There is no denying that food is the best medicine in the world.
Especially, for lifestyle disorders like diabetic conditions, undeniably food reverses the condition naturally. However, many times you would have failed even after following the diet or it just proved to be ineffective for you.
You saw that many of your diabetic friends were following a sugar-free or carb-free diet to lower the blood glucose level, and tried the same for you. But, after several months of wasting time and money, you realize that you have started to over-eat,dizzy, fatigued and the glycemic index level did not stabilize.
Diets like this are called “blinders”. They look very promising on the outside but fail to make you healthy and regulate your sugar level.
It is built for the majority of the crowd by taking average conditions.
Example: A sugar-free diet will not be suitable for all. It is devised generically by taking objectives like a male above 30 years, working 9 hours a day, weight between 80-90 kg, height is 5”7. They are general inputs, so the output is also generic but not specific.
But blood sugar level is determined particularly by how your cells absorb the glucose from your bloodstream. This absorption is different for each of us based on our pancreas and liver’s functioning levels, insulin productivity level from β cells, and many more semantic signals between the brain and the insulin. This unique absorption levels function based on the Prakriti, Dosha and Agni (strength of digestive fire).
So in this blog post, we are taking you on what you eat is not going to matter for your diabetic levels unless you know how to intake that from an Ayurveda perspective.
How to eat for diabetes?
There is numerous research on the relationship between food and the sugar levels in your body. From America to Antarctica, everybody has accepted that a healthy diet for diabetes is the key to turn the condition towards progressiveness.
But, unfortunately, many studies were done with generic inputs. It does not take unique conditions, your routines and body type into consideration. This fails in obtaining the accuracy of the diet at individual level—one size does not fit all
A man living in America can go keto or paleo or carbs free, however, that will not be the same for an African or Asian. When planning on the diet, the lifestyle of that specific human is crucial because it helps to understand the intake and exertion balance.
Here is the list of things you should keep in mind when thinking about following a diet for diabetes.
Eat based on your Prakriti, Dosha & Agni levels
Ayurveda is a native healthcare and medicine system built by Indians, from India, and for Indians (can also be expanded to a global level). It is a gift from our ecosystem.Naturally, every human is compatible with the Ayurveda diabetes diet. They are framed after a thorough understanding of your Prakriti and Dosha levels.
Ayurveda diet for diabetes is aware of your body’s metabolism and boosts your cells to absorb the glucose molecules quickly. Also, the dosha conditions explain the reasons for the inflammatory response of the pancreas and now with this we have a full diet tailored specifically to cleanse the pancreas.
When eating according to Prakriti and Dosha, your body is healthier than before. It gradually aligns back to the state pre-diabetic state. For chronic Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes,ayurveda diet prevents the associated lethal risks. .
Don’t go completely sugar-free or carbs-free
There is a myth that eating a sugar-free diet or carbs-free diet is good for diabetes. We will not say this is completely false but it is not true also. Eliminating one form of nutrient from your diet means you are depriving yourself. Carbohydrates are essential for being active, brisk, and energetic and so is sugar too.
You cannot avoid them forever in your diet. If you go on avoiding these two molecules in your diet, your body develops resistance for it and if you happen to intake a slight amount of them accidentally, your body will have allergic reactions. Also, when sugar is avoided, it results in cravings that are worse than sugar.
Eat natural sugar like fruits, grains, milk and whole grains. These are all natural sweeteners. They may not taste sweet like sugar but the effect is the same in our body.
Instead of carbohydrates, go for complex carbohydrates like millets, grains and seeds. Millets are the best replacements for diabetic breakfasts. Instead of a normal dosa and idly, freshly prepared millet dosa, idly is highly nutritious and rich in fiber also.
Eat equal proportions of all nutrients
Consume wholesome food — all nutrients in your meal. This means you have given everything to your body to produce energy. Your meal should include protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
To plan a wholesome food, you can use the Ayurvedic principle of taste -rasa. It includes the 6 rasas (taste) -madhura (sweet), amla (sour), lavaṇa (salty), kaṭu (hot), tikta (bitter), and kaṣaya (astringent).
This is why the Indian way of the meal is better than a salad or a soup. In India, we have rice or roti and the gravy we use in our main course contains the spices from these tastes. And also, home-cooked Indian food is warm, fresh, and retains nutrients.
Only by eating at home all the three times we can intake all the nutrients in our meal. A food that is swiggyed or prepared in a hotel lacks the essence of containing all energy molecules.
Fasting or starving is not suitable for all
One of the worst ways to reverse diabetes is fasting.
Skipping food will never help your diabetes in the long run. Intermittent fasting diets can help for a temporary period where you see the glucose level reducing but then your body becomes deprived of not having meals for long hours.
It slowly leads to the deposition of bad fat in your body. For a Kapha Prakriti person, if they skip meals, they might gain a few more pounds because of their constitution type. Also, if the person has Pitta Dosha and diabetic in nature, fasting is completely not advised. It creates tremendous mood swings in them and GI disturbances.
Please don’t skip or starve at any cost. This all affects your mood patterns too. It can influence your decision-making skills, develop stress in your mind and lead to insomnia.
Type – 1 diabetes requires medicine as diet
For a prediabetic condition (HbA1c level less than 6.5), you don’t need medicines. With consistent diet habits and exercise you can reverse the condition naturally.
But for the case of Type1 diabetes, you need a holistic medicine system that prevents you from risking secondary complications. For this condition, Ayurveda treatment reduces the inflammation in the pancreas without destroying the immune cells that are attacking the pancreas. The herbs act as an anti-inflammatory agent which cleanses the pancreas.
Medicinal diet for the Type-1 diabetes people is a boon. It is a form where the regular water is replaced with medicated herbal water. The ordinary diet plan is replaced with pathya ahara. Along with exercise, it has high potential to stabilize the sugar level. Ayurvedic herbs, medicinal diets work together to slow down the high inflammatory response by preventing the condition from becoming worse.
Note : Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is also on increase like type 2 diabetes, even though not in the same proportion, but still with a trend of 3–5% increase/year.
Go for a therapeutic diet rather than a trend diet
This is a no-brainer.
Trend diets are for the trends. They come and go, but your body can’t be like that. It needs to remain here for a very long time. If you are going to follow a diet that simply comes and goes, your sugar level also fluctuates.
Ayurveda treatment procedure for diabetes offers a therapeutic diet, which means, recipes that instructs how to cook medicinal herbs and eat them. When you follow such a diet, it has a therapeutic effect on your body (equivalent to medicines). You cannot ignore the huge benefits of this diet.
It needs an ayurvedic doctor’s advice on preparing them because they are based on dosha and Prakriti. The agni karma method of cooking (cooking vegetables using heat) along with few medicinal herbs result in different actions in your body.
For example, A Vata Prakriti and Vata dosha person cannot eat salad to reduce their blood sugar level. It triggers their Vata dosha high, which makes them prone to diabetic neuropathy. So, they should avoid raw vegetable salad and prefer boiled vegetable salad along with sprinkling Ashwagandha churna as the topping.
Likewise, for each diabetic individual, the therapeutic diet is different from their peers. An Ayurveda physician can help you in framing this recipe after checking your dosha.
There is a proverb, “It is not what you achieved but how you achieved it”
Well that explains the principles of Karmic rules of the universe too, because Karma is always unique to each individual.
So, diet for diabetes also demands uniqueness
You may eat spinach, vegetables, fruits and everything nutritious but if you stuff them in the most unhealthy way, it is vain.
You can get an exclusive way of diet for yourself with your HbA1c levels, Prakriti and Dosha condition.