Diabetes is a growing problem in Sri Lanka. According to the data provided by the International Diabetes Foundation, 1,198,100 cases of diabetes has been reported in Sri Lanka during last year. It also states that over the past 20 years, 100 people die from diabetes and heart disease daily, which accounts for 30% of all-cause deaths.
Today (14th of November) is marked as the World Diabetes Day 2018 to spread awareness about the causes of diabetes, its symptoms, prevention, treatments, and other unfortunate effects that it may bring to the lives of people.
Therefore, we here at YAMU decided to compile a list of everyday foods that help with preventing diabetes. We hope this helps.
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains are full of anti-oxidants and contain soluble and insoluble fibres, and better for managing blood glucose levels because they tend to have a lower glycaemic index (GI). They are also carbohydrate foods, but they do not affect blood glucose levels as quickly as refined carbohydrate foods. But, it's better to be mindful about the portion size of whole grains that you're consuming. If you choose the right type, and the right portion, whole grains have the power to reduce type 2 diabetes, the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Leafy greens like spinach are very high in nutrients and very low in calories, and thus becomes another superfood which helps with protecting your heart and maintaining eye health. It's one of the most common leafy greens in Sri Lanka. From supermarkets to the vegetable kade to that corner in your garden, Spinach is found everywhere, so why not?
3. Fatty Fish
Being an island, fish is one food we can find very, very easily. Salmon, sardines, herrings, and mackerel are just a few kinds of fatty fish we can find almost anywhere in Sri Lanka. Fatty fish are great sources of Omega 3 which help with reducing inflammations, and other risk factors involving heart disease and strokes.
Okay, so this isn't exactly an "everyday food." Nevertheless, an antioxidant in strawberries known as anthocyanins has been shown to have the power to reduce cholesterol and insulin levels after a meal. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce heart disease risk.
Eggs are some of the most health beneficial foods out there. While also making sure you remain full, eggs also have the power of reducing heart disease risk in several ways. They have the nutrients and essentials to make sure you maintain eye health while promoting blood sugar control.
Garlic is yet another food that we use practically every day. It has been identified to be able to reduce inflammations, blood sugar levels, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure in people with diabetes.
Photo Credits: draxe.com
Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is an active ingredient that can help with lowering inflammations and blood sugar levels. Turmeric is a spice which also helps with protecting you against heart and kidney diseases.
Beans are a great source of fibre as well as protein. Studies have proven that bean-based cereal intake can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The best part is, it's already pretty much a staple for many of us who live here and is available for purchase literally everywhere.
Tomatoes are very high in lycopene, a sort of superhero that helps with preventing cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. They also have the power to reduce blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.
Consuming cinnamon has many benefits. Studies have shown that cinnamon may have the power to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in type 2 diabetics.
So, there you have it – 10 everyday foods that help with controlling diabetes. Having a diet containing them shouldn't be complicated, as you don't have to give up on all your favorite foods.