‘Perfect’ food plate to control diabetes

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | JOYEETA CHAKRAVORTY

PublishedJul 15, 2016, 3:02 am IST
UpdatedJul 15, 2016, 3:02 am IST
Sadly, effective diabetes management takes a beating because of improper food intake and high dependence on junk food.
 The Food Plate Method or the new Healthy Eating Plate was created by Harvard Health Publications and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Bengaluru: Good diabetes and obesity management is not just about saying ‘no’ to sugar but also keeping a keen eye on the quality and quantity of food that goes into the system. An Indus Health Plus Abnormality report clearly says that there is a rapid increase in the number of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart problems. The report clearly states that 45% of women and more than 50% of males from the working group are at risk of hypertension due to wrong eating habits, leading to obesity and diabetes.

Sadly, effective diabetes management takes a beating because of improper food intake and high dependence on junk food. Dr Mahesh D M, Consultant Endocrinologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal, sees some 15 diabetes patients daily on an OPD basis, suggesting that the problem is a major one.

“The inflow of patients is large, not just at this hospital but in hospitals across the city. Not many diabetics are conscious of their food intake. All they know is not to have sugar. To fight diabetes, it is essential to have a ‘perfect’ food plate loaded with essential nutrients in appropriate proportions. In diabetes there is no regulation as to what should be on the plate. The focus is more on what not to eat. Which is why I suggest that my patients follow the food plate method,” adds Dr Mahesh.

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The Food Plate Method or the new Healthy Eating Plate was created by Harvard Health Publications and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. Experts in the city are pushing for the same method to tackle diabetes management.

“This plate consists of four parts:  vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins and fruits. However, there are no restrictions. It is just that the plate should not be entirely carbohydrate-based and it must be a healthy mix. The cornerstone of better diabetes management is diet, irrespective of the treatment, hence the food plate method does work,” elaborates Dr Belinda George,  Assistant Professor, Department of Endocrinology at St. John’s hospital, where she sees around 40 patients with diabetes on an OPD basis daily. “There are no taboos, but we ask the patients to stay away from sugar, jiggery, honey and juices,” she adds.

“By applying the food plate method, predominantly Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. It is useful for all types of diabetes, to achieve optimal control of blood glucose levels,” says Dr Mahesh. He adds, “An ideal food plate should include important nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vegetables, fruits, milk and water, in appropriate proportions.”