Mrs. Barathi, Dietitian
"Eat your vegetables" is a favorite saying of mothers everywhere—not just parents of children with diabetes.
If you have high blood sugar then there are a number of things that you can do to maintain healthy levels. One of the best ways to do so is to make sure that you eat plenty of vegetables in your diet. Simply staying away from bad foods that contain too much sugar or foods that will spike your levels is not enough, you also need to put the right food into your system, and eating vegetables is one of the most helpful things you can do for diabetes. Consume enough vegetables, while staying within your caloric needs. Vegetables taste great and are low in calories and fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eating a lot of vegetables as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help reduce blood pressure, manage weight, and reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Dietary fiber is found in cereals, fruits and vegetables. Fiber is made up of the indigestible parts or compounds of plants, which pass relatively unchanged through our stomach and intestines. The main role of fiber is to keep the digestive system healthy. It also contributes to other processes, such as stabilising glucose and cholesterol levels. High fiber diets help to prevent diseases such as bowel cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Vegetables add bright colors, flavors and textures to your diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, water, dietary fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants and contribute to a healthy diet. Vegetables are generally low in calories and carbohydrates, making them an excellent option for diabetics. Vegetables fall into two groups: starchy and non-starchy. Starchy vegetables are higher in carbohydrates and raise blood glucose levels more easily. Non-starchy vegetables are the best choice for a diabetic meal plan.
A good rule of thumb with vegetables is that healthy meals are made up of colorful foods. Bright colors in natural foods like tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, and green vegetables contain antioxidants -- food substances that help prevent disease. The deeper the color, the more nutritious is the food.
Dark Leafy Greens
Rich in calcium, vitamins A, B, C and K, magnesium, iron, protein, potassium and dietary fiber, dark leafy greens are perfect for a diabetic diet. Eating a mixed green salad before or with your meal is a good way to incorporate leafy greens into your diabetic meal plan. Eating enough vegetables each day is important to help you maintain your health. Green leafy vegetables contain a high concentration of folic acid which is good for pregnant women.
In addition to this, phytochemicals are an important component in most vegetables, which have been cited as having extreme beneficial effects on human health. While the antioxidant properties of certain phytochemicals has been scientifically proved, that some phytochemicals can act as anticarcinogenic agents. Lycopene has the greatest antioxidant properties, beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin have the next greatest activity.
Choosing Fresh Vegetables
When purchasing fresh vegetables, it is important to choose wisely. It’s best that you learn to recognize the signs that a vegetable may be overripe, rotten or otherwise damaged. Some vegetables may not display any evidence of damage on the outside, so it is essential that you only purchase your vegetables from a trusted source. Some fresh vegetables are treated with pesticides, antibacterial and antifungal chemicals in order to stay fresh longer. Some of these chemicals can be detrimental to your health, so it is best that you wash each vegetable thoroughly before preparing it for consumption. Adding vegetables to your diet is a very effective way to improve your overall health. There are many ways that you can incorporate vegetables into your meals such as salads, soups, mixed with chapatti and dosa dough, vegetable fried rice, vegetable sandwiches, vegetable noodles which children will also like to eat.
Vitamins & Minerals—SOURCES AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS
BEST WAY TO TAKE VEGETABLES.
1. Wash the vegetables thoroughly before cooking or refrigerating.
2. Cut in to big pieces with skin.
3. Wash vegetables before cutting.
4. Cover with lid while cooking.
5. Don’t cook for more than seven to ten minutes.
6. Over cooking will lead to nutrient loss and change of colour.
7. Repeated reheating of vegetables is not advisable.
8. Vegetables should not be refrigerated for several days.
9. Always choose a variety of vegetables.
10. It is essential to purchase fresh vegetables.
11. Take at least ½ kg (5 cups) per day.
12. Avoid adding baking soda in vegetable preparation.
The next time you think you don't have the time to eat properly, remember that vegetables are among the most convenient foods around.
Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Mrs. Barathi, Dietitian
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