cannot consume rice
This is another popular myth, which makes all rice lovers to quit rice. That is not true. When a whole rice grain is used for cooking and consumptions, it comes under the low glycemic food list. This enables slow digestion and stabilized absorption of glucose by the body. This avoids sudden increase in the blood sugar levels.
Myth 3# Consuming whole grains cause weight gain
Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. The myth is true when you consume a lot of refined flour, polished rice and refined grains. They are processed through machines and they lose the nutrition in it. Refined grains carry a lot of carbohydrates that are not good for diabetics and non-diabetics too.
Myth 4# Eating wheat helps you to control diabetes
Like said earlier, wheat flour that is made out of whole wheat grain is very good for general health and also for diabetics. You can have brown rice, whole wheat flour pasta and chapathi. There are many variants of flour available in the market and you need to be careful on what you purchase.
What are whole grain foods?
The below mentioned are a list of whole grains that are safe for a diabetic to consume. Though the amount or quantity needs to be in moderation, they fall under the low glycemic index foods. This makes it easy for a person to digest and absorb the glucose from it in stabilized manner. Consumption of whole grains also avoids sudden spikes of blood sugar levels.
- Brown rice
- Whole grain corn
- Whole grain wheat
- Whole grain barley
- Whole grain rice (unpolished)
- Brown rice
- Buckwheat and its flour
- Whole oats
- Broken wheat
- Whole rye
Apart from whole grain foods, a diabetic can consume the below mentioned food. They are also considered as superfoods for diabetics.
- Broccoli – Contains a compound called sulforaphane that is an anti-inflammatory. This protects the blood vessels and helps to stabilize the sugar levels.
- Dark chocolate – Yes, dark chocolate contains flavonoids that is favorable to diabetics. This reduces hunger cravings and keeps your tummy full for longer time. Also prevent blood pressure, reduces the chances of heart attack and strokes.
- Blue berries – Blue berries contain compounds called anthocyanins and adiponectin, which is responsible in reducing fat and stabilize the sugar levels.
- Spinach – Fresh spinach is highly nutritious and also helps you prevent diabetes when consumed regularly.
- Cinnamon – Regular intake of cinnamon helps to reduce sugar levels and also reduces LDL cholesterol effectively.
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes