A healthy, well-balanced diet is an important part of controlling prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes-related risks can be managed by paying attention to carbohydrate intake, eating smaller meals frequently, and choosing nutrient-dense, healthy foods. If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to follow a healthy eating plan that helps you manage your blood sugar levels. Here are some general guidelines for choosing foods to eat and avoid when you have type 2 diabetes:
Foods to eat:
These include vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes. They are low in calories and carbohydrates and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. This, in turn, has the potential to discourage overeating, which can cause issues with blood sugar and unwanted weight gain.
Choose whole fruits rather than fruit juices, as whole fruits contain fibre and are less likely to cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Fruits with a lower glycemic index, such as apples and berries, may be especially beneficial.
These include sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and beans. They are low in fat and can help you feel full and satisfied.
Choose whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole-grain bread and pasta instead of refined grains like white bread and pasta. Whole grains are higher in fibre and nutrients and can help regulate blood sugar.
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre and can help regulate blood sugar.
Foods to avoid:
These include products made with white flour, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries. They are low in fibre and nutrients and can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.
These include sodas, sports drinks, and sweetened teas and coffees. They are high in added sugars and can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.
Fried and processed foods:
These include foods such as fried chicken, fries, and processed snack foods. They are often high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and calories, and can contribute to weight gain and blood sugar problems.
Saturated and trans fats:
These types of fats are found in foods such as red meat, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods. They can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
Foods that are unhealthy for people without diabetes should be limited or avoided by those with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, they should steer clear of foods that significantly alter blood sugar levels. It is important to work with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan that is right for you and your specific needs. They can help you make healthy food choices and manage your blood sugar levels.