Get answers to your nutrition and healthy eating questions. Visit www.eatrightontario.ca or call us toll-free at 1-877-510-510-2.
Get answers to your nutrition & healthy eating questions.
Call us toll-free† at 1-877-510-510-2 to speak directly with a Registered Dietitian.
Many staple foods in the South Indian diet are good for your health. From fresh guava to lentils to vegetarian cuisine, there are lots of nutrient-rich choices. However, deep fried items, high-fat foods and refined flour are also common and should be limited.
If you have diabetes, you can work with your healthcare team to develop a plan that is right for you. It will likely include exercise, a meal plan, blood sugar monitoring and perhaps medication. This article will focus on the dietary changes that you can make.
Diabetes information in other languages! Call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-510-2 to get practical tips and information on managing diabetes in: Gujrati, Pakistani, Punjabi and Urdu. This information will tell you which of your favourite traditional foods fit into a healthy diet and which should be limited to help you manage diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas.
When the body is working well, insulin helps carry sugar (glucose) from your blood to your cells where it is used for energy. If you have diabetes, your body's cells do not receive enough glucose, so it stays in your blood. High blood glucose (or high blood sugar) can lead to heart, kidney, vision and blood vessel problems.
Some ethnic groups in Canada have a higher risk of getting diabetes, including people of South Asian descent. There are certain genes that affect insulin function. Having these genes increases your risk of diabetes. These genes are commonly found in high risk populations such as people with South Asian heritage.
If you have diabetes, it is important to eat every 4 to 6 hours to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Try to have three daily meals at regular times and have healthy snacks when you are hungry. A balanced meal has foods from at least 3 of the 4 food groups:
You can work with a Registered Dietitian to make a personal meal plan. An example of a healthy meal plan may look like this:
In addition to the four food groups, it is also important to include healthy fats in your diet. People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease so choosing better fats is important. Healthy fats are found in:
Try to limit saturated fats such as ghee, butter, cream, lard, shortening or coconut oil. You can also lower saturated fat by choosing lean meat, skinless poultry and low-fat milk products. Choose lower fat cooking methods such as baking, broiling, barbequing or roasting.
Limit foods that are high in fat such as:
Carbohydrate is a word for foods that have starch, sugar and fibre. The type and amount of carbohydrate you eat and when you eat it is important. Having too much carbohydrate in a meal can cause your blood sugar to go too high. Your personal meal plan will have the right levels of carbohydrate for you.
If you have diabetes, choose more high-fibre foods. A type of fibre called soluble fibre may help control blood sugar levels. Try these high-fibre foods:
Limit foods such as:
These foods are mostly fat and sugar. They can make your blood sugar levels go too high. Talk to your dietitian about the type and amount of sweet foods that can fit into your meal plan.
By making small changes to traditional recipes, you can still enjoy your favourite foods. To help manage your blood sugar levels, follow Canada’s Food Guide and your personal meal plan. Choose more high fibre foods and the right types of fat.
If you have questions about diabetes, call an EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitian for FREE at 1-877-510-510-2.
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Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.