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What Is A Good Diet For Type 2 Diabetes


Examples Of What To Try

Healthy Eating with Type 2 Diabetes
  • sliced melon or grapefruit topped with unsweetened yogurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast
  • mix carrots, peas and green beans into your pasta bake
  • add an extra handful of peas to rice, spinach to lamb or onions to chicken
  • try mushrooms, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and lettuce for lower carb vegetable options
  • try avocados, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, peaches and watermelon for lower carb fruit options

Check out our recipes to help you eat a healthy diet for diabetes weve got lots of delicious main meals packed full of vegetables, and fruity breakfast options.

Glycaemic Index And Diabetes

Some carbohydrate foods release glucose into the bloodstream more quickly than others. Foods that produce a slower rise in blood glucose levels are described as having a low glycaemic index and can be helpful in blood glucose management.

Healthy carbohydrate foods that have a low GI include some high-fibre breads and cereals , pasta, basmati or low GI rice, quinoa, barley, most fruit, legumes and low-fat dairy products.

Aim to include at least one ‘low GI’ food per meal. Taking care with portion sizes is still important when eating low GI foods, as large servings of these foods can result in high blood glucose levels and weight gain.

Some low GI foods may be high in saturated fat, added sugar and energy for example, ice cream and chocolate. Always check the list of ingredients and the energy content of packaged foods. Foods with a GI of 55 and below are low GI foods.


The GI values of foods are only an average, and people will often react very differently to foods. People with diabetes are advised to self-monitor their blood glucose levels, before and 2 hours after starting a meal, to determine the effect of various foods on their own blood glucose levels.

Goal : Attain Normal Lab Results

Your physician will work with you to establish individual goals for blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Regular testing will help ensure that your diet plan, exercise strategies and medication, if necessary, are all working together to keep your blood sugar, lipids, blood pressure, and your body weight, in healthy ranges.

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Five Take Home Messages

  • Carbohydrates, whether sugary or starchy, raise your blood sugar more than any other foods.
  • Your diet should be high in fibre with plenty of fruit and vegetables, low in fat , low in sugar and low in salt.
  • Be mindful of the portion size of foods you eat – portions which are too large can contribute to weight gain and lead to poorer management of blood glucose levels.
  • If you’re overweight, aim for 5-10% weight loss – using a method you are likely to stick to.
  • ‘Diabetic foods’ offer no additional benefit above ‘normal’ foods and so are not advised.

Can You Control Type 2 Diabetes With Diet

15 Foods To Avoid If You Have Type 2 Diabetes

While one cant change their gene, it is possible to control type-2 diabetes and reach target blood sugar levels with the help of balanced nutrition and physical activity. The right dietary choices will help manage blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels while also keeping weight in check. Let us read about a seven days healthy Indian diet plan curated for Type 2 Diabetes.

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A Cautionary Word About Salt

Some people are sensitive to salt, which causes higher blood pressure when too much sodium is consumed. Since we have no way of testing who is salt-sensitive and who isnt, the best precaution is to limit salt and avoid sodium-containing foods if you may be at risk for high blood pressure.

Simply put, the excess salt in most peoples diets comes from processed foods, so check the package for sodium content. By adopting a diabetes diet that contains mostly whole foods, this issue will no longer present a problem. Also, foods that are flash frozen are as good as fresh.

Canned vegetables usually have added salt as a preservative. Your best bet when buying is to check the food labels for sodium content. Youll want to stay well below the upper recommended limit of 2,000 mg/day, and you can certainly look for low-sodium varieties of canned, and processed, prepackaged food products.

Carb Counting For Type 2 Diabetes

Carbohydrate counting is one approach that you can take to help manage your blood sugar levels. In carb counting, you add up the number of grams of carbohydrates that you eat during each meal.


With careful tracking, you can learn how many grams of carbohydrates you need to eat to maintain a safe blood sugar level while taking insulin injections. A doctor, nurse, or dietitian can help you get started.

Many foods contain carbohydrates, including:

  • wheat, rice, and other grains and grain-based foods
  • dried beans, lentils, and other legumes
  • potatoes and other starchy vegetables
  • fruit and fruit juice
  • milk and yogurt
  • processed snack foods, desserts, and sweetened beverages

There are many books and online resources that you can use to learn how many grams of carbohydrates are found in portions of common foods. You can also check the nutritional labels of packaged and processed foods.

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Various Fruits Impact On Blood Sugar Compared To Table Sugar

  • Prepare some chopped vegetables for an afternoon snack – for example, carrot, pepper or celery.
  • Add sliced fruit or berries to porridge oats for breakfast.
  • Choose 2-3 vegetables to add to each meal you cook – for example, onions and pepper to a stir-fry or curry.
  • Replace rice or pasta with raw spinach leaves or cauliflower rice .

Which Foods Fight Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Guide

These foods are high in the nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals, that protect against diabetes and other diseases.


Dark green leafy vegetables. Theyâre low in calories and carbs, and high in nutrition. They also have a low glycemic index, so theyâll help keep your blood sugar under control. And they contain magnesium, a mineral that helps your bodyâs insulin work like it should. Add spinach, kale, or collard greens to your salads, soups, and stews.

Berries. To satisfy your sweet tooth, pick berries. Theyâre loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Research shows that eating low-GI fruit as part of a low-glycemic diet can lower blood pressure and heart disease risk.

Fatty fish. Aim to eat fish twice a week. Fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, are packed with healthy omega-3 fats, which lower inflammation. They protect against heart disease and an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. For the biggest benefit, skip fried, breaded fish and serve it broiled, baked, or grilled.

Nuts. Research shows that eating nuts makes people with diabetes less likely to get heart disease. Theyâre full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber to keep you full and your blood sugar steady. Whether you prefer peanuts, almonds, or walnuts, snack on a handful of nuts at least three times a week.

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Patients Knowledge Regarding Dm

Among the patients, diabetes awareness and management are still the major challenges faced by stakeholders worldwide. Poor knowledge related to diabetes is reported in many studies from the developing countries. Some studies have suggested that the occurrence of diabetes is different in various ethnic groups. Knowledge is a requirement to achieve better compliance with medical therapy. According to a study conducted by Mohammadi patients knowledge and self-care management regarding DM was not sufficient. Low awareness of DM affects the outcome of diabetes. Another study conducted in Slovakia by Magurová compared two groups of patients . The results indicated that receiving diabetes education significantly increased awareness about the disease in patients . The study further concluded that having diabetes knowledge can notably improve patients quality of life and lessen the burden on their family. Dussa conducted a cross-sectional study on assessment of diabetes awareness in India. The study concluded that level of diabetes awareness among patients and general population was low. Another study conducted in India by Shah reported that 63% of T2DM patients did not know what DM is and the majority were also unaware about its complications.

Why Diet Is Important For Diabetics

What you eat has a direct impact on your glucose levels, making diet an incredibly important part of managingor even preventingdiabetes. A healthy diet, which includes what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat, can keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

In fact, studies show that while insulin or oral medications are often required to treat diabetes, good blood glucose level control is unlikely to occur with medicine alone and requires a healthy dietOlabiyi F, Oguntibeju O. The Role of Nutrition in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Mellitus Insights and Perspectives. 2013. .

While there are no forbidden foods, certain foods that are high in sugar can clearly raise your blood sugar levels and should be limited, says Ruth S. Horowitz, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Maryland.

Limiting the quantity of foods that have high glycemic content that raise glucose levels quickly, such as pasta, white rice, white potatoes, corn and large amounts of breads, will help keep glucose levels in control, says Dr. Horowitz.


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Sugar Intake And Diabetes

People with diabetes who follow a healthy eating pattern can include a small amount of sugar in their diet. However, the sugar should be eaten as part of a nutritious meal. For example, one teaspoon of honey with plain porridge, tinned fruit in natural juice and some types of high fibre breakfast cereals with dried fruit, such as natural muesli.

What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Diet, Foods that Control Blood Sugar Levels

Foods and drinks to limit include

  • fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
  • foods high in salt, also called sodium
  • sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
  • beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks

Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.

If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.


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Breakfast Ideas When You Have Diabetes

Diabetes wont stop you from enjoying your food, but knowing some simple hacks and swaps will help you choose healthier options and make planning your meals a little easier. These ideas may not look much different from what you eat already, and your favourite recipes and meals can usually be adapted to be healthier without you noticing too much difference.

Here are some healthy breakfast ideas to choose from:

  • a bowl of wholegrain cereal with milk
  • two slices of wholegrain toast with olive oil-based spread
  • a pot of natural unsweetened yogurt and fruit
  • two slices of avocado with a hardboiled egg.

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What Is The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables. This refers to the true Mediterranean pattern traditionally followed in the south of Italy and Greece, not “Americanized Italian,” which is heavy in pasta and bread. The Mediterranean pattern includes:

  • Lots of fresh vegetables
  • Some wine
  • Occasional meat and dairy

This pattern of eating is very nutrient-dense, meaning you get many vitamins, minerals, and other healthful nutrients for every calorie consumed. A very large recent study demonstrated that two versions of the Mediterranean diet improved diabetes control including better blood sugar and more weight loss. The two versions of the Mediterranean diet that were studied emphasized either more nuts or more olive oil. Since both were beneficial, a common-sense approach to adopting the Mediterranean diet would include both of these. For example, sprinkle chopped almonds on green beans or drizzle zucchini with olive oil, oregano, and hemp seeds.

What Are ‘good’ Food Swaps

Diet for Diabetics: Eat This to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

But there are some food that can help lower your blood sugar levels.

Dr Roxburgh said that snacks made from wholegrains are a good addition to the diet.

She added: “Potatoes are very high in carbs so arent usually counted as one of your 5 a day but if you want to eat potatoes, then new potatoes are better than old potatoes as they contain less starch.”


Dr Roxburgh also suggested keeping alcohol to within 14 units weekly with three or four days off drinking, and avoid alcohol on an empty stomach as this can also lead to hypos.

Dr Newman-Beinart said: “Reishi mushrooms are an important supper food to include in your wellness routine as they include beta-glucans and triterpenoids, which are compounds that can help lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels, reducing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.”

You can use Reishi mushrooms in different dishes as a powder – ideal for any one not a fan of their veggies.

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Simple Steps To Lowering Your Risk

Control your weight

Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven-fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.


Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7-10% of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.

Get movingand turn off the television

Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes. Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells. So trade some of your sit-time for fit-time.

Long bouts of hot, sweaty exercise arent necessary to reap this benefit. Findings from the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study suggest that walking briskly for a half hour every day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. More recently, The Black Womens Health Study reported similar diabetes-prevention benefits for brisk walking of more than 5 hours per week. This amount of exercise has a variety of other benefits as well. And even greater cardiovascular and other advantages can be attained by more, and more intense, exercise.

Tune Up Your Diet

Four dietary changes can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dont smoke

Light to moderate alcohol consumption

Mark Bittman’s Vb6 Diet

Being a part-time vegan is the secret to this plan’s success. “It’s one of my favorites,” says Jaclyn London, RD, senior dietitian at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.


“You’re choosing more plant-based foods, so you automatically wind up eating more fiber and less saturated fat and trans fat,” she says. “It’s just a generally healthy way of eating.”

The VB6 Diet also emphasizes being careful about where the small amounts of meat, fish, and dairy you eat are coming from. “It’s designed to restrict you so you make better choices when you do indulge,â London says. âYou’re saving up for that small piece of local, organic, grass-fed beef.”

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Common Foods Impact On Blood Sugar Compared To Table Sugar

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that healthcare professionals should “Encourage high-fibre, low-glycaemic-index sources of carbohydrate in the diet, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses.”

Where you do include carbohydrates in your diet, always opt for wholemeal or wholegrain ‘complex’ carbohydrates. These are absorbed more slowly into your system than refined carbs and do not tend to cause the same spikes in your blood sugar. In addition, they provide dietary fibre, which is important for gut health.


Dining Out When Managing Type 2 Diabetes

The Best and Worst Foods For Type 2 Diabetes

It can seem tough to navigate a menu when youre eating out, but its not impossible. Enjoy your time with friends and eat delicious food with these guidelines from Palinski-Wade.

Have an appetizer before you leave. Its tempting to save up calories throughout the day to help plan for a night out, but that approach can backfire. Youll be famished by the time you get there and less likely to make a healthy choice when you order. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go, like some nuts or a low-fat plain yogurt. This can help decrease hunger and prevent overeating, she says.

Visualize your plate. Ideally, your plate should look very similar to the way it does at home with a couple of small tweaks: ½ nonstarchy vegetables , ¼ lean protein, and ¼ whole grains. You want to be careful not to eat too many carbs at one sitting, and avoid meals packed with saturated fat, says Palinski-Wade.

Sip smart. Alcohol stokes your appetite, so if you do have alcohol , do so near the end of the meal. Limit it to one glass.

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