Type 2 diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs in adulthood and is a disease where the sufferer is not dependent on insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that influences the way one's body metabolizes glucose or sugar, so that it can later be used as an energy source. This form of diabetes involves the development of insulin resistance and/or the body fails to generate adequate amounts of insulin to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. While there is no cure for this condition, it can be controlled by diet and exercise.
In "Speaking of Diabetes and Diet: A Valuable Survival Guide for the Newly Diagnosed Diabetic," authors Deepa Mehta and S. A. Vali explain the importance of fiber in the diabetic diet. The Indian Council of Medical Research suggests a daily intake of 25 to 35 grams of fiber. Fiber helps to naturally reduce glucose levels. In the Indian diet, high fiber foods include things like bran, whole grains, cereal, fresh fruit, dried fruit, raw vegetables, red beans, bean sprouts, mullet preparations, cluster beans, drumstick stems, lotus stems, curry leaves, pomegranate, green chilies, coriander, and cardomon seeds. Mehta and Vali also assert that an introduction to high fiber foods should be done slowly and progressively; increase the amount of fiber by five grams a day until you meet the 35 grams per day limit. Doing so will help you to avoid the feeling of a distended abdomen and problems with flatulence or bowel regularity.
According to Metha and Vali, the diabetic should consume 65 to 75 percent of daily calories in complex carbohydrates. This will ensure that blood sugar levels remain regulated. Complex carbohydrate consumption helps minimize blood cholesterol triglycerides and also improves digestive processes. Food sources for the diabetic include legumes, rice and whole wheat bread.
Metha and Vali recommend 25 percent of daily calories come from protein. Food sources include soy beans, cheese, chicken, egg whites, fish and leafy green vegetables. A diet that is excessive in protein can have harmful effects on the liver and kidneys, forcing them to work harder.
Chana dal is a legume that us a common part of the Indian diet; these legumes are revered for their anti-diabetic properties. Chana is fiber-rich and lower blood sugar levels naturally. It also reduces fasting blood sugar levels by thwarting the passage of sugars into the urine; this reduces one's insulin requirements.
The Indian diet for type 2 diabetes also recommends lowering cholesterol intake. High levels of cholesterol contribute to cardiovascular disease; no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol should be eaten daily. To reduce cholesterol levels, Metha and Vali recommend baking, steaming, roasting or grilling foods rather than frying them. Consume low-fat or skim milk products instead of whole-milk varieties.
- Speaking of Diabetes and Diet; by Deepa Mehta, S. A. Vali; 2005.
- University of Maryland Medical Center on Diabetes.
- Diabetesmellitus-Information.com for details on Chana.
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