Borderline Diabetic? - The good news is most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable. However, stress and anxiety are common when you are first detected a borderline diabetic. We have written a separate article that could help you cope up with the news. In this piece we are sharing smart tips for maintaining a tasty, balanced diet for boosting your energy and improving your mood.
Borderline diabetes does not mean that you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food, neither you are required to quit sweets (mind the difference here – we’re saying “sweet” and not “sugar”). By following a few smart tricks, you can continue taking pleasure from your meals without starving or feeling deprived. A few things that you need to remember are - your nutritional needs are practically the same as those who aren’t susceptible to diabetes, so no special foods are necessary for you. However, you need to be mindful while making your food choices—most notably the carbohydrates you eat. Last but not the least, losing a little weight could help you tremendously; not just in lowering your blood sugar but also in lowering you blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
Tips and Tricks for Cutting down on Sugar
- Reduce soft drinks, soda and juice. While you may be in a love relationship with your favorite beverages, you need to remember that they increase your risk for diabetes. To overcome the cravings, you may like to switch to sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime.
- Avoid calories obtained from fructose. Fructose is common in sugary beverages and processed foods. Fructose is more likely to add weight around your abdomen; and contribute to excessive belly fat that surrounds the abdominal organs and liver; and is closely linked to insulin resistance.
- Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Did you believe that you are making a healthier choice by replacing saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs? Well, let us tell you that low-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy; especially when the fat has been replaced by added sugar. You may be surprised, but the fact remains that whole milk dairy when sweetened with a natural sweetener is healthier than refined carbs that contains sugar.
- Check your food labels. What is important when you are reading your food label? Well, you not only need to be mindful about going for a low sugar product but also consider foods that make use of fresh or frozen ingredients (instead of canned goods). Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.
- Spot the hidden sugar. Most times we control added sugar; however, we are easy victims of hidden sugar. Avoid processed or packaged foods like pickles, canned soups or frozen ready-to-eat meals; they are often likely to contain huge quantities of hidden sugar. Now an age-old tip – “Ghar Ka Khana” (homemade meal) is good for measuring and moderating your sugar consumption.
- Sweeten foods yourself. This is one of the best tips we have to offer. You should always insist on unsweetened baking cocoa and iced teas. Go for a plain yogurt and let your oatmeal be unflavored. Now you have full control on how you prepare your meal or beverage or dessert. You could either make use of sugar in a moderated quantity or make use of natural sweeteners such as TATA Nx Zero Sugar**. A few people also prefer using a fruit to get the desired flavor and taste. Trust us for this one - you’ll add far less sugar than the manufacturer if you decide to do it yourself!
- Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy manner. Now let’s understand the difference here – sweetness does not necessarily mean sugar. You can give up ice cream and instead consume a creamy, healthy frozen treat that is a blend up of frozen bananas. You can quit sugar and yet boost sweetness with natural sweeteners such as TATA Nx Zero Sugar**. A good balance of taste and health is essential to boost your energy and improve your mood.
- Cheat your meal. We all are used to cheat meals; but the art of cheating your meals will help. Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by ¼ to ⅓. You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, or natural sweeteners such as TATA Nx Zero Sugar** instead of sugar.
- Follow the 50-50 rule. Now this one could be very helpful for beginners. We encourage you to start with any dessert of your choice. Finish it half, and replace the other half with fruit.
- Maintain a food diary. We believe that an introspection helps and a written record of how much sugar you consume in the day will help you identify the problem timing; for a few it could be the afternoon snack and for a few it could be the morning latte and for most it could be the mindless snacking at odd hours. Also, your diary will help in increasing your awareness of what you’re eating which could help you spot the hidden sugar.
Go ahead, follow these smart tips and trick your taste bud. Remember the golden rule - cutting sugar isn’t very difficult and type 2 diabetes is preventable.