Diabetes is a significant issue in Singapore. According to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, an estimated 450,000 Singaporeans were afflicted by this terrifying disease as of 2017. With this, Singapore has the 2nd highest rate of diabetes among all developed countries, just behind the United States.
This number is estimated to rise all the way up to 1 million by 2050. Diabetes is one of the biggest unseen threats to Singapore, and we should make the effort to quell it as much as possible. How?
There are several ways to ward off diabetes, namely through exercise. However, there is another important factor in keeping a normal sugar level: your diet. Changing your diet is the best (and most visually obvious) way to lower your blood-glucose levels. Here are 5 foods that lower blood sugar levels.
1. “Nasi” Padang/Cai Fan
If you’re wondering how to control diabetes in your daily life, while still varying what you eat, then look no further than the Nasi Padang stall in your local hawker centre. Nasi Padang stalls, or similar kinds of stalls like Cai Fan, actually have food that is healthy for diabetics or those who want to lower their blood sugar level. All you have to do is not order rice. White rice has a high score on the glycemic index (GI), which means that it releases glucose quickly.
This can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which diabetics cannot handle well. Eating a lot of white rice has also been shown to increase the risk of diabetes by 27 per cent. If you really do want your rice, try lower-GI alternatives like brown rice, but keep it in moderation.
Remember to load up on the vegetables, tofu and eggs for a well-balanced meal.
2. Western Grilled Chicken
Western food can be healthy too! Grilled chicken (and other grilled items) are much healthier than fried stuff, since it uses less cooking oil (which is high in unhealthy fats). For sides, avoid rice/fries and swap it for coleslaw or salad. Fries and rice can make your sugar level high, which is bad for diabetics This small change can help anyone keep healthy blood sugar levels.
3. Beancurd/Soya Bean Milk
A Singaporean favourite, beancurd and soya bean milk are both actually healthy. All you have to do is to drop the syrup. When you look at your beancurd, it’s obvious that the syrup that surrounds it adds a lot of sugar. The syrup (which is admittedly a big part of the appeal) adds a full 34g of carbs or 6 teaspoons of sugar to the dessert. If you want to keep eating it, you should sadly ask for no syrup. While it may not be as tasty, you’ll be in better shape.
4. Fish Soup
Fish soup is a common hawker centre dish. And if you cut the rice/noodles, it’s a healthy common hawker centre dish. Not to mention, fish is loaded with omega-3 and carries a lot of protein.
5. Home Remedies
There are several foods you can find in your fridge (or supermarket), which can control your diabetes. Just eating these foods can be an effective home remedy for diabetes.
Vitamin D Sources
Vitamin D has the ability to lower your blood sugar levels. Either walk in the sun for half an hour (which you should already be doing since you live in Singapore) and consume Vitamin D-rich foods. Some options include cheese, yogurt, kale and spinach. The food recommended above are also high in Vitamin D.
Drink More Water
Your kidneys need water to pass glucose out your body through urine and keep your blood sugar level low. If you eat food that keeps your sugar level high, you need even more water. So, drinking more water is even better than previously thought. Also, you should cut down on the sugary drinks, but you already knew that.
By Muhd Farhan