Type 2 Diabetes Diet: What to Have and Why?

Perhaps the biggest myth about type 2 diabetes diet is that one has to live on bland and special foods for the rest of one’s life. In fact, a type 2 diabetes diet is not only good for the management of blood glucose levels but they are balanced, nutritious and tasty in every sense of the word that keeps you in good health.

Healthy food choices – the way to go

Most of the recommendations about type 2 diabetes diet include foods to be avoided. But what kinds of food choices in a type 2 diabetes diet are permissible? Here are some tips:

  • Pick colorful fruits and vegetables to be included in your type 2 diabetes diet meal. Non-starchy vegetables are better like spinach, carrots, broccoli and green beans.
  • Whole grains (brown rice or whole wheat spaghetti) are better that processed grain foods.
  • Choose lean meats over beef and pork in a type 2 diabetes diet as they are rich in saturated fats. De-skin the chicken and turkey before cooking.
  • Cooking medium should be free of saturated and Trans fats. Coconut and palm seed oils are rich in these ‘bad’ fats.
  • Avoid snacks like cookies, full-fat ice cream and cakes.
  • Ensure nutrient content

One has to ensure that a typical type 2 diabetic diet meal plan is rich in these essential nutrients

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E.

Some common type 2 diabetes diet foods that are rich in these nutrients are various types of beans and dark green leafy vegetables; citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes for soluble fibers and vitamin C; sweet potatoes for vitamin A and fiber; berries for antioxidants, vitamins and fiber; tomatoes for vitamin C, iron, vitamin E; fish which is high in omega-3 fatty acids; whole grains for supply of magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate. Pearled barley and oatmeal are excellent sources of fiber and potassium.

Is type 2 diabetic diet without sweets and desserts?

People belief that eating sugary foods can cause diabetes. This is nothing but a myth. The biggest risk of developing type 2 diabetes is being getting fat and over eating. Research on this topic shows that while the type of carbohydrate can decide the speed with which sugar level rises in the body, the quantity actually affects the blood glucose levels more than the type. Therefore, it is possible to replace small amounts of sugary foods with other carbohydrates and still keep the blood glucose levels under check.

When a diabetic wants to include sweets and desserts in the diet, it makes sense to cut down on other foods that contain carbohydrates.

How about becoming a vegetarian?

To bring down blood glucose levels, many diabetics are considering becoming a vegetarian, even if it is for a short while. Research supports that switching over to a vegetarian diet help in the prevention and management of diabetes. Compared to a conventional American diet, a typical vegetarian meal plan is naturally rich in fiber and much lower in saturated fat content as well as cholesterol.

In fact when fiber intake is more than 50 grams in a day and included in a typical type 2 diabetes diet plan, it can effectively reduce blood glucose levels.