Q: Dear Madam,Could you tell me some important dos and donts especially in food habits (diabetic diet)?
A:From your letter it seems that you are suffering from diabetes. You must maintain your weight and exerciseregularly to keep your sugar under control. Some dos& donts in food include : 1. Weight should not exceed your expected idealweight. Stay within your recommended calorie intake. 2. Learn to use the exchange system to add variety toyour diet. 3. Eat small, frequent meals to maintain evenglycaemic status. Divide your whole dayÆs ration into 5 to 6 small meals, rather than having 2 to 3 majormeals. Do not miss meals. A bed-time snack is veryimportant to avoid hypoglycaemia in sleep. 4. Exercise is good for diabetics and should be a partof the daily routine but any additional physicalactivities on any particular day should be adjustedthrough your diet. In case you have over-exercised ona exceptional day, increase your food intake toprevent low blood sugar. 5. Feasts and fasts should be avoided. 6. Eat whole grain cereals such as those present inwheat, jowar, bajra, ragi. Avoid simple sugars likesucrose, glucose and fructose present in table sugar,honey, fruit candy, sweets, fruit juices, etc. 7. Use a variety of pulses like chana, rajma,soyabean, lobia urad, split pulses and lentils dals. 8. Flours of soyabean, gram, barley and bajra can beincorporated into the atta and chappatis made out ofit, thus increasing the protein and fibre content ofthe chapatti. This improves the glycaemic response ofthe meal.9a. Green leafy vegetables and all types of rawvegetables such as cucumber, carrot, cauliflower,cabbage, lettuce, onion and tomato can be eaten inplenty to provide a feeling of satiety (fullness). 9. Use blended oils. 10. Choose cooking methods which require minimumamounts of fat. So eat stir fried, boiled, steamedand grilled food instead of fried food. Usingnon-stick pans and oil sprays reduces the fatconsumption. 11. Fibre rich foods such as whole grains, pulses andvegetables and fresh and dry fruits should bepreferred to refined ones like maida, polished riceand fruit juices.