When you get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your whole life changes. Now your life will have to change and adapt, especially the way you eat. It would be best if you adapted your life to the diagnosis as soon as possible. Probably, your doctor will indicate to you that you need to follow a Type 2 Diabetics Diet.
But you don’t need to suffer through this. You can find good and creative ways to eat your food. There are certain foods that you can eat that won’t affect your type 2 diabetes. Many different types of diets exist that you can follow without risking your blood sugar levels.
Specific tools can also help you at the moment of choosing your foods. An excellent example of this is “carb counting and the glycemic index can help you”. If you stick to this, your blood sugar level should be able to stay within a healthy range.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Having type 2 diabetes has to do with your blood sugar levels. It means having trouble with being able to get enough glucose into your cells. Simplified, the sugar you eat cannot reach the places where your body needs it. When that happens, your blood sugar level elevates in your bloodstream. All of that can create complications for you. An excellent example of these complications can be cardiovascular disease, nerve and eye damage, and kidney damage.
You can develop type 2 diabetes over a certain period of time. Your body needs insulin to take the glucose to all of your cells. No matter what type of cell they are, from brain cells to muscles need sugar or glucose. Glucose and sugar are the “fuel” of your body. But if your insulin levels drop, the sugar isn’t able to get to your cells. Therefore, you get elevated blood sugar levels.
Over time, your cells can develop some insulin resistance. Therefore, your pancreas will need to produce more and more. That is in order to be able to transport the sugar into your cells. But still, more sugar gets left in your blood. Eventually, your pancreas will no longer be able to secrete enough insulin. Therefore, the sugar won’t be able to reach your cells. So, you won’t get enough energy. As you can see, following a suitable type 2 diabetics diet is vital.
Can Diet Help You Manage type 2 Diabetes?
A good diet for diabetes is quite similar to what a medical practitioner will suggest as a healthy eating plan for everybody. This means including healthy fats, lean protein, moderated amounts of complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits rich in fiber, foods that are whole and minimally processed. Of course, you should limit the amount that you eat of refined grains and added sugars.
“According to the American Diabetes Association’s Nutrition Consensus Report in 2019, there are several healthful eating patterns you can follow to manage diabetes, including Mediterranean, low-carb, DASH, paleo, and vegetarian.”
If you seek help from your medical practitioners, they will be capable of helping you. You will need to find the correct ratio of macronutrients and follow a strict diet. That is in order to accommodate your goals and health risks as well.
Diabetics-Friendly Foods to Eat
Your best chance at avoiding buying food that isn’t healthy for you is to shop with a list. Of course, you need to do this before your trip to the grocery store. You should choose satisfying and healthy foods. The ones that you choose should help you achieve your individual nutrition requirements. If you buy the right food and make intelligent decisions, you should be okay. You would have enough ingredients that are good at hand. Also, you will be able to eat them all throughout your day.
You should select non-starchy vegetables. An excellent example of this is broccoli. You can also choose fruit that is high on fiber, for example, apples. In order to get protein, you could get a skinless and boneless turkey or chicken. You can even include fatty fish, for example, salmon.
In moderated amounts, you also need to incorporate healthy fats. An excellent example of this would be avocado, nut butter, and nuts. Also, you should include whole grains. Good examples of this are barley and quinoa. Let’s not forget about low-fat or nonfat dairy. You can get plain yogurt or milk for this.
You can even get some condiments, spices, dips, and dressings for your food. Maybe you can get salsa, hot sauces, any variety of extracts, any spice or herb, mustard, olive oil, or vinegar. However, you cannot forget to consider that dressings do provide carbohydrates.
Last but not least, of course, you will want dessert. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may still have some dessert. But you need to pay close attention to what you are choosing. Think about the size of your portion and try not to consume dessert too often. If you want to have dessert, you could have a popsicle that doesn’t have other sugars. You should try and get desserts that are made with sugar-free gelatin. You can even get a dessert which is based on fruits without other sugar.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of foods that you can eat. Therefore, your meals don’t need to be boring necessarily. You have a whole array of foods that you can rotate daily. Therefore, you can make quite creative foods while keeping your blood sugar levels within the correct numbers.
Foods to Avoid
If you are battling type 2 diabetes, there are some foods that you should avoid or at least limit. Almost everyone should avoid or limit these foods to stay healthy anyways. But foods that can create blood sugar fluctuations that are extreme are definitely the ones that you need to avoid.
These include foods with high levels of:
- Simple carbohydrates
- Saturated and trans fats
- Sugar, such as candy, ice cream, and cakes.
There are many ways in which you can combine your food. There is no need for your food to be plain or boring. Here we wanted to give you an excellent example of how you can combine your foods. So, here we provided you with four different plates that you can eat for three different days. After you see this, you can further develop your own ideas and combine your foods. So, you can have healthy yet exciting meals.
- Breakfast Veggie omelet (1 whole egg plus two egg whites), topped with reduced-fat cheese, plus fruit
- Snack Plain nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt and berries
- Lunch Salad (dark lettuce or leafy greens) topped with chicken breast and chickpeas with olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Snack Celery and carrot sticks with nut butter
- Dinner Grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, and quinoa
- Breakfast Fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk; low-fat plain yogurt; and chia seeds (optional)
- Snack Unsalted almonds with a piece of fruit
- Lunch Turkey chili with reduced-fat cheese
- Snack Sliced vegetables and hummus
- Dinner Tofu and veggie stir-fry over brown rice
- Breakfast Old-fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal made with low-fat milk and topped with fruit and nuts
- Snack Roasted chickpeas
- Lunch Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with sliced veggies
- Snack Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese with a sliced peach
- Dinner Tray bake (all foods baked on the same tray) made with shrimp and roasted vegetables”
Now it’s your turn to give it a try!
Beverages You Can Drink While Dieting
Of course, there are certain type 2 diet drinks that you can consume. At the same time, other options are not a go for you. Water is definitely something that you can drink. You won’t find any trouble in there. But you have other choices that you can include.
A good example would be sparkling water, unsweetened and plant-based milk, skimmed or low-fat milk, unsweetened coffee, and unsweetened hot or iced tea. These would be the safest options for you to consume.
Diet Plans to Discuss With Your Physician
There are specific diet plans that you can follow. The most common ones are the AIP diet, the Paleo diet, and intermittent fasting. Before choosing to follow one, you should discuss this with your Physician. That is to make sure that you are making the right decision.
Discussion of the diet plans are given bellow:
“The AIP is an elimination diet, so it involves not eating certain types of food for several weeks at a time and carefully noting any effects on health.”
This diet makes focuses on certain foods that are rich in nutrients and vitamins. If you follow this, you won’t be eating anything with additives or added sugar. Foods with sugar or additives might trigger an autoimmune response. This diet includes oils, a small quantity of fruit, lean meats and liver, fermented foods, high-quality seafood, and vegetables.
Suppose you want to follow the Paleo diet. Then you will be able to include on your meals a moderate quantity of protein. This specific Diet doesn’t focus on caloric intake goals. Neither does it focus on a macronutrient balance.
The Paleolithic Diet is based on:
- Lean meat
- Fish, fruit
- Leafy and cruciferous vegetables
- Root vegetables
Intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. If you decide to follow intermittent fasting, then you will be switching between eating and fasting. This will happen on a regular schedule. Therefore, you will be eating during certain specific times. This type of diet could help you control your weight. It should also help you reverse or prevent certain types of diseases.
In conclusion, obtaining a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is not the best thing that can happen to you. But there is no need for you to suffer all throughout this. Because there are several things that you can still eat, you can still create several different meals throughout the day that can work for you.
So, you can keep yourself healthy while eating creatively. You won’t need to eat plain food all the time because there are several diets that you can follow. As you read on the previous sections, you can follow the AIP diet, Paleo diet, or intermittent fasting. Those are the most commonly known diets for people who have type 2 diabetes.
However, you still need to contact your Physician to decide on a diet. Because you need to make sure that you take all the nutrients and vitamins you need.