Diabetes is one of the most threatening endemic lifestyle disorders in the world with social, medical and economic ramifications. Therefore, it is important to prevent and manage diabetes efficiently (1).
One of the most crucial tools for managing diabetes is diet. By eating a healthy diabetic diet, you can make sure to not only manage diabetes but also prevent diabetes complications like heart problems, kidney disorders, etc. (1).
Are you ready to have a look at what foods a diabetic diet comprises and what foods are to be eliminated?
However, before we dig deep into that, let’s understand diabetes from the perspective of Ayurveda.
Diabetes: From The Lenses of Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, all polyuric diseases are described under Prameha, and Madhumeha or diabetes is one among them (1).
According to Ayurveda, Apathya Ahara (diabetic incompatibilities or unwholesome diet) is one of the leading causes of diabetes. Therefore, eating right is crucial in the Ayurvedic management of diabetes (1).
What To Avoid In a Diabetic Diet According to Ayurveda? (1)
- Foods that can increase Kapha Dosha, such as excessive curd, the flesh of animals of domestic, aquatic and marshy places, dairy preparations, new grains, puddings made of jaggery and sugar, etc.
- Foods or drinks that can increase Medas (adipose tissue) and Mutra (urine)
- Foods that are sweet, sour, salty, fatty, not easily digestible, slimy and cold
- Foods that can increase Vata such as dry foods, light foods, pungent and bitter foods and cool foods
What To Include In a Diabetic Diet According to Ayurveda? (1)
- Foods that are in accordance with Dosha, Ritu or season and Prakriti or constitution
- Grains, such as barley, wheat, rice, bajra, etc.
- Pulses, such as Bengal gram, Toor dal, green gram, horse gram, etc.
- Vegetables with a bitter and astringent taste like fenugreek, pointed gourd, bitter gourd, drum stick, Moringa, garlic, etc.
- Fruits, such as Jamun, Amla, pomegranate, etc.
- Seeds, such as fenugreek, lotus seeds, etc.
- Spices like long pepper, rock salt, asafoetida, turmeric and ginger
Why Are Fruits, Vegetables, Spices and Seeds Included in a Diabetic Diet? (1)
Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of diabetes, delay sugar digestion and absorption, improve insulin sensitivity and relieve constipation. Fruits are not only rich in fibre but also in phytates that help modulate glycemia and produce a different GI of foods. Fruits and vegetables also provide several nutrients like dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as flavonoids, saponins, polyphenols, etc., making sure your meal is balanced.
However, type 2 diabetics can not eat all types of fruits. Fruits with a high glycemic index, like bananas, grapes and mango, are not recommended for diabetes patients. These fruits can be enjoyed in a smaller proportion occasionally.
Apart from fruits and vegetables, spices are also essential ingredients in a diabetic diet. They have potent medicinal and therapeutic properties that help reduce blood glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends several for diabetes, such as pepper, asafetida, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, rock salt, turmeric, cinnamon, mustard, garlic, onion, ginger and coriander.
The Final Takeaway
Diabetes is a serious condition that needs to be addressed properly. Diet is one of the best tools to do so. Eating the right food and limiting the intake of unhealthy foods can make a remarkable difference in diabetes management.