Friday, 21 September 2012

Food guide for diabetes patients: Diabetics need not restrict their daily intake of carbohydrates, as the normal Indian diet is just right for them

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  Diabetics need not restrict their daily intake of
carbohydrates, as the normal Indian diet is just right for them.

“The normal Indian diet provides 60 to 65 per cent of calories from
carbohydrates, which is right for diabetes,” points out the city-based
National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). The NIN has come out with
comprehensive guidelines on “diet and diabetes” including food charts
for diabetes patients, who need to restrict their calorie intake to
1200, 1500 or 2000 calories per day.

All that a diabetic has to do is to follow the “diabetic diet” chart
to stay healthy and keep the blood glucose levels under control.
Dispelling the commonly held myth, the NIN clarifies that diabetic
diet need not be a complete deviation from the normal diet. The
nutritional requirements of a diabetic are the same as in the
non-diabetic.

“Normal Indian diets are generally high in carbohydrate and low in
fat, with carbohydrates providing 60 to 65 per cent and fat providing
15 to 25 per cent of total calories. The rest is derived from
proteins. Thus, even a normal Indian diet is ideal for a diabetic.
However, the nutrient intake has to be tailor-made to the individual
based on the age, gender, weight, height, physical activity and
physiological needs of the patient,” the NIN report adds.

Stating that diet containing high carbohydrates improves the action of
insulin, it says the type of carbohydrates one eats has a direct
bearing on the blood glucose level rather than the amount of
carbohydrates in the diet. Complex carbohydrates present in cereals
and pulses are better for diabetics than sweets containing simple
sugars.

The NIN’s 1200 calories diabetic diet prescribes a thali of cereals
150 grams, pulses 60 grams, green leafy vegetables 200 grams, other
vegetables 200 grams, fruits 100 grams, and oil 10 grams. This diet
provides 50 grams of proteins, 29 grams of fat and 190 grams of
carbohydrate. In case of non-vegetarian food, the intake of cereals
should be 185 grams, pulses 15 grams and flesh foods 50 grams.

In case of 1500 calories diabetic diet, the intake should be cereals
225 grams (250 grams for non-vegetarians), pulses 60 grams (20 grams
for non-vegetarians), green leafy vegetables 200 grams, other
vegetables 200 grams, fruits 100 grams, milk (one cup), and flesh
foods 70 grams (for non-vegetarian). The nutrient value of this food
is 60 grams of proteins, 37 grams of fat and 244 grams of carbohydrates.

For a 2000 calories diabetic diet, one should take cereals 300 (350
for non-vegetarians), pulses 70 grams (25 grams for non vegetarians),
green leafy vegetables 200 grams, other vegetables 200 grams, fruits
400 grams (200 grams for non-vegetarians) and milk one cup. This diet
provides 64 grams of proteins, 48 grams of fats and 328 grams of
carbohydrates.

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