Published on 25 September, 2021
The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes does not necessarily translate into an end-of-the-road scenario for tasty foods. If the the total quantity and individual portions of food are controlled, and the right types of foods are selected, people with type 2 diabetes can maintain normal blood glucose levels, of course, along with adequate physical activity and prescribed medications.
The best person to guide the planning of a diet for diabetes patients is a registered nutritionist / dietitian experienced in this field. The nutritionist obtains insights about the patient’s dietary preferences, the blood glucose levels and the ongoing treatments, and tailors a diet specifically for the patient. Diabetes patients on insulin require detailed meal planning to ensure normal blood glucose levels. This could avoid episodes of low blood sugar levels, which could have serious consequences.
A balanced diet consists of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, along with minerals and vitamins. Diabetes is often entwined with conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and obesity, and a healthy diet could help to mitigate these conditions as well.
Here are some general dietary guidelines that could benefit people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes:
Fiber-rich carbohydrates should be preferred to refined sources.
Foods rich in fiber such as whole oats, whole grain bread and pasta, and brown rice should be preferred to all-purpose flour and white rice. These foods produce a slower rise in the blood glucose levels and give a feeling of fullness, resulting in a reduction of the total calorie intake. Refined sugar and sweetened beverages should be avoided. Artificial sweeteners may be used in limited quantities to satisfy the sweet tooth without a corresponding increase in the calorie intake.
Vegetables and fruit should be included in the daily diet.
Vegetables and fruits should form important components of the diet. Vegetables that contain starch such as potatoes, corn and green peas should be consumed in lesser quantities as compared to non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes.
The right fats should be included in the diet.
Diabetes patients should avoid the unhealthy fats from foods such as high-fat milk, butter, cheese, coconut, and processed, deep-fried and many fast foods. These fats should be replaced by the healthier fats found in foods such as olive oil, sunflower oil, walnuts, almonds and fish such as salmon, mackerels and tuna. The fish should not be fried or cooked with added cream, which could reduce its beneficial effects.
The protein sources should have limited fat content.
Protein-containing food must be included with every meal. It could be vegetarian such as tofu, beans, peas and low-fat dairy products or non-vegetarian such as fish, poultry without the skin or lean cuts of red meats.
Control the salt and alcohol intake
The salt content in the food should limited. Excess alcohol intake should be avoided since it can lead to episodes of low blood sugar.
Vitamins and other micronutrient supplements are usually not required in diabetes patients without a deficiency.
Along with physical activity and treatment with medications, the diet plays an important role in the management of type 2 diabetes. It helps in maintaining normal blood glucose levels, a healthy weight and preventing complications due to diabetes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional, or the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider for any medical condition, procedure, or treatment.