Diabetes is emerging to be one of the most prevalent concerns in the world of health and nutrition. According to a study published in the journal The Lancet, by the year 2030 about 98 million Indians are likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels. Diabetics need to be very cautious of what they include in their diet, especially the starch quotient. A high-carb diet could prove detrimental to their blood glucose levels, as they metabolise soon and release sugar into the bloodstream as soon as they are digested.
Potatoes, which are oh-so-intrinsic to Indian cooking, are often said to be a risky affair for diabetics. Potatoes are high in the kind of carbs that diabetics are asked to refrain from. They have a high glycaemic index. Glycaemic index is a relative ranking given to foods depending upon how they affect our blood glucose levels. Foods that have glycaemic index above 55 are labelled as high glycaemic index foods; they tend to cause abnormal sugar spikes if not consumed in moderation.
(Also Read: These 5 Low-Carb Foods May Help Manage Diabetes)
But one must not forget that they are also one of the healthiest vegetables you can add to your diet. Besides, they are just everywhere! Curries, stews, soups, chips, halwa, khichdi, we Indians are obsessed with potatoes. Hence, to do away with them completely may prove to be a tough feat. What can you do? Practice moderation and monitor in what ways you are having these potatoes. Choose well, and always consult an expert before you make any drastic changes to your diet.
We got in touch with some experts and they told us how diabetics can enjoy potatoes in their diet.
Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta gives us a couple of tips. Make sure your blood glucose levels are in stable range and are not fluctuating since morning.
1. If you are eating potatoes, make sure they are not deep-fried or processed. It is a good idea to have them baked.
2. When you are consuming potatoes, make sure you pair them with a lot of veggies and greens.
3. It is a good idea to consume potatoes with their peel on, so that the amount of carbs can be balanced out with the little fibre we get from the peel.
4. One can also try considering sweet potatoes. They have good amount of complex carbs, which are said to do wonders for diabetics. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK publishing, "Sweet potatoes contain slow-release carbohydrate and the hormone adiponectin, a combination that helps keep blood sugar levels steady." Dr. Rupali tells us that sweet potatoes are also rich in magnesium and vitamin C, which is good for diabetes management.
5. Combine your potatoes with good amounts of protein; this helps you feel satiated and keeps blood sugar fluctuations at bay.
Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood agrees and says, "If you must consume potatoes, make it a part of wholesome balanced meal. To your final dish add what a potato lacks (think leafy veggies that are extremely high in fibre, or black chanas). Make sure the oil content is very low. There are studies that say fries, fritters and processed food increases risk of type-2 diabetes. Add potatoes to salads; you can include onion, tomatoes and sprouts to make a salad-like snack."
You heard it from our experts! Try these tips and let us know how well they worked for your diabetes management.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.