Having diabetes requires that you make big lifestyle adjustments. You cannot operate the way you used to. This is especially true when it comes to your diet.
Food is the main proponent of having type 2 diabetes in the first place. So, it is therefore logical that food is the main way, along with medication and exercise, to control this ferocious disease.
It is a lifestyle disease. So, you are required to change your lifestyle – including diet – to make a positive change.
Diabetes is a killer. People have lost their limbs, have heart attacks, become overwhelmed with strokes, and other negative health repercussions because of this disease.
To live longer, healthier and have peace of mind, a change is necessary.
Now is the time to implement a type 2 diabetes diet - one which will save your life and help you to live longer.
Pay Attention to Salt, Fiber, Fat, and Carbs
As you have garnered from this expose on type 2 diabetes diet, consuming the right foods is important. However, how can you do this if you do not yet know why they are important and what groups of food to consume over others?
In your new diet, these four elements of great importance. They include salt, fiber, fat, and carbs.
1. Let’s Talk About Salt
High blood pressure becomes a reality for many people with diabetes. So, you need to avoid it at all cost. This means eliminating certain foods from your diet or eating sparse amounts.
Here is a list of some foods to avoid:
2. Let’s Talk About Fiber
This is an important element to have in your diet. Fiber is garnered from legumes, beans, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. By and large, it comes from plant foods.
When you consume these foods, you tend to feel fuller also. Eating fiber-rich foods means you tend to eat less. Eating less than leads to you losing weight.
Other benefits also include blood sugar control and better digestion. You can also look forward to having better control of your blood sugar and better overall heart health.
In general, Americans do not consume as much fiber as they should. So, try to incorporate as much as possible into your type 2 diabetes diet.
Next time you go to the store, try to include these items on your shopping list. They include:
While it is highly recommended that you source your fiber from natural foods, sometimes that is not possible. And, you end up not getting as much as you need.
As such, you have the option of sourcing it through fiber supplements. There are a few popular options, which you can consider. They include calcium polycarbophil, wheat dextrin, methylcellulose, and psyllium.
As in all things, this must be consumed in moderation. Start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage, if necessary.
Starting the regimen, in this way, will help to minimize the occurrence of cramping or gas. In addition, you will want to counter the effects by also increasing your liquid intake.
As you know, water is good for you. So, try to drink eight to twelve glasses of water a day.
3. Let’s Talk About Fats
Heart disease is a grave concern when you have diabetes. This is a reality, which must be handled with the utmost seriousness. People with diabetes need to eat heart-healthy foods.
As such, a type 2 diabetes diet is highly geared towards that goal. Consuming foods that are high in trans fats and saturated fats will prevent you from maintaining that objective.
So, that means striking off from your shopping list, all the unhealthy fats, which you would typically get. Until you are at a better place - in terms of your health and blood sugar levels - it is best to eliminate them fully.
Once you are at a place you need to be, you can have a very moderate consumption of those foods.
This means baked items, milk, beef, and cheese should be put on the naughty list. These are foods high in saturated fats. Any food with "partially hydrogenated" oils on the labels has "trans fats."
This should be completely avoided.
The main sources of saturated fats are "0 grams trans fat," and even then, it could contain half a gram of trans fat per serving. Be vigilant about what you eat.
Here are a few helpful tips:
4. Let’s Talk About Carbohydrates
You need carbs for fuel. They have a more direct and quicker impact on your blood sugar levels than proteins and fats do. You get them from certain groups of foods. These include:
Sugar is considered a simple carbohydrate. But, to get carbohydrates that are more complex, you will have to turn to whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and beans.
These types of carbs are much better for your body primarily because they require a longer amount of time to digest. In addition, you get the required energy, which your body needs to survive and operate. And, you also get much-needed fiber.
5. Counting Carbs
Keeping track of your starch and sugars are considered counting carbs or “carbohydrate counting.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, when it comes to understanding how much carbohydrates you should consume, there is a way to begin.
“A great place to start may be to figure out how much carbohydrate you eat at your meals and snacks now. Tracking your food intake and your blood glucose before and about 2 hours after your meals for a few days can provide useful information for you and your diabetes care team to see how different meals impact your blood glucose. You and your health care team can figure out the right amount for you.”
But keep in mind that this is something you can do on a daily basis. Once you know the prescribed amount of carbs to include in your daily diet, you can then spread that allocation across all your meals.
This is a great way of mitigating the effects of your out of control blood sugar.
This is a great practice because how you eat can affect your blood sugar level adversely, one way of the other. You can end up having too low of a blood sugar level if you eat too little carbs. This happens just as easily as if you eat too many carbs and end up with high blood sugar.
So, if you are keeping track of how much carbs you are consuming, then you have a greater chance of successfully managing your diabetes.
Use the Services of a Registered Dietitian
There is some amount of calculation involved when it comes to maintaining a healthy type 2 diabetes diet and using the carb counting method. For example, to get 15 grams of carbohydrates, you have to consume one serving of carbohydrate. Now to understand how much of what equals that amount can be tricky for some.
You might be tempted to overeat!
So, sometimes it is best to use the services of a registered dietician who will help you develop and maintain your type 2 diabetes diet. This is a great option because no one plan will necessarily work best for everyone. So, they can work to tweak it just for you.
This is especially necessary if you are a picky eater!
But, either way you choose to execute your plan, take into account that adults require upwards of 2 to 4 servings of carbohydrates each day, per meal. And then, if you are snacking, you can have one to two servings.
When you go to the store, practice reading the labels. This will get you in the habit of understanding how to count carbs. There is most times information on the back that allows you to see how much grams of carbohydrates is in a particular product.
Knowing this will then allow you to customize your diet better.
Counting carbs is also not limited to diabetics or people with food-related diseases. If this illness is not an issue for you, you can still benefit. If you are an athlete, trying to gain or lose weight, it is a good thing to incorporate into your daily regimen.