People with diabetes or those who are insulin resistant or women with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) should try and incorporate more protein into their diet. Keep an eye on your carbohydrate consumption as it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. It is better to avoid simple carbohydrates like white rice and bread. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates like whole wheat and brown rice. Protein can help us curb our cravings because it makes us feel full for a longer time when compared to carbs. Our body uses more energy to digest protein than it does to digest carbohydrates.
Indian meals tend to be heavy on the carbohydrates and lean on the protein specially when it comes to vegetarian meals. South Indian meals are often high in starch because of the heavy use of white rice. A typical meal would be a plate full of rice surrounded by a few spoonfuls of vegetables and meat/seafood. Not an ideal meal!
To reduce the carbohydrates consumed at every meal, try adding a good source of protein at every meal. Instead of having a plate full of white rice, try limiting rice to 1/3rd of your plate. Another 1/3rd should be vegetables and the remaining should be protein. It is even better if you can replace white rice with any whole grain like brown rice, oats or wheat kernels.
Some good sources of Protein are:
- Lean Beef, Mutton and Pork – Use sparingly
- Dairy Products – Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Kefir
- Lentils and Beans
- Quinoa, Buckwheat, Wild Rice, Amaranth
- Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios
- Pumpkin Seeds, Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds
If possible, try consuming organic sources of protein like Grass fed Beef, Wild Caught Salmon, Organic Chicken, Free Roaming Eggs, Organic Dairy and so on.
Stay away from these sources of protein as they are still being debated:
- Soy & Soy Products like Soybean Oil, Tofu, Soy chips etc.
Remember to choose lean sources of protein like Chicken Breasts and Turkey to reduce the the overall fat and calories consumed.