Do you know that the role of a caregiver is very important in the life of a diabetic? That’s why he/she must know everything about diabetes specific nutrition and how to use it to keep blood sugar levels under control. In this post, I am sharing some tips for caregivers regarding diabetes specific nutrition for Indians. As it’s festive season, it requires a little more diligence to keep sugar levels in control and I hope this post will be helpful.
What is Diabetes Specific Nutrition?
Diabetes-specific nutrition is a nutrition strategy that is planned for diabetics to manage blood sugar levels and ensure a better quality of life. There are also specific supplements that are safe, and effective to support the management of patients with or at risk for poor glucose control. These help to manage blood glucose levels, aiding recovery from illness or injury, and reducing health care costs.
Diabetes Specific Nutrition India –
A diet plan depends on a number of factors and a diabetes specific nutrition plan for Indians should comprise non-starchy vegetables (low on carbs, high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber), smaller portion of whole grains food, and another small portion of lean protein-rich foods*. Along with that, the diet should be rich in fiber and foods like green leafy vegetables, seasonal fruits, and low-fat milk and milk products. Also, there are some supplements that are helpful to reduce the blood sugar levels which we will be discussing in the next points.
4 things you should know as a caregiver –
- Glycaemic levels control – In laymen language, the glycaemic index is a measure of how fast a certain food leads to a rise in blood sugar levels. There are different numbers from 0-100 depending on that particular food. So, as a caregiver, you should be aware of the values of different food items. So, on the basis of that, you can plan a diet easily for the patient. For example, refined carbohydrates have high GI and fresh fruits and vegetables have a low GI.
Evidence shows that nutrition therapy improves glycaemic control and reduces the risks of diabetes and its complications. Accordingly, diabetes-specific nutrition therapy should be incorporated into comprehensive patient management programs.
- Bodyweight reduction – Body weight is directly proportional to the risk of diabetes. When a person is obese, the body cells become less sensitive to insulin which is produced in the body. This can lead to insulin resistance. So, the caregiver must make sure that they encourage the patients to do some kind of physical exercise every day.
Do you know that a BMI of more than 25 is a major risk factor for the development of prediabetes? Also, other risk factors such as less physical activity, first degree relative with diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol, etc.
- Regular medications – It’s very important for diabetics to take their medications on time. Whether they take insulin injections or pills, whatever the doctor has recommended should be followed properly. Sometimes caregivers have to be very particular about this as missing a medication can lead to complications.
- Use of diabetic-specific supplements – As mentioned above, diabetes specific supplements are a major part of any diabetes specific nutrition plan. Supplements such as Ensure Diabetes Care is a scientific formula and it helps to keep sugar levels in control. The best part is that it helps in weight management too as it contains good quality proteins and keeps you full for a longer period of time.
Diabetics can live a happy and normal life if they know how to balance out all the factors mentioned. Of course, the role of the caregiver matters a lot and that cannot be denied. I hope this post was helpful to understand diabetes specific nutrition for Indians and its role in the management of diabetes.