Diabetics must pay special attention to their diet; knowing which foods to avoid and how to incorporate them into meals is vital for maintaining good health and wellbeing.
Singapore is a food lover’s paradise, boasting many delectable local delicacies that are suitable for those living with diabetes. Here are some tips on how to make the most of these delectable dishes!
1. Don’t overdo it on tauhway
Eating nutritiously can help regulate your blood sugar levels and lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. For those living with diabetes or prediabetes, however, eating right and staying active may present a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make eating well enjoyable without compromising health or quality of life.
Let us be clear: we’re not advocating a diet loaded with carbohydrates but an optimally balanced one. The best approach is to consult your healthcare provider and adhere to their recommended plan; this will be key in managing diabetes long-term. In order to maximize benefits from your diabetic diet, select meals that fit within lifestyle, exercise routine and budget constraints.
2. Eat more fruit
One of the most essential strategies when following a diabetic diet is to eat more fruit. This is because fruits contain numerous beneficial nutrients that have been scientifically linked to protection against diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Fruits also assist your body in managing blood sugar levels. Their low glycemic index means they won’t cause an abrupt spike like refined sugars and flour products do, helping keep things steady over time.
Furthermore, fruits can help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes by shielding beta cells – those cells in your pancreas that produce insulin – from damage caused by free radicals and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Eating fruits regularly not only provides essential nutrition to these cells but they may also protect them from becoming damaged due to oxidised free radicals and AGEs, or advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
3. Stay away from nasi lemak
Nasi lemak, a popular Singaporean breakfast, can be quite high in calories, carbohydrates and fat. Furthermore, it contains sodium which may pose risks to diabetics’ health.
TIME magazine recently recognized nasi lemak as one of the healthiest breakfast foods worldwide in 2016. This dish boasts high fat levels but also plenty of manganese, an important mineral that helps form connective tissues and bones.
Malaysian nasi lemak typically consists of rice cooked in coconut milk with sambal ikan bilis (dried anchovies cooked in chili paste), fresh cucumber, fried groundnuts and a hard-boiled egg. It may also be served with roti telur, an Indian-style pancake.
4. Ask for more cucumbers and onions
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet has numerous advantages. Not only does it reduce the effects of diabetes, but it can also enhance your quality of life. Furthermore, it helps you steer clear of common mistakes like weight gain, exhaustion and inadequate self-care.
To maximize your budget, take a good, hard look at what’s on your plate and ask your waiter for a healthier option. This could include ordering lighter portions of fried foods, cutting back on sauce or asking for smaller servings of rice. But to take it to the next level with some clever food pairings. For instance, while having a glass of cucumber juice may seem obvious enough on its own, combine it with salad or grilled chicken to make it the star of the show!
5. Choose healthier sides
One of the key ingredients in achieving a diabetic-friendly diet is choosing healthier sides. When dining out, avoid ordering too many salty dishes like gravies, sauces and soups.
Singapore boasts many hawker restaurants that provide diabetic-friendly dishes. These are an excellent way to stay on track while enjoying delicious meals!
To ensure you eat the right things, it’s wise to create a grocery shopping list ahead of time. A good supermarket should carry diabetic-friendly products and you can also look for pre-made meals with lower sodium and fat content which can be found at Cold Storage, Redmart or NTUC Fairprice stores.