Research has shown that people with diabetes who contract Covid-19 have much higher chances of complications and death than people without diabetes.
Yet, as alarming as that sounds, it’s also important to note the researchers say the problem people with diabetes face is worse outcomes and not a greater chance of contracting the virus.
And because we know, just like everyone else, that you are adhering to the national lockdown and safety compliance laws, you’ve already minimised your risk of getting infected. However, being cooped up indoors can also be quite dull and uninspiring.
So, what better time to take control of your diabetes than now – especially since you have more time on your hands while working from home.
Since diet and what diabetics eat has a great impact on their health, The Citizen thought you could use this time to get your pantry in tip-top shape by stocking up on some of the foods that greatly help control your blood sugar.
This popular leafy green is one of the best sources of magnesium and helps your body use insulin to absorb the sugars in your blood and manage blood sugar more efficiently.
It’s also a great snack and works well in salads, smoothies or lightly cooked with garlic and olive oil.
This exotically coloured fish is not only high in protein but is also a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and improving your cholesterol levels.
Also stock up on tuna, mackerel and sardines.
It is a protein-rich substitute for white pasta or white rice, contains a healthy boost of fibre and protein, and is rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium – great for diabetics.
And because quinoa digests slowly, it keeps you full for longer and stops your blood sugar from spiking.
The weather is just right for soups and beans. This inexpensive and incredibly versatile staple is also loaded with fibre and protein to keep you feeling full.
One Canadian study showed that people who added a cup or more of beans to their diet every day had better control of their blood sugar and lowered their blood pressure.
Sprinkling just a little of this fragrant spice into smoothies, yoghurt, oatmeal or your coffee helps lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar more stable. It also adds flavour to your food without adding sugar or salt, which are both a no-no for diabetics.
Calcium and vitamin D from dairy keep bones healthy and is also an excellent source of protein to keep hunger at bay. Research shows that milk, cheese and yoghurt help stabilise blood sugar levels, and eating plenty of these dairy products may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Whether you choose fat-free or full-fat dairy, be cautious of added sugars in flavoured yoghurts and milks, which can add significant calories in the form of simple carbs.
Remember: If you have a chronic condition that predisposes you to severe Covid-19 symptoms, it is best to use online grocery services or to ask a neighbour or relative to do your shopping for you. Prevention is always better than cure!