Fruits and vegetables
Include at least 2-3 servings of a variety of colorful fresh or cooked vegetables on a daily basis to provide you with a wide range of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
Try to include at least 140-200 grams of protein from a variety of healthy protein rich foods on a daily basis. Some of the healthiest sources of dietary protein include unsalted nuts or seeds, seafood, beans, peas, lean meats, and eggs (1 ounce = 28 grams of meat, 1 egg, ¼ cooked peas or beans, or 1 tablespoon peanut butter).
Your daily diet should ideally include at least 5 servings of whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat chapatis, or brown rice.
Consume 3 servings of low fat dairy foods and beverages.
For more healthy food options to include in a diabetes diet refer to the table below:
|Fruits ||Vegetables ||Protein ||Grains ||Dairy |
|Whole fruits have a lower GI value as compared to fruit juices and dried fruits. |
• All fresh fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, melon mango)
• Fresh fruits like pears, peaches, or/and a bowl of mixed fruit
• Frozen fruit (peaches, guava, mangoes) Vegetables have a complex nutritional profile and are essential in any balanced diet.
• All fresh vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, beetroot, radish)
• Canned vegetables with low sodium content (green beans, corn, tomatoes)
• Frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, mixed vegetables) Cuts of meat with low content of saturated fats, such as skinless poultry products and lean cuts like tenderloin.
• Chicken breast
• Canned tuna (in water) or fresh fish
• Lean beef or pork
• Pumpkin Seeds Whole wheat or whole-grain options contain more fibre than refined grains.
• Vegetable poha
• Whole wheat chapatis
• Rava idlis
• Brown rice
• Bajra or jowar roti
• Ragi tawa parathas Low-fat options are preferable as they don’t contain excess calories or fat, which can interfere with the insulin response.
• Low-fat milk
• Low-fat paneer
• Low-fat cheese
• Low-fat dahi (curd)
Smart food choices with healthy portion sizes
There’s more to effectively controlling blood sugar levels than making the right food choices – your eating habits have a significant role to play. Controlling the portion sizes of meals also is an important dietary strategy that can help minimise spikes in blood sugar levels.
Of course, this is best achieved with gradual changes as drastically reducing the size of your meals overnight will increase feelings of hunger and therefore not adding any value to your diet management. It can even increase the risk of bingeing on snacks if your meals are too small to satisfy your appetite. A simple way to enjoy a satisfying but portion-controlled meal is to include more high fibre foods such as whole grain rotis, oats, green peas, chickpeas or chana, beans, and fruits like berries, apples, and oranges in your meals.
Lentils, beans, green peas and apples are a few foods that have the highest fibre content and can be included in your daily meals. Protein increases satiety (your feeling of ‘fullness’) more than carbohydrate or fat as it takes more energy to digest and also keeps you feeling full for longer periods.
To increase your protein intake, include grilled or baked fish, stir-fried skinless poultry or lean meats with no visible fat, and eggs in your meals. Make sure that every meal in your meal plan contains non-starchy vegetables (ie. spinach, methi or fenugreek, baby corn, bean sprouts), lean protein and healthy low GI carbohydrates.
Meal prepping in the new normal
The pandemic has made grocery shopping and meal planning a lot more complicated, but there are simple ways to get through it. With meal prepping and meal plans in place, one can also opt for home delivery of groceries with contactless shopping and payments.
Preparing meals for the week ahead promotes better time management and structure, reducing the effort it takes to cook your daily meals. You’ll find it much easier to stay the course and resist the temptation to order takeaway even when you’re slightly rushed with work, family, or chores!
There’s no denying the hardships that many of us have had to endure on account of the pandemic, but it has also forced us to adapt, build resilience, and cultivate time management skills. Ultimately, this makes healthy eating easier and also a lot more fun.
Take our fun quiz here to find out how your friends, family and a stress-free environment can help you manage type 2 diabetes!
^The survey was commissioned by Abbott and conducted by Hello Health Group from May to July 2021 across Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, India, and Taiwan with 771 respondents who live with type 2 diabetes.