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Diabetes Diet Chart for Vegetarians to manage blood sugar levels

Diabetes Diet Chart is often prepared keeping only one aspect of the disease in mind – which is not ideal. What one needs to remember is that diabetes, while essentially a disease of sugar levels, is must more. The blood sugar disruptions caused by type II diabetes can in the longer run cause health concerns of the kidney, nervous system and overall digestive problems. Furthermore, blood sugars are not merely about counting the calories or sugar intake. The bigger problem arises for vegetarians where often the level of proteins are missed from the diet. Here is a quick look at how to make a vegetarian diet chart for diabetics to help manage blood sugar.

What is diabetes and how to control it with diet?

Before we create a diet chart, what one needs to understand is what is diabetes and how diet plays an important role in its management. Diabetes is usually understood as high blood sugars. There are two types of diabetes – diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. The latter, or Diabetes Mellitus (DM) also the Type II diabetes and most commonly occurring.

This article refers to DM or Type II Diabetes which is a metabolic disorder in which your pancreas – gland that secretes insulin, is not working sufficiently. As a result, the production of insulin is either reduced or hampered, which leads to fluctuation in blood sugar.

High blood sugar in return can disrupt the functioning of a variety of body systems. Prolonged high blood sugars can lead to heart problems, kidney problems, liver problems and so on. They also impact your brain health, eyesight and nervous system as well as bone and muscle health. This is all caused by increased blood sugars that disrupt a healthy digestive system.

As a metabolic disorder, the first step towards management of diabetes – even prevention, is diet. It is logical that what we eat would in turn help manage the sugar levels in the body.

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Diabetes Diet Chart for Vegetarians – What all to include and how to make

A good diabetes diet chart should ensure that it maintains the blood sugar levels and also helps in providing the person with healthy options of a balanced diet. What one must also remember is that carbohydrates do not necessarily mean high blood sugar levels. Here are a few things one should include in a Vegetarian Diabetes diet chart.

Proteins

The first thing that one should add to their diet is protein. It is a misconception that vegetarian diets do not offer enough protein. There are many high protein options available for vegetarian diets. Pulses, are a rich source of plant based protein. However, for vegetarian diabetic diet, not all pulses might be advisable.

Pulses are also rich in carbohydrates and many people give then up when they are diagnosed with diabetes. This, however, is a bad practice. People with diabetes should in fact include a variety of pulses in their daily diet. Moong, Arhar and Horse grams are some of the pulses that offer high levels of protein. Dieticians advise diabetics against kidney beans but moderation is the key.

Apart from pulses, people can also include paneer, soya or different grains which are also rich sources of proteins. Grains like Oats, Jowar and Raagi are also good sources of protein along with Besan or Gram Flour.

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Carbohydrates:

Yes. Carbohydrates are not the enemy. In fact, people who give up carbohydrate might find it very difficult to manage their diabetes. What is important, however, is to moderate the intake and choose healthy carbohydrates in your diet. Choose millets over refined flour, prefer fruits over sugary drinks or soda. A little sugar in tea maybe a welcome addition in stead of the biscuits or cookies – even if the cookies are zero sugar or made from healthy ingredients.

Remember, carbohydrates are essential to trigger pancreas into action. No carbohydrates sends no signal, hence no insulin is released. This in turn would lead to high blood sugar levels. But yes, moderation is essential and key. Choose Millets and grains to introduce the variety and keep your body healthy.

Fats:

Research has suggested that fats actually may help manage diabetes much better. Fats apart from being a good source of energy, it also has no link with insulin secretion. Again, this simply means that people may choose to add Ghee or butter in their diets. Full cream paneer is also a good combination as it has fat and protein which would help in satiety as well as keeping the body healthy.

Vitamins & Minerals:

As a diabetic, one needs to be extra careful about trace minerals and proteins. One such vitamin and mineral diabetics need to be especially careful about is Vitamin D and Calcium. Diabetics tend to lose Calcium at a higher rate, leading to poor bone and muscle health. Hence, diabetics must try and include fruits and nuts in their diet that provide a balanced source of calcium and other essential minerals and proteins.

Apart from these, your diet must include fibre and water, to ensure that the body has enough to function properly. Good gut health is crucial for diabetes management. Now that we know what all to include,

Here is a sample diabetes diet chart for vegetarians.

Early MorningStart your day with nuts – 5 – 6 Almonds and 1 Walnut
BreakfastBesan Cheela or Moong Daal Cheela or Raagi dosa
Mid MorningAny seasonal fruit – 1 or 2 helpings (An Apple, Mausambi, Strawberries, Plums, Apricots, etc. are all excellent choices).
Lunch1 – 2 chappati (Either Whole wheat or mixed with oats in 50-50 ratio), vegetable and salad – Can also add rice if you prefer it – try alternating
Evening Snack1 cup tea with a bowl of roasted Makhanas (Fox-nuts) or Raagi Dosa (1 small)
DinnerDal and vegetable and salad plus 1 – 2 chappatis (as required)
Sample Diabetes Diet Chart – Vegetarian

Please note, the diet chart provided here is only indicative to help you understand how to manage your diabetes. The chart provided offers a balanced amount of essential nutrients. Timing is important and quantity crucial. What one needs to remember, however, is that diet moderation is important – not restriction. Try and keep your diet varied and remember – exercise is mandatory for managing your blood sugar levels.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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