A type 2 diabetes diet consists of diet modification with the inclusion of physical activity. This will help patients to control blood glucose levels while helping overweight patients to lose weight. Even though it is possible to control diabetes by diet and activity alone, some patients may need the assistance of tablets or insulin injection to aid in health insulin levels.
A healthy balanced diet, physical activity and losing weight may delay the onset of diabetes. If diabetes runs in your family, eating right now may help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Eating whole grain foods has been linked to reduce several diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Whole grain foods also provide many important nutrients such as fiber, resistant starch and minerals and vitamins.
Following the right type 2 diabetes diet can make all the difference to a person who may have a higher risk of diabetes, who is struggling to keep their blood sugar under control, or who wants to control insulin levels as well as lose weight.
Carbohydrates in a type 2 diabetes diet:
Carbohydrates are an important food category in a diet for type 2 diabetes, as they provide fuel for the body in the form of glucose, which is the primary means of energy for all the body’s cells and should include the following:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy foods such as skimmed or semi-skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt.
- Starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and breakfast cereals may not be the best choice, instead choose foods with low glycemic index such as yams, brown rice, whole grain breads, and shredded wheat. Beans and lentils are also release more slowly into the bloodstream than other carbohydrates.
Fiber in a type 2 diabetes diet:
On average, 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day should be consumed. To increase a fiber intake with a type 2 diabetes diet, these fiber rich foods should be eaten:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cooked dried beans and peas
- Whole grain breads, cereals, and crackers
- Brown rice
- Nuts and Seeds
Fat in a type 2 diabetes diet:
It is important to chose food lower in fat, especially saturated fat in a type 2 diabetes diet, as diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats to look out for include cheese, beef, milk and baked items, while Trans fats are another component to look out for in vegetable oils.
- Eat fewer fatty and sugar-containing foods such as chips, sweets or pastries.
- Choose lean red meats, poultry, fish, beans and alternatives and avoid fatty meat or meat products.
- Choose low-fat dairy products such as low-fat cheese, skim milk, non-fat yogurt, non-fat frozen yogurt, evaporated skim milk, and buttermilk.
- Use liquid vegetable oils that contain poly- or monounsaturated fats. Use low-fat vegetable cooking spray.
- Use low-fat margarines, gravies and salad dressings.
- Choose products low in salt and make sure to use less salt in cooking.
What Exactly Is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly as the body is resistant to it. It generally occurs in people over the age of 40, but has been seen in younger adults, particularly South Asian and African-Caribbean people.
However, by undertaking a type 2 diabetes diet with your GP, you will be reducing the risk of any long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, circulation problems, high blood pressure, and damage to the nerves, kidneys and eyes.
This condition is rapidly increasing worldwide and is estimated that currently around 120 million people are affected by type 2 diabetes, which is estimated to almost double to 215 million by 2010.
Who Is At Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?
Those that are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and who should undertake a type 2 diabetes diet are:
- Persons who are overweight or obese
- If exercise is minimal
- If type 2 diabetes runs in the family
- The person smokes or drinks excessively
- Are of African-Caribbean, South-Asian or Hispanic origin
- Are over 40 and Caucasian
- At risk of high blood pressure or have had a heart attack or stroke
- If the person has had poly cystic ovary syndrome
- Have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia
There are many reasons that following a diabetic diet meal plan can be beneficial. It can help you control you insulin levels, reduce your weight, and/or reduce your risk for diabetes. A type 2 diabetes diet plan does not have to be complex. If you educate yourself on eating healthy, you will see that a diabetic diet is the way you should have been eating in the first place.