What Kind of Foods to Eat With Type 2 Diabetes

Friday, January 7th, 2011 No Commented
Categorized Under: Diabetes

There is much more known about diabetes now than in the past, and one of the surprising discoveries is that diet and exercise play a big role in the control and management of the disease. When you were first diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor probably recommended that you see a nutritionist so that they could review your case and create a special diet for you.

How is diet used in the management of Type 2 diabetes?

Depending on the type of diabetes that you have, your meal plan may be similar to a heart healthy diet plan, or it may be more restricted in nature. Type II diabetes often occurs in adults due to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. This form of the disease can be managed by eating healthy foods that are very similar to what everyone else eats when on a diet. In fact, type 2 diabetes sugar control with diet and exercise is highly recommended. A good eating guideline to follow is the American Diabetes Association Exchange Diet.

No matter how long you have had diabetes, you’ll need to face the reality that you will need to make some major lifestyle changes in order to avoid serious health complications. Simply ignoring your doctor’s recommendations, and choosing to continue eating foods that are laden with fat and calories, is going to result in an eventual break down of your system.

You see, when you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels are already too high. When you eat certain foods that contain sugar, those levels can rise to dangerous heights. The worst case scenario would be you going into a diabetic coma. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to start eating healthy and exercising immediately. You’ll need to start paying close attention to what foods to eat with type 2 diabetes.

What Kind of Foods Can You Eat Safely?

One of the big downsides to being diagnosed with diabetes used to be that you would be condemned to a life of eating totally bland foods. Fortunately, modern research has found that you can eat regular meals that are bursting with flavor – as long as they are prepared the healthy way.

Meats

You can pretty much eat any piece of lean meat or fish as long as you don’t overdo it. Meats do not contribute to your sugar levels.

Carbohydrates

Here’s where things get a bit tricky. As you have probably already discovered, foods rich in complex carbohydrates break down in the body as sugar. So, when you eat lots of starchy potatoes, breads or anything made with white flour, white rice or corn, these foods can sometimes send your body into the danger zone without you even realizing it. This is why your intake of complex carbs has to be closely monitored at all times.

Carbohydrates are very beneficial to the body and is something that is needed for general health. But, some foods have carbs that are filled with empty sugar without much nutritional value, and other foods have carbs that break down well inside the body and provide you with lots of energy. Most diabetic diet plans include foods containing carbs like bread, yams, potatoes, cereals, etc. If you follow the recommendations, you’ll be eating the right amount of carbs for your body type and skipping ones that don’t give you any benefits.

You should go for the healthier variety. Most fruits that contain simple carbs are okay. You can even make yourself a healthy protein shake in the morning with your favorite fruit and some protein powder. Also, you can choose whole grain breads, cereals and pasta.

Vegetables

As long as it doesn’t contain starch, you can eat just about any vegetable known to mankind. This includes: broccoli, tomatoes, celery, chilies, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, carrots and spinach. This wonderful array of vegetables will not only keep your weight under control, but it will also make your meal plate a lot more colorful.

Sweets

Are you doomed to eating diabetic candy and cookies for the rest of your life?

Not necessarily. Many people with diabetes can eat normal sweets that contain sugar, it’s just that you really need to restrict how often you eat them. For instance, every so often you can indulge in a small portion of cake, pie or a scoop of ice cream. These are special treats and you should relish every bite. Allow yourself to feel satisfied and never go back for seconds.

Snacks

For those times that you get hungry between meals and you just have to have a snack of some sort, don’t reach for that bag of potato chips or pretzels. And, don’t even think about grabbing a candy bar from the vending machine. You need to pre-plan for these moments so that you have a healthy alternative.

Fruits – You can always have fresh fruit around at home or at work so that you can enjoy a natural sugar boost.

Vegetables – Cut up some carrots, celery or green peppers and put them into a food container along with some hummus or other healthy veggie dip.

Nuts – Eat a handful of sunflower seeds, almonds or walnuts. Or, you can combine some nut butter with either your fresh vegetables or fruit.

Shakes and Smoothies – Buy yourself a smoothie machine and mix up a healthy smoothie or protein shake. You can add just about any type of fruit or vegetable to a smoothie or protein shake, and create an absolutely delicious snack or meal replacement.