What is Diabetes?
A diabetic person has problems regulating the amount of sugar (or glucose) in the blood stream. In the Philippines, diabetics are often problematic and have a hard time managing this medical problem. The International Diabetes Foundation ranked the Philippines as the 15th top placer for diabetes prevalence worldwide as of year 2010, with over 4 million afflicted of Diabetes. We love our rice, and Pinoys highly consume rice, rice products, and all sorts of noodles. These are essentially carbohydrates which when broken down produce glucose. A high carb diet will always cause blood glucose levels to rise. Then of course, there’s sweets; cakes and pastries, all pure sugar.
Diabetics have deficient insulin levels. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. This hormone regulates blood glucose levels in the blood. It helps move glucose where it can be used for energy. It also regulates glucose production in the liver and can even shut off the production in the liver when blood glucose levels are high.
Diabetes comes in 2 types. Type 1 can develop in those below 30 years and even younger. Type 1 diabetics are unable to produce insulin and often need insulin injections on the onset. Type 2 often develops in older ones and tends to start slowly. Type 2 diabetics can produce insulin but at a much slower rate.
Diet for Diabetes
Diet and proper exercise may be management options as well as tablets but a diet plan is most crucial to good management of diabetes. Often, obesity or being overweight accompanies this disease. Through healthy eating, the condition can improve, coupled with increased physical activity. Through a good diet plan, blood glucose levels are more controlled and stable.
Diabetes Australia gave some dietary recommendations in helping manage diabetes. Meals should be regular and spaced evenly throughout the day. This helps stabilize levels. Portion sizes should be reduced, you don’t want too much energy coming in which you are not able to burn. Meals ought to be low fat. Saturated fat (palm oil, cooking fats, some butter, must be avoided. Those who take insulin or medicated tabs should have snacks between meals. Refrain from too much take-out meals and processed foods that pack a lot of empty calories, high sodium, and high sugar content. Carbonated drinks, artificially sweetened fruit juices, candies and sweet breads, chocolates and sweet cakes, biscuits; all these should be taken in moderation.
Diabetic Meal Plan
Drawing up a weekly meal plan for diabetics is not that difficult. Just as long as you stay off the fatty, sweet, salty, and starchy foods, you’re quite sure to be eating healthy for the week. Check out some options below for your daily meal plan.
- Poached Eggs
- Oatmeal ccokies
- Whole-grain cereal
- Fruit shake with low fat milk
- Oatmeal cooked in hot milk and sweetened with honey
- Tomato and Veggie Soup with dinner roll
- Salmon with Couscous
- Tuna Salad Pockets
- Chicken Salad Wraps
- Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tuna over greens and balsamic vinegar.
- Baked fish fillet drizzled with olive oil, ground pepper, and season with herbs as desired. Served with organic brown rice.
- Non-starchy vegetable salad
- Roasted chicken without skin with steamed green beans
- Chicken tortilla wrap (shredded chicken with chopped tomatoes and lettuce)
- Scrambled eggs with peppers and onions
- Handful of nuts
- Linseed bread with some butter
- Boiled Egg
- Mashed avocado on toast
- Tuna Sandwich
Following are some quick recipes that are easy to prepare.
- Pasta and Veggies- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drop diced veggies and thinly shredded chicken during the last 3 to 5 minutes of cooking. Blend in light salad dressing or red pasta sauce.
- Stir-fry veggies- Thinly slice carrots and cabbages. Lightly stir-fry in garlic and butter and sesame oil over low heat.
- Easy grilled chicken- Place 4 boneless chicken breasts in a deep bowl. Marinade for about 2 hours with 1/4 cup mixed thyme, marjoram, and parsley; 1/4 cup lemon juice; 1/8 cup olive oil; some chopped garlic, pepper and salt. Grill for 15 minutes or until chicken is done (still juicy).
- Microwave Muffin- Mix the following in a microwave safe mug: 1/4 cup ground flax seed, some cinnamon, 1 egg, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp baking powder, honey to sweeten. Pop into microwave for about 1 minute or less if your microwave oven is highly powered. (Make sure batter doesn’t dry out.) Enjoy!
- Easy sandwich- Use 4 pieces of multigrain bread. Spread some honey mustard on the bread and sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top. Chop up some cucumber, spinach leaves, and yellow onion and distribute on the bread slices. Broil for about 4 minutes, until cheese is melted but not burnt.
Diabetic Food List
Remembering to keep on hand healthy food items will help you stick to better meal and snacking choices. Here are some suggestions for stacking up healthful supplies and ingredients in your fridge and pantry.
- For healthier fat options, use low-fat: milk, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream. Choose lean meat. Trim fat off during meal preparation. Keep chicken and duck dishes skin free. Pick out tomato, soy, and vinegar salad dressings. Choose clear soups instead of creamy ones. Choose polyunsaturated margarines: soybean, grapeseed, and sesame oil. Have seeds and nuts on hand.
- For carbohydrates, choose low GI carbohydrate. These enter the blood stream slowly. Have wholegrain breads, traditional rolled oats, lentils, legumes, and sweet potato. Choose a good mix of fibre in your grains.
- For sugar needs, have stevia, natural fruit jam, honey, and a variety of fruits.
- For protein, stock on free-range eggs, tofu, white chicken, and fish.
- For hydration needs, nothing will ever beat water. Always have a personal sized bottle of it nearby so you can discipline yourself into taking sips throughout the day. Other options: coconut water, natural fruit teas, herbal teas in moderation. Have alcoholic drinks sparingly within the week.