TYPE 2 DIABETES??? Add this common Indian vegetable to lower your sugars

TYPE 2 DIABETES??? Add this common Indian vegetable to lower your sugars

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot maintain healthy levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it well. This type of Diabetes can be easily managed with a healthy diet and physical activity and medication.

Recent studies have shown that a low-carb diet can be extremely beneficial for Type 2 Diabetics in controlling the sugar levels and in some cases even reversing the disease. A low- carb diet is a diet which has absolutely no refined carbohydrates, like added sugar, cakes, soft drinks, maida, biscuits and sugary drinks etc and very little grains(depending on individual blood tolerance). A good dietitian can plan a low-carb diet based on your eating patterns. If you are looking for a Desi/Indian Diet plan for Diabetes leave a note on our CONTACT US PAGE: Click HERE

There are a lot of foods that can help in lowering the sugar levels. That being said it should be mentioned here that these are not ‘Miracle Foods’ that can reduce your sugar levels after you have eaten sugary foods! One such vegetable is the humble Bhindi(ladiesfinger/Okra).

Okra/Ladiesfinger/Bhindi

Studies have shown that Ladiesfinger/Okra may benefit diabetics by reducing the rate of glucose being absorbed by the intestine. This may be primarily due to the slimy mucilage that is in the vegetable. It is also high in fiber which is an important component for controlling diabetes symptoms by keeping you full for a longer period thereby reducing hunger cravings. It also contains other nutrients like antioxidants, folate, potassium, calcium and vitamin K. Many people soak a cut ladiesfinger in water overnight and drink the water in the morning along slimy content.

Bhindi is a commonly used vegetable in every Indian household and each family probably has it own favourite bhindi recipes. Here are a few recipes that you can include:

  1. Bhindi in Peanut Masala
  2. Dry Bhindi Sabzi
  3. Palakkad style Bhindi Sambar
  4. Bhindi Fried Rice

Other foods that have been known to lower blood sugars are:

  • Karela(bittergourd),
  • Jamun fruit(Java fruit)
  • Bhindi (ladiesfinger/Okra)
  • Methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds)
  • Cinnamon (Ceylon)

If you are looking for a Desi/Indian Diet plan for Diabetes leave a note on our CONTACT US PAGE: Click HERE

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Dietitian


Korean Cinnamon Ginger Tea (for Blood Sugar control)

Cinnamon tea is a popular drink in Korea and is called ‘SuJeongGwa’. It is usually served on festivals or special occasions. I first tried it years ago at a Korean restaurant and it was served as a cold dessert drink after the meal. It was delicious and we were told it is normally served chilled but can be had hot. It is actually served with sugar, but I have omitted that and used stevia as a sugar substitute.

What makes this drink (without added sugar) a great drink for diabetics and pre-diabetics as well as those looking to lose weight is the cinnamon. Several studies have shown that cinnamon is effective in reducing blood sugar levels as well as the HbA1C levels. Some researchers also found that it could lower the total cholesterol levels.

Cinnamon Ginger tea

Ingredients: (makes approx 5 litres)

  • Cinnamon Sticks (Ceylon cinnamon): 70g
  • Fresh ginger: 100gms , skinned and thinly sliced.
  • Water: 22 cups (1 cup=250ml)
  • Stevia(a natural sugar substitute)

Garnish:

  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan put in 11 cups of water and the ginger, cover and boil it on medium heat for 40 mins.
  2. At the same time, put the cinnamon sticks into a separate large saucepan. Add 11 cups of water cover and let it boil on medium heat for 40 mins.
  3. After 40 mins, strain the ginger water and the cinnamon water into one large pot.
  4. For those who like it hot- pour a cup of the hot tea, add some stevia (you can garnish it with mint or lemon juice if you want).
  5. Otherwise, chill the batch of Sujeonggwa and serve cold after a meal with some stevia and garnish(optional).

It can be stored in airtight glass containers for about a week.

Note:

  1. Use Ceylon Cinnamon (found in Indian Stores) and not the Cassia Cinnamon found in regular grocery stores (in the US)
  2. Have it after your meals to aid in controlling sugar levels after meals (post-prandial).
  3. It is not a substitute for medications/insulin prescribed for diabetes.
  4. It is not a miracle drink to reduce your sugar levels after feasting and eating sugary snacks.
  5. Both Cinnamon and ginger are warming spices according to Ayurveda and this drink can also be used when you have a cold. Those prone to mouth ulcers should avoid taking it too often.
  6. You will see better results if you are on a prescribed diet for your condition and take these after sticking to the diet.

For getting a personalized Online Diet Consultation: Click on -> ONLINE DIET CONSULTATION PACKAGES

Also Check out our Indo-Korean recipe: Kimchi Uttapam


Indians and the Risks of Consuming a High Sugar Diet

A spoonful of sugar……..makes the calories sit on your waist!! Are you noticing that you are slowly gaining weight even though you aren’t eating junk food? Sugar might be the culprit.Have you ever given a thought to how much sugar you consume in a day?

Studies have found that most Indians are genetically more prone to developing diabetes and tend to have a greater degree of insulin resistance. The culprits could well be urbanization, high-calorie and high-sugar diets along with decreased physical activity. Sugar and sweets that was once used as a treat during festivals and celebrations are now alarmingly becoming a part of our daily diet.

We Indians consume way too much sugar every day without realizing the health problems associated with it. The general mindset is “eat and drink today for we are healthy” as a result of which tomorrow you will end up with a host of health problems!
Many of us associate sugar control to diabetes and believe that if they are not diabetic then there is no need to keep a watch on the sugar intake. This is not true. Diabetics’ definitely need to be more cautious as it tends to increase their blood glucose levels but non-diabetics also need to curb excessive sugar consumption.
This brings us to the question: Is sugar such a terrible food that we need to take it in limited amounts? The answer is that anything in excess is not good.
Here’s what you need to know about sugar:

  • Nutritionally the only thing you get when you eat sugar is just calories (1 tsp/5g of sugar=19 calories). It has no other nutrients unlike a nutrient dense food like say for example nuts. Nuts will give you protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre and good fats (polyunsaturated) along with calories. These kind of foods are called nutrient-rich foods whereas candy and sugar are classified as nutrient poor foods.
  • More often than not, we tend to choose a sugary snack or drink instead of a fruit or other healthy foods and end up piling up on calories. This can lead to  dental caries and weight gain, which then increases the risk for other health problems like certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes among others.Considering that Indians are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, this higher consumption combined with the resulting weight gain could trigger it off at a much earlier age.
  • Eating a sugary snack fills you up for that moment, but since there isn’t much fibre you end up feeling hungry again. This results in another snack which just increases your calorie count without offering your body other nutrients.

How much sugar is ok?

Most people feel that they don’t eat too much because they rarely add sugar to anything. But what they don’t realize is that while they might not add sugar into foods, they do have foods that already have sugar. Everyday foods and drinks like tea,coffee, biscuits, juice, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, jams, ketchup, ice creams, cakes and other sweets all have sugar. What we don’t realize is the amount of sugar in these-a can of soft drink/aerated drink easily contains 8-10 teaspoons, while your tea or coffee can have anything to 3-4 teaspoons. Add these through the day and you could easily be having anywhere close to 20-25 teaspoons per day!! That’s a whole lot.
Should we avoid sugar completely or is there a cut-off range? How much sugar?
While there is no need to completely avoid sugar, there is no safe range either. The WHO (World Health Organisation) and the American Heart Association recommend limiting sugar intake to:
Men= 9 teaspoons or less
Women= 6 teaspoons or less
Children:
Preschoolers= 3 teaspoons
4-8 years= 4 teaspoons
9-Teenagers=5-6 teaspoons

How much sugar do you consume? Keep a note-if it is over the recommendations, then you need to reduce it.

What are you waiting for??If you are overweight, diabteic or diagnosed as a pre-diabetic- you can try to delay the onset of lifestyle diseases.

Check out our:  Diabetic Diet Packages

For a personalized diet consultation, please fill out the form on My Indian Dietitian’s Contact Us page and we will get in touch with you .