For a Type 2 diabetic person weight-loss journey has hundreds of ups and downs. Too often, diet plans don’t work. When you have to change to a diabetic diet, chances are you’re thinking special foods that are dull and tasteless. With a type 2 diabetes diet however, this is the time that you are going to discover the best foods that you should have been eating from the beginning.
Why Do I Need a Type 2 Diabetes Diet?
Treating type 2 diabetes (also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes) is not just a simple prescription drugs. A balanced diet tailored to individual needs, combined with regular physical activity remains the most effective weapons against this serious, lifelong disease.
Type 2 diabetes is very often associated with overweight or even obesity, which is largely responsible for insulin resistance. This dysfunction of the pancreas causes a constant elevation of glucose levels in the blood. The body will face tremendous complications, such as kidney damage, neurological damage, and cardiovascular damage.
So, the main goal for type 2 diabetic people will be to find a reasonable weight that is as close as possible to normal.
What Are The Essentials of a Type 2 Diabetes Diet?
As a diabetic you need to eat a balanced diet consisting of foods from all the major food groups. There are certain foods however that directly affect how much glucose is in your blood and so care must be taken when selecting them. Glucose, like all sources of energy, is destructive once it is no longer under control.
You Should therefore, ensure that the foods containing glucose, commonly called” sugar “, are properly distributed throughout the day.
Take time to enjoy your meal by chewing more slowly. Wait at least 20 minutes before deciding to refill you plate.
Eat your meals and healthy snacks at regular times. Avoid spending more than six hours without eating. And most importantly, eat smaller amounts. Since the 1960s, restaurant portion sizes have grown tremendously. Large portions of any food can lead to weight gain.
Eat a variety of foods such as vegetables and colorful fruits, breads and whole grains, dairy products and low-fat milk substitutes, fish, poultry and lean meat and alternatives, for example, beans, lentils and tofu.
And remember, it often takes several attempts to change habits regarding diet and physical activity. Do not be discouraged if initially you can not. Any effort, however, small it may be, makes a big difference in preventing and controlling type 2 diabetes
How Can I Select the Right Foods for My Diet?
Your aim for a type 2 diabetes diet plan is to eat the right foods that will keep your blood sugar level normal. Seek also to avoid foods that will create complications or put you at risk of other problems.
Carbs are the fuel of the organism. They provide the energy required for its function. They should be the foundation of your type 2 diabetes diet. The carbohydrate needs of a person with diabetes vary according to age, gender, lifestyle and health status.
Consuming an excessive amount of carbs will turn into fat, if they are not used by the muscles. You must, therefore, adjust its intake according to your physiological needs and physical activity.
Some carbs are healthier than others. We distinguish 2 types :
They skyrocket your blood sugar as they are rapidly absorbed by the body. This is due to their simple chemical structures. You can find them in:
- Table sugar (sucrose)
- Sugar-based products (honey, pastry, confectionery, pastries, soft or flavored drinks)
- Milk (lactose) and other dairy products
- Fruit (fructose)
- and to a lesser extent in green vegetables.
They are slowly assimilated by the body and allow better blood sugar regulation.
Most of them contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, and therefore give you steady energy.They are available in:
- Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat, quinoa, corn.
- Some vegetables, including broccoli
- lentils, beans, peas, beans
Avoid processed foods that are often laced with sugar. Donuts, cakes and other pastries, white bread, and drinks and juices are in this category.
Protein helps your body produce new cells and repair damaged ones, and therefore, should be included in type 2 diabetes diets. It is a vital component for our workouts and recovery. Protein is mainly present in meat, fish, eggs, milk and its derivatives.
Proteins do not raise blood sugar and can even help improve diabetes management. Simultaneous intake of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber (mixed meal) slows the absorption of carbohydrates. A diet very high in protein can damage kidney function in people with kidney disease.
It is important to choose your protein carefully. plant protein sources, like soy products, tofu and beans are to be considered. If protein contains higher amount of saturated fat from animal sources , that would increase your weight and harm your heart’s condition.
It is generally recommended that proteins should constitute 10-15% of your calorie intake, the equivalent of 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Fat is often considered bad for you. But there are good fats that will provide energy and warmth for your body. Fat plays the role of energy reserves in the body for future usage. High-fat foods are packed with calories which can make you gain weight rapidly. Eat foods filled with healthy fats such as fish with Omega 3 fatty acids, avocado and nuts.
In your Type 2 diabetes diet, foods that contain saturated fats must be reduced, such as:
- whole milk (prefer semi-skimmed milk)
To protect your cardiovascular system, plant-based foods and fish, are better options for health. The meat should be consumed in moderation.
4. Whole Grains
With these foods you are using the whole of the grain for food. When grains are processed they lose a lot of the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber they contain. Imagine what value these would be to your body.
There is a wide range of whole grain foods that you can select from – Bulgur (cracked wheat), whole wheat flour, whole oats/oatmeal, whole grain corn/corn meal, buckwheat flour, triticale, millet, quinoa, and sorghum.
Eat lots of fibrous foods including green leafy vegetables such as kale, cabbage and lettuce. There are also plenty of fruits like apples, oranges, mango and pineapple. Make sure you eat from legumes, beans, and nuts.
Fiber foods are low in sugar and provide lots of vitamins. They push through the digestive system at a slower rate preventing build-up of foods and toxin in the gut.
A type 2 diabetes diet is not difficult to maintain. Only ensure that you select the right foods and your friends and families may just love what you eat.