Dealing with diabetes means keeping an eye on your blood sugar. A lot depends on what you eat and your daily habits. Eating right is key, especially when you have diabetes, as you might need to change your diet based on how certain foods affect your blood sugar.
Proteins are important for blood sugar control because:
– They slow down digestion, so nutrients enter your system steadily.
– They keep you full longer, helping you eat less.
– They slow down how fast your body takes in carbs, which helps manage blood sugar spikes.
It’s a good idea to have proteins with your meals, including before carbs, at all times of the day. If you need help figuring out what to eat, diabetes care programs can guide you. These programs are tested and trusted. They offer personalized advice on your diet, helping you manage diabetes better.
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Four Types of Foods Rich in Protein
Here are four food groups high in protein that you should consider adding to your diet to manage your blood sugar levels effectively:
- Lentils (dals)
Dals play a crucial role in Indian households. It’s a go-to with rice, roti or otherwise. No Indian meal is complete without protein-packed legumes like tur, masoor, and moong dals. They are a primary protein source for vegetarians and vegans and are equally enjoyed by the non-veggies.
For on-vegetarian chicken, fish, eggs, and all forms of animal meat are the best sources of proteins. They keep you feeling full for longer and reduce your need to heavily rely on carb sources during meals. This can be instrumental in reducing carb intake and managing blood sugar levels.
When it comes to dairy, milk, curd, cottage cheese or paneer are the best sources of proteins and calcium and are almost regularly used in Indian households.
- Whole pulses (sprouts)
Fresh sprouts of pulses like moong, matki, chana, rajma, or chawli can make a delicious snack or sabzi when seasoned with spices. They are packed with protein and fibres that boost metabolism, stabilize blood sugars and help with weight management.
Protein Tips to Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
With some ideas on the importance of proteins in blood sugar management, let us figure out how to go about meal planning:
Kickstart your day with some protein-rich food before diving into a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast like upma, dosa, idli, or cereals. Adding a boiled egg, an omelette, or a bowl of sprouts can stop a sudden carb spike.
- Lunch & Dinner
Opt for protein-rich lunch and dinner choices, like homemade fish curries, salads or sprout sabzis, or non-spicy chicken dishes. These options have few carbs (for those not on insulin or blood sugar-lowering medication), keep you full longer, and regulate blood sugar levels effectively.
If you love your rotis and rice with sabzi for lunch, add a bowl of dal, sprouts, boiled or scrambled eggs, or curd. They are protein-rich and help with blood sugar management.
Nuts and assorted seeds, like crunchy sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, are good snack options. They are high in protein and rich in fat and fibre. Other snack choices include boiled eggs, omelettes, simple eggs or paneer bhurji.
- Protein Drinks
If you are in a work rush in the mornings, try a homemade, cost-effective traditional protein drink made from chana – chane ka sattu! This protein and fibre-heavy drink keeps you full and is low on carbs.
Protein for Weight Loss
A protein-rich diet stops you from eating too often, boosts metabolism, helps with bowel movements and stabilizes blood sugar. This helps manage your overall health and body weight.