Giving up your favourite foods may seem overwhelming if you were recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. But you might be relieved to learn that a decent Type 2 diabetes diet isn’t as difficult as you worry it will be – and that you can still enjoy food while controlling this condition. A successful diabetes management strategy is built on a healthy diet accompanied by stress management, regular exercise, and taking prescribed medications as directed. Adhering to a regular mealtime schedule and eating the healthiest foods in moderation is what constitutes a diabetes diet.
Medicine Net states that getting enough glucose into the cells is an issue with Type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar levels in the bloodstream result from the sugar not being able to reach its proper location, which can cause issues such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage as well as cardiovascular disease.
Everyone should maintain a healthy diet, regardless of whether they have diabetes. But for those who have this illness, healthy foods consumed in the proper quantity offer reduced blood sugar as detailed by Everyday Health because the risk of health consequences and symptoms of diabetes decreases as high blood sugar is lowered.
According to Mayo Clinic, a nutritious diet also helps to manage your weight and risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure and blood fat levels. Making smart meal selections and keeping track of your eating patterns will help you keep your blood glucose levels within a safe range. Losing weight has a variety of positive health effects and can help most persons with Type 2 diabetes better control their blood glucose levels. A diabetes-friendly diet offers an organized, nourishing strategy to safely attain your weight loss goal if you need to do so.
For a start, three regular meals a day are the cornerstone of a diabetes diet. The insulin your body produces or receives from medicine is used more effectively as a result. If need be, you can create a diet based on your health objectives, preferences, and lifestyle with the assistance of a dietitian. Additionally, the dietician can advise you on how to change your eating patterns, such as by picking portions that are appropriate for your size and level of activity.
A diabetes-friendly diet resembles the healthy eating strategy that most doctors advise for everyone: Lean protein, healthy fats, complete, minimally processed foods, fruits and vegetables high in fibre, complex carbohydrates in moderation, and fewer to no added sugars and refined grains all part of this diet.
Even though no two diabetic diets will be the same, several foods are regarded as mainstays for those who have the condition since they help maintain a healthy weight and blood sugar level.
Carbohydrates are a mainstay of most diets, particularly Asian ones. Unfortunately, there is a challenging connection between carbohydrates and diabetes. This may be difficult for you if you rely on carbohydrates for your meals, but it is possible. You should stay away from processed, simple carbohydrates like sugar, spaghetti, white bread, flour, and cookies and pastries. And instead, consider the complex carbs found in foods like brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Because they are a low glycemic index (GI) food and contain vitamins, fibre, and smaller proteins and fats, all of which will work to slow down the absorption of glucose and maintain more stable blood sugar levels which makes it better suited to people with diabetes.
You may remember your parents telling you to eat your vegetables or vice versa if you’re a parent. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, you need to consider which kind. Despite having more carbohydrates than green vegetables but fewer than refined grains, starchy vegetables are good providers of vitamins. You may consume them in moderation. Potatoes, corn, and other root vegetables are examples of starchy vegetables. They are best consumed in moderation as part of a meal that also contains plant-based fat and protein. Vegetables that aren’t starchy, like green vegetables, can be consumed in large quantities. Don’t be afraid to eat up, as these foods have a minimal effect on blood sugar and are also quite healthy. Medicine Net suggests having at least five servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, so feel free to increase your intake.
Protein gives you slow, constant energy that barely affects your blood sugar levels. Every meal or snack should contain protein, particularly plant-based protein. Protein aids in feeling full after meals and helps with sugar cravings in addition to maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Animal proteins are common sources of unhealthy saturated fats. So, look for plant protein if you’d like to stay healthy for the long run. Beans, legumes, eggs, fish, shellfish, peas, tofu, soy foods, and lean meats like chicken and turkey are some sources of high-quality protein.
Medicine Net mentions to sustain stable blood sugar levels, pay close attention to the ratio of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in a meal. It is beneficial that the right combination slows down the absorption of carbs since this gives time for a slower, lower insulin release and a steady transit of glucose from the circulation into the target tissues.
Diabetes accelerates the formation of clogged and hardened arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. The following ingredients can be detrimental to your efforts to maintain a heart-healthy diet:
• Saturated fats
Steer clear of animal proteins like butter, meat, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon as well as high-fat dairy products. Control your intake of coconut and palm kernel oils as well.
• Trans fats
Avoid trans fats, which are present in stick margarine, shortening, baked goods, and processed snacks.
High-fat dairy products, high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats are all sources of cholesterol.
Other unhealthy foods include sodas, refined sugars (donuts, pastries, cakes, cookies, scones, sweets, candy), processed carbs (white bread, pasta, chips, saltines), high-fat animal products (red meat, fatty cuts of pork, bacon, sausage), high-fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, cheese, ice cream), fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods (candies, potato chips, cookies).
Make it a habit to read the label of your foods and use food labels to your advantage. A serving size is a common measurement based on how much food an individual generally eats in one sitting. The amounts mentioned on the label depend on the size of the serving. You can use it to calculate the number of calories and nutrients in the food on your plate.
Keep an eye on the serving size, as well as the number of servings in the package, and contrast it with the amount you are consuming. Don’t mix up serving size with portion size. There are no established measurements for what constitutes a portion; it is what you choose to eat. If you are not sure what ingredient is listed, spend some time searching about it online. Sometimes, it may not be something you want in your body, especially when you have diabetes.
Adopting a new eating habit can be tough for most and it doesn’t help when you are forced to do it because of an illness. Getting used to foods you are not familiar with can be made easier by looking at the bigger objective and working towards a goal. By giving you a clear direction to aim towards, setting goals will simultaneously help you become healthier. And to considerably increase the likelihood that you will achieve your goals, it is vital to make them specific.
This is where you can set S.M.A.R.T goals. Basically, this goal framework helps you set goals that are:
Example of S.M.A.R.T goal:
“I want to keep my blood glucose levels within a safe range by the end of October by eating a diabetic-friendly meal that consists of 30% lean protein, 30% vegetables, 20% fruits, and 20% complex carbohydrates every day.”
Example of a general goal:
“I want to eat a diabetic-friendly meal every day.”
Setting broad, unattainable objectives like “I want to be the best at X” is a common way for people to set themselves up for unsuccessful goals. These objective lacks direction and is still vague.
S.M.A.R.T goals make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Time-bound, which positions you for success. You may push yourself further, get a feeling of direction, and plan and accomplish your goals with the help of the SMART method.