For type 2 diabetic patients, there should be a lower glycaemic index diet with a controlled amount of carbohydrates, good amount of protein and right fat. It’s easier to follow a diet in type 2 diabetes by using plate method. Divide plate into four parts. 1/4th of the plate should be of raw vegetables, 1/4th plate should be of cooked vegetables, ( for fibre and micronutrients) 1/4th of the plate should be of proteins like dal, sprouts (proteins) and 1/4th of the plate should consist of roti or rice ( Carbohydrates). This pattern should be followed for every meal. And there should be a variety in the diet.
For type 2 diabetic patients, portion control is the key. Most of the foods can be consumed in limited proportions. One can’t just binge on any food stuff even if healthy.
Indian diets are rich in carbohydrates. Even if these carbohydrates are complex, the quantity is large that is (60-70%). So the key is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates. Also, the choice of carbohydrates is important. Emphasis should be placed on whole grains and millets. Lot of emphasis should be given on proteins, which is lack in Indian diets.
Type 2 diabetic patients can have 1-2 fruits per day. High Glycemic fruit like mango is only allowed after monitoring person’s physical activity level, current sugar level and medications. Depending on these factors, it could be decided how much mango the person can have. Similarly other high glycemic fruits like custard apple, banana, grapes, chikoo can be only consumed after monitoring the patient. So the recommendation varies from person to person.
Following are the diet guidelines for the type 2 diabetic patients:
- Include lot of dal, pulses, sprouts, egg whites and so on. Include good quality of fats. Emphasis should be on mono-unsaturated fats like groundnut oil, rice bran oil, canola oil and olive oil in limited quantity that is 2-3 tea spoons, per person, per day.
- Eat fruits in the right quantity. 1-2 fruits a day are recommended for a patient with diabetes.
- Consume non-starchy vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, beans, spinach, methi, papdi, gourds
- Keep changing and eating varied food stuff. So that you get different nutrients from different the food stuff and diets become interesting. Sometimes, instead of chapatti, one can have bhakri like jowar and nachni as long as portion size remains the same.
- Avoid consuming too many sweets, sugar, jaggery, honey, sodas, fruit juices, pappad and pickles .
- Don’t consume simple carbohydrates like sabudana, maida (in the form of biscuits, bread, toast, khari).
- Avoid root vegetables like potato, arbi on daily basis. Don’t treat them like vegetables, but like starches or carbohydrates.
- Don’t go overboard on salt. A diet for diabetes is also restrictive on salt.
The author is RD consultant dietician at Mumbai Diet and Health Centre and a National Committee Member of Indian Dietetic Association