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Reduce blood sugar levels

health and fitness Updated: Sep 09, 2010 15:48 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Type 2 diabetes is a disease of the affluent, which precipitates due to a sedentary lifestyle, eating refined foods, excessive drinking and poor stress management. When we eat highly processed starches like white bread, pasta, white rice, naan and noodles, our ability to utilise insulin gets hampered and we become prediabetic.

A high triglyceride level coupled with a low HDL (good cholesterol) reading is a symptom of insulin resistance. This condition leads to premature ageing, and affects your physical as well as your emotional state. Even if you are genetically prone to developing diabetes, you can postpone it or avoid it completely if you eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Causes
Fasting sugar levels in the body are raised when it is unable to use insulin efficiently or when insulin production is inadequate. Some factors which predispose us to raised fasting sugar levels are being overweight, family history, hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gestational diabetes and stress.

How to reduce it
Eat a snack before bed time. For e.g. boiled kabuli chana or roasted chana with peanuts or a sugar free protein bar. These food have a low glycemic index. They prevent the liver from releasing excessive sugar into the blood stream.

Avoid refined foods like white rice, maida, dessert, soft drinks, chocolates, sugar and foods rich in fat.

Increase fibre in your diet. You can do this by eating whole grains and pulses, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

Eat some sprouts every day. They are rich in protein, calcium and nutrients that help increase immunity and balance blood sugar.

Take antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E and selenium.

Certain minerals like zinc, chromium, selenium and magnesium help to control blood sugar imbalances. Discuss this with your doctor if you are a diabetic.

Foods to eat daily
Bitter gourd: Drink a cup of bitter gourd juice first thing in the morning. It lowers blood sugar levels. You can also cook it. Bitter gourd improves carbohydrate metabolism and strengthens the immune system.

Indian gooseberry (amla): Amla is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. It improves digestion, is a potent liver cleanser, and helps to erase age spots. It also helps reduce blood sugar. Mix a tablespoon of amla juice with half a cup of bitter gourd juice and drink it in the morning.

Jambul: The seeds and the fruit of the jambul plant help in treating type 2 diabetes. Eating the fresh fruit benefits the liver and pancreas too.

Fenugreek seeds (methi): Fenugreek seeds are effective in treating type 2 diabetes. Take two tablespoons of powdered fenugreek seeds in the morning on an empty stomach to bring down blood sugar levels effectively. It brings down triglycerides and serum cholesterol levels. The leaves are also useful in combating anaemia.

Remember that type 2 diabetes is a nutrition-related problem, so controlling your diet could prove to be your best arsenal against it.