Day-by-day, the number of people suffering from diabetes is increasing due to a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating pattern. Aware people take a lot of precautions to prevent or manage the disease. However, sometimes, lack of awareness or access to wrong information even lead to people battling with the situation for their life time. Lifestyle habits, food intake, extra activities, and medication play a crucial role in the management of diabetes. However, there are many people who continue doing mistakes in the food habits and suffer from chronic diabetic condition. Awareness can help avoid such mistakes and facilitate recovery for a healthier life.
Some common mistakes done by diabetic people
The reason of increased blood glucose levels is not only the intake of sugary food or sweet at once, rather it might be the faulty eating habit you have been repeating for many days. Here are some food mistakes you should change.
Avoiding all white foods - The most common advice for diabetics is to avoid all type of white foods but all white foods are not bad. Some white foods including whole grains, eggs, white beans, cauliflower, milk, curd, etc. have healthy effects on diabetics as they give more fiber which regulates digestion and lowers the absorption of sugar and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, few white foods which give negative effects on diabetic people are white rice, refined flour, salt, and sugar.
Cutting out all the carbs - Avoiding carbohydrate totally from your diet is unsafe as it is the primary source of glucose which gives energy to our body. Carbohydrate is classified into two main types- simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, also known as simple sugar, include white rice, refined flour, and its products. They are high on the glycemic index and release glucose rapidly, spike blood sugar levels very quickly and lead to hyperglycemia. Complex carbohydrate contains starch and fiber which manage the level of blood sugar, helps in digestion and also helps to keep full for longer period which gives time to absorb nutrients properly. Some complex carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, beans, nuts, etc.
Having bitter and spicy food - Some people think that if they will eat or drink bitter or extra salty and spicy foods like bitter gourd, bitter gourd juice, neem juice, etc., their sugar level will not increase. This assumption is almost wrong. Long term consumption of these types of foods in excessive amount can lead to the severity of complications related to diabetes and can cause gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, heart problems, weight gain, and kidney diseases.
Skipping meals - Skipping meals intentionally is one of the bad ideas, especially if you have diabetes. You should follow daily schedule of balanced meals to avoid sudden drop in blood glucose levels, especially if you are taking any specific medication. Avoiding food for longer time can lead to hypoglycemia and in severe conditions, it can also lead to diabetic coma and seizures. Also skipping one meal and planning to overeat at another meal is not right. It can result in hypoglycemia while being empty stomach and hyperglycemia after eating the meals. Keeping and maintaining food diary or daily meal record will help you track your eating and drinking agenda throughout the day which will help you in managing healthy blood glucose levels.
Insufficient protein intake - High protein diet is very useful for diabetic people as it enhances the feeling of fullness for a longer time, stops overeating or curbs the craving for unhealthy foods. This slows down the process of digestion and reduces the risk of post-meal blood sugar spike. Reducing the carbohydrate rich food from your diet and increasing the amount of protein-rich food can help you get adequate nutrients and energy. Always consult with your dietician to know the accurate amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat per day as per your condition and current reports. In general, 1.2 grams of healthy protein per kg body weight are suggested for diabetic people.
Some other common mistakes -
- Not taking medicines on time as per prescribed doses.
- Lack of physical activity and exercise.
- Not pairing essential nutrients in meals.
- Not keeping proper records of blood glucose levels.
- Not managing the portion size of foods.
- Frequent habit of eating out.
- Focusing on taste, not on health.
- Irregular sleeping pattern or not taking proper sleep.
Final thoughts - It is suggested that if you are diagnosed with diabetes, do not panic and always handle it patiently. Sometimes, your blood glucose can also rise due to some short-term medication or some unhealthy food habits. In this case, changes in your lifestyle and eating pattern suggested by your doctor or dietician can reverse diabetes or in other words, can control unbalanced blood sugar levels soon.