A diet for sedentary Indian diabetics

Cut right back on grains.
That’s the one thing you should take away from this post.

Second thing is that fasting is good for you. Provided you’re not on insulin or a massive quantity of oral hypoglycaemics. If you’re already on medication for diabetes, you’ll need to start cutting back on medication as you change your diet successfully. That needs direct medical supervision.

Modern grains are nothing but carbohydrates. If you’re toiling in the fields for 10 hours a day, you’re going to be able to burn off all that sugar. Else those two spoons or rice or two Chappathis are going to end up worsening your diabetes.

It’s easy to find out what you should and shouldn’t eat, if you’re a diabetic. Have your meal, check your blood sugar an hour later. If it’s above 140, you’re either going to have to cut back on quantity or find something else to eat.

1.more than half your plate should be covered with vegetables.
2. You shouldn’t be eating any grains or grain based foods
3. If you’re non vegetarian, you should be using meat, fish and eggs without fear (or, on the flip side, without greed)
4. Fruit should be had on it’s own, not mixed with other food stuffs. No smoothies. No juices. Do not gorge on fruit, Unless you’ve had a hard workout just before consuming them.
5. One fruit a day is essential. Don’t avoid fruit because you’re diabetic.
6. Do not be scared of starchy vegetables in your meal. They are still a better bet than grains. Just make sure your meal is not made up of only starchy vegetables. The more thoroughly they’re cooked, the more sugar they’ll release. Having two or 3 raw carrots a day will not raise your blood sugar. If you make carrot halwa, it will raise your blood sugar. Again, no smoothies or juicing. Chew and eat your food like a real human.
7. If you’re vegetarian, you’re going to need to use ghee and butter with every meal. Good quality dairy that you might get from an ethnically run farm. Not the industrial stuff that comes in plastic packaging. A teaspoon of ghee or butter at every meal will not kill you. Unless you are concurrently overloading on grains
8. If you’re vegetarian, use home made buttermilk and curd to improve your gut bacterial population.
9. Use home fermented foods that are traditional in your area to improve your B complex status
10. Expose your skin to the Sun. Your body can make all the vitamin D it needs, provided the exposure is adequate. 15 minutes of strong Sun a week, in total. I say 15, because there will always be someone asking -“How much Sun?” If you have to be told to get in the Sun, you’re in trouble.
11. Avoid industrial oils like the plague. Stick to sesame, coconut oil. Don’t use sunflower, safflower, rapeseed or rice bran oil

Intermittent fasting.
Don’t eat after sunset.
Your body is supposed to follow a rhythm.
That rhythm is based on the Sun
6.30pm is the cut off time for dinner. Never after that

Breakfast ideally should be after you’ve stated working and you’re taking a break from your first session of work.

A gap of 16 hours between dinner and the next day’s breakfast will fix most cases of pre diabetes, early diabetes and fatty liver. It’ll also help you lose weight.

Vegetables need to fill atleast half your plate. If not more. The rest should be dairy and legumes for vegetarians. Or an egg or two if you don’t mind eggs . Legumes are not harmless, but they are way less harmful than grains.

Millets can be used as a substitute for modern grains. Far less sugar content, far more micronutrients and fiber. Do not destroy the nutritional value of millets by over processing them or by adding sugar etc to make them more palatable. If you’re fortunate enough to know how to cook and use millets, please do. If not, learn how to consume millets the traditional way.

In severe diabetes, even the small quantity of sugar that is contained in millets and legumes will be enough to spike your blood sugar. You have two options- reduce consumption of those foodstuffs and replace with more vegetables.

Fish, meat, eggs will not raise your blood sugar.
If you consume grains along with those foodstuffs, obviously your blood sugar will go up. But no point in blaming the non veg for that.

When consuming vegetables, it is better to have them cooked. Eating raw vegetables on a regular basis is going to leave you starved for calories and nutrients. Majority of your vegetables should be cooked. Raw is not bad, and is probably essential once in a while, but cooked is better.
Vary your vegetables on a daily basis of possible. Eating the same vegetables on a daily basis can lead to deficiencies and overdoses.

Nuts will not raise your blood sugar. Have 10 or 15 max a day. Change them every week. One week cashew, next week almond, will after that pistachios. Cycle through them. Using the same variety every day may lead to a higher chance of intolerances and allergies.

The glucometer should be used frequently when you’re trying a new meal plan or new foodstuff to know what suits you and your lifestyle. Listening and following advice blindly is not a good thing. What you’re doing, should produce good results on testing. Otherwise you’re just performing another version of faith healing.

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