Diabetes is a Disease that can be Managed by following these Golden Rules

1. All 3 meals must be Carbohydrate plus Protein balanced

2. Eat plenty of Fiber

3. Strictly avoid - Sugar and all Sweets

4. Strictly Avoid- All Fried Foods (snacks) and all Nuts – (coconut chutney,etc.)

5. Strictly Avoid - Rice and Rice items (idli,dosa, appam) during breakfast and dinner( Rice and rice items in limited portions may be eaten at lunch time.)

1. In breakfast, lunch and dinner we need to choose foods and combine foods from both the carbohydrate and protein groups. E.g. Bread and egg go together as carbohydrate plus protein. Whereas bread and jam are both from the carbohydrate group. E.g. Rice and rajma curry are carbohydrate plus protein. Whereas rice and vegetable kurma are both carbohydrate group. E.g. roti plus dhal is carbohydrate plus protein. Whereas roti with sabji is carb plus carb.

 Carbohydrate Foods  Protein Foods
 Whole Wheat bread  Skimmed Milk
 Atta roties  Low fat Curd
 Broken Wheat  Low fat Cheese
 Oats porridge  Paneer made from skimmed milk
 Ragi porridge  Egg, whole or whites
 Cornflakes  Dhal
 Wheat flakes  Channa
 Ragi Puttu  Rajma
 Wheat puttu  Moong
 Jowar roti  Chicken
 Bajra roti  Fish
 Whole wheat Pasta, Noodles  

When a diabetic eats only carbohydrate foods in a meal the blood sugar level after the meal shoots up very high. Then after two hours when the carbs get digested it will drop low. When you eat protein in the meal then the protein takes four hours to get digested so it prevents the blood sugar from shooting up immediately and it also prevents the sugar level from going low for the next four hours.

2. Foods rich in fiber such as the following help to control the sugar levels.

Whole cereals – Whole wheat flour, broken wheat (dhalia), oats, corn, ragi, jowar and bajra.

Pulses –Channa, rajma, moong, mote, lobia, etc.

Raw Vegetables - Tomato, cucumber, onion, capsicum, cabbage, lettuce, etc.

Fibrous Fruits – Apple, orange, musambi, pear, guava, pomegranate, etc.

The fiber in these foods prevent the sugar levels from shooting up immediately after the food is consumed. So try to choose whole cereals as the carbohydrate part of the meal. Include pulses as the protein choice whenever possible. Add a raw fibrous salad with both lunch and dinner. Have a fruit from the above list at 11am and at 6pm daily. Try to eat whole wheat rotis for dinner daily. Fruits should not be eaten along with meals as this also makes the sugar level go up very high after the meal.

3. 1gm sugar gives you 4 calories and shoots up the sugar level in the blood after consumption so avoid adding sugar to coffee, tea, milk or juices. Similarly avoid all sweet items like jams, jelly, honey, etc.

4. 1gm oil gives us 9 calories which is double and more than that of sugar so foods containing a lot of oil like deep fried snacks and nuts, though not sweet can still cause serious damage in the body of a diabetic.

5. Rice and rice items are part of the cereal group of food and an important carbohydrate food in the diet. However, it is seen to have the highest glycemic index among the cereal grains so must be avoided.

Glycemic index means the response of the blood sugar level after this food has been digested in the body. The glycemic index of rice is 88 while that of whole wheat flour is 60. Rava( sooji), though it is a wheat product, also has a high glycemic index of 78 so this too is best avoided. please avoid rice, rice items like idli,dosa, poha (avalakki) rice roti, appams, etc. as well as rava items like upma,rava idli, rava dosa, kesari, kara bath, etc., as much as possible. Once a week idlli and upma made of broken wheat may be eaten.

If at all you do want to eat rice or a rice items, try to eat it at lunch time as your body produces more insulin at this time. Strictly avoid rice and rava items at breakfast and dinner time.

All these rules must be very strictly followed for 3 months initially till the sugar levels start coming down.

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