A Healthy Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Everyone needs a consistently healthy diet but such a diet is even more important to diabetics. Having a proper meal plan using a diabetes diet for type 2 diabetes can certainly help to make sure that the blood glucose level is easier to keep under control. So, what can be considered as a proper meal plan for type 2 diabetes? What quantities of the various food groups ought to be eaten?
Together with a consultation with a dietitian, this guide ought to explain and provide sufficient information on nutrition for diabetics.
A Type 2 Diabetes Diet with Fiber and Carbohydrates
There are three main types of foods, which are fats, proteins and carbohydrates, in a diet for type 2 diabetics. Carbohydrates give energy to the body when they are broken down into glucose which is a type of sugar that the cells of the body depend upon as their main energy source.
Carbohydrates can be classified as simple as well as complex. Sugars such as fructose, lactose, sucrose and glucose are known as simple carbohydrates. All these sugars are available in fruits and refined sugar. Starches from vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans, which are actually simple sugars which have been chemically bonded together, are the complex carbohydrates. Due to the fact that they contain plenty of fiber and are slowly digested by the body to give the cells a steady energy source, complex carbohydrates are certainly healthier than simple carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, not proteins or fats, affects your blood glucose level soon after being digested when they enter your bloodstream as glucose.
Below are the groups of food which contain the most carbohydrates.
- Yogurt and milk
- Pasta, rice, cereal and bread
- Starchy vegetables such as beans, corn, and potatoes
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How Much Fiber Should I Eat?
In plant foods, there is an indigestible part which is known to us as fiber. It is an essential component of our diet as it assists in the movement of foods through our digestive tract, and helps our stool to move easily along the bowel by giving it bulk. Furthermore, a high fiber diet has been found to reduce the possibility of strokes, heart disease, hypertension and obesity occurring.
Fiber can also:
- Slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, giving better control over blood glucose levels.
- Attach to cholesterol and help to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
- Provide plenty of minerals and vitamins.
- Assist in the prevention of constipation as well as lessen the possibility of getting particular disorders of the intestines.
- Help weight loss by decreasing intake of caloric since it increases the bulk of the food in the stomach to make you full with less calories.
All Americans ought to consume fiber totaling approximately 30 grams each day. Below are fiber-rich foods which can be used in your diet for type 2 diabetics to help you get even more fiber:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Dried peas and beans which have been cooked
- Crackers, cereals, and whole grain breads
- Wild and brown rice
- Products from bran
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Type 2 Diabetes Diet and fat
The possibility of getting heart disease is greater when diabetes is present. As such, foods with less fat, particularly saturated fat, ought to be the choice of diabetics in order to lower the risk as much as possible. Besides, reducing the consumption of fat and lowering the calories can help weight loss if exercise is also done regularly.
Most of the saturated fats in our foods are from baked foods, milk, beef, and cheese. Another type of fat which are contributing factors to heart disease are trans fats. They are vegetables which have been processed into solid oils and are used in frying and baking.
Below are several guidelines for choosing and cooking foods which are low in fat suitable for a diet for type 2 diabetics:
- Choose plant-based proteins, red meats which are lean, fish, and poultry. Frying is not a good method for cooking them. Boiling, roasting, grilling, broiling, and baking ought to be used.
- Choose nonfat or low-fat dairy products like skim milk, evaporated skim milk, buttermilk, and nonfat yogurt. Dairy products have to be included in each day’s carbohydrate count.
- Either use cholesterol-lowering margarine which contains sterols or stanols such as Take Control, Smart Balance, Earth Balance and Benecol or a vegetable cooking spray which is low in fat when cooking.
- Liquid vegetable oils which have mono- or polyunsaturated fats in their contents ought to be used as they assist in reducing ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
- Choose salad dressings, gravies and margarine which has less fat and you need to do carbohydrate counting on these dressings and condiments.
- Although all vegetables and fruits are the right low-fat choices, you have to include them in each day’s carbohydrate count.
Further information on the selection and preparation of low-fat foods can be obtained from a registered dietitian.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet and Salt
The possibility of getting hypertension rises with diabetes. Consuming excessive sodium or salt makes the risk even greater. Your dietitian or doctor may advice you to avoid or reduce the following foods which contain lots of salt:
- Salt and all salt seasonings
- Pasta, rice or potatoes mixed together in a box
- Meats which come in a can
- Canned vegetables and soups which contain salt
- Processed or cured foods
- Salad dressings, mustard, ketchup , and other canned sauces and spread
- Packaged sauces, gravies and soups
- Pickled foods
- Processed meats such as ham, bacon sausage and lunch meat
- Snack foods with excessive salt
- MSG or monosodium glutamate
- Steak and soy sauces
Tips for Low-Salt Cooking
- Use food with no added salt and/or fresh ingredients.
- You can replace the salt you normally use with other ingredients in your favorite recipes.
- For meat marinades, use pineapple juice or orange instead of salt.
- Try not to use convenience foods like sauce, pudding and gravy mixes, instant cereals, frozen dinners, rice and pasta mixes, as well as canned foods such as vegetables, entrees, and soups.
- Choose frozen entrees which have less than 600 mg of sodium. You also need to check the food label to know the sodium content. Even with less than 600 mg. of sodium in each entrée, you still have to limit yourself to only one entree each day.
- Use canned vegetables with no added salt, which are fresh and frozen, or remove as much of the salt as possible from canned vegetables before using them for cooking.
- Do not use spice blends like garlic and salt and seasonings that have salt in them. Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include salt, such as garlic salt.
The Seasonings You Can Use To Replace Salt
To improve the natural tastes of food, spices and herbs can be used instead of salt. Below are some blends which can be used for salads, soups, vegetables, fish, poultry, and meats.
- 2 tbsp savory, dried and crumbled
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 2½ tsp onion powders
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp white pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp lemon rind, powdered or lemon juice, dehydrated
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- A pinch pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp oregano leaves, dried and crumbled
- 2 tbsp basil leaves, dried and crumbled or dill weed, dried
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed