Type-2 diabetes is an escalating public health problem in India, associated with genetic susceptibility, dietary shift, and rapid lifestyle changes.
By Sheela Krishnaswamy
Type-2 diabetes is an escalating public health problem in India, associated with genetic susceptibility, dietary shift, and rapid lifestyle changes. According to a study, nearly 98 million people in India may have type-2 diabetes by 2030. Amidst the burgeoning information on food and nutrients, it’s important to carefully sift through and uncover what each recommendation means for you, and which is beneficial. Below are 3 foods that can be beneficial for better managing diabetes –
Consuming a handful of almonds (30 grams/23 almonds) may improve both short-term and long-term markers of blood sugar control for those with uncomplicated type-2 diabetes. To prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, almonds can be consumed along with a meal, the monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds can help slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream. People with type-2 diabetes are known to have a higher risk of developing heart diseases. Vitamin E and healthy fats present in almonds play an important role in preventing heart complications.
According to research by Harvard University, consuming almonds can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease for adults with type-2 diabetes. Almonds can help in speeding metabolism in people coping with type-2 diabetes which in turn helps in burning calories faster. This is attributed to the nutritional composition of almonds which includes fibre, vitamins (such as folate and Vitamin E), phytochemicals (such as phytosterols and flavonoids), minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium) and unsaturated fatty acids.
Green leafy vegetables
Most of us are aware that adding greens to one’s diet is of prime importance, but according to research, consuming green leafy vegetables could significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Green leafy vegetables that can be included regularly in the diet are spinach, cabbage, drumstick leaves, mint leaves, amaranth leaves, fenugreek leaves, radish tops, and so on.. All the green leafy vegetables are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Some of them also contain omega-3 fatty acids in the alpha-linolenic form. You can consume these green leafy vegetables in various ways: soups, salads or even as a green juice. If you are cooking them as a curry, avoid adding excess oil.
Homemade dahi has been a part of the Indian diet for centuries now. In recent times, yogurt has gained a lot of popularity for the health benefits it offers. According to a study, consuming yogurt may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in healthy and older adults at high cardiovascular risk. There was a 14% lower risk of type 2 diabetes when yogurt consumption was 80–125 g/d compared with no yogurt consumption. Yoghurt could be useful in managing diabetes as it is low in carbohydrates, high in protein and good for gut health. Avoid buying yoghurt that is already flavoured, instead buy the plain variant and add healthy toppings like sliced almonds or strawberries.
(The author is Nutrition & Wellness Consultant. Views expressed are personal.)