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Dieting with diabetes – For your health

Diabetic diet? No! I am not talking about a diet with no sweet or luxury items; I am talking about a suitable, healthy type 2 diabetes diet with plenty of nutrients, proteins, minerals, and carbs in it. By bringing your glucose levels down by as little as one point, there is an excellent chance of preventing you from suffering something like Kidney failure or Blindness.

It is of the highest importance that when you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, you take great care of your body and how your body reacts to certain situations and foods. You cannot take anything for granted, but is that not what we all do? Well, now is the time to make a change to your lifestyle.

Related: The ultimate complete diabetes fitness and exercise guide

You may think that I sound like your mother, ordering you about, telling you what to do. Maybe I sound like your mother, but is it not always said that ‘moms know best? I am a mom. I should know. I am the same with my children, making sure they eat the best foods to keep them healthy.

diabetes dieting

Recommended foods for diabetics

Have a balanced diet with the following healthy eatables:

  • Good Carbs: to have a healthy diet, one should include carbohydrate-rich foods in their daily intakes, such as grains, vegetables, and lots of fruits. This would ensure that both simple and complex carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion.
  • Dietary Fibers:  foods such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains add the required amount of fiber to your diet. Fiber is the cellulose part of the food that cannot be digested by the human body and thus helps in preventing constipation and heart problems.
  • Fish: Adding a good amount of heart-healthy fish to your diet is a good idea. Low cholesterol fish is a good substitute for other meat products such as chicken and beef. Fish such as cod and tuna have less fat content, whereas salmon and herring have more good healthy heart-friendly fats such as omega 3 fatty acids. Fish should ideally be eaten two times in a week. Fish with a greater amount of mercury should be taken in significantly fewer amounts.
  • Unsaturated fats: These fats are considered good fats. Be they monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and both decrease the cholesterol in the body. These fats are found in dry fruits, olives, and avocados. But one should remember that all kinds of fats have high calories.

diabetic foods to avoid

Foods to avoid at all costs

The development of diabetes makes one more prone to heart diseases. This effect is mainly because there is an increased accumulation of cholesterol and the arteries become rigid. The following foods make you more prone to developing heart problems.

  • Saturated fats. One should only include about 7 percent of these into the diabetic meal plan. Foods such as beef, sausages, and other high-protein animal products have increased saturated fats.
  • Trans Fats. These are the kind of fats that should be avoided. Food products with this kind of fat are bakery products, snacks, and shortenings used in baking.
  • Cholesterol. One should not have more than 200mg of cholesterol. Foods such as animal proteins and dairy products have these.
  • Sodium. One should include about 2000 mg of sodium in the diet per day.

Just because you are on a diabetic eating plan does not mean that you have to compromise on taste, texture, enjoyability, and extravagance by any stretch of the imagination. Just beware of what you put into your body and what it will do.

Eating right for type 2 diabetes from now on!

For you as a type 2 diabetic, the topic of “eating right” is another critical factor influencing the success of your treatment. With a diabetes-appropriate diet, you lay the foundation for your diabetes treatment and prevent long-term secondary diseases. Therefore, it can be essential for you to as a person with diabetes to rethink previous structures and habits around eating and replace them with new, healthy eating behavior. Therefore, you should seek detailed advice from your doctor, a nutritionist, or in the context of special patient training courses.

For many type 2 diabetics, diet is also about losing weight. A healthy body weight improves your blood sugar levels and your blood pressure and blood lipid levels. That’s why a low-fat, balanced diet is an essential part of treatment, especially for overweight people with type 2 diabetes. In particular, you should keep an eye on hidden fats in sausage, meat, cheese, sauces, convenience foods, sweets, and cakes or pastries. However, it would be best not to eliminate them from your diet but consume them with caution. Your diabetes-friendly diet is not about strict commandments or prohibitions but rather about becoming aware of which eating behaviors and foods support your health and integrating them into your daily routine.

In this respect, it can be called in the future for example:
Only 1 x per month to the snack instead of never again snack
1 x per week healthy muesli instead of always muesli in the morning
One bar of chocolate per week instead of never having chocolate again

Nutrition guide: food pyramid gives people with diabetes a quick overview
Which foods are right for you?

With the help of a nutrition pyramid, we have divided common foods into different classes for you. The lower the food is in the pyramid, the more frequently you consume it. In this way, you can quickly and easily see which foods are suitable for you and which are rather unsuitable. You should consume foods from each food group for a balanced diet. Check out the Diabetes food pyramid below:

diabetic food pyramid

General nutrition tips for type 2 diabetics

Reduce your excess weight slowly but permanently by reducing calories.

As a type 2 diabetic, you should calculate your diet by calories instead of bread units (bread units are critical in type 1 diabetes).
Do not go on a diet in the classic sense. “Get full without giving up” is the motto! Large quantities of “green” foods are beneficial, for example.
Give preference to fiber-rich foods, such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal flour, or legumes. They satiate longer, slow the rise in blood sugar, and positively affect blood lipids.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water and unsweetened tea. If possible, you should avoid alcohol almost completely.
Give preference to vegetable fats; they positively affect the cardiovascular system. If possible, keep fixed times and places for your meals.
If possible, eat only three main meals per day and choose fruit and raw vegetables as snacks. Do not eat sweets when you are hungry, but only after meals.

Avoid sugar, choose carbohydrates consciously

Both for successful weight loss and in terms of after-dinner blood sugar, it makes sense to eat plenty of vegetables and salads and avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and sweets.

People with type 2 diabetes who are of normal weight should not continue to lose weight. In slim type 2 diabetics, the body usually produces very little insulin of its own. If blood sugar-lowering medication is not yet being taken, it can be helpful to keep the amount of carbohydrates per meal low. Carbohydrates have the greatest influence on blood sugar. Beverages sweetened with sugar cause a rapid, sharp rise in blood sugar. In contrast, digestion of less processed carbohydrate-rich foods takes longer. Accordingly, blood sugar rises more slowly and not as sharply, especially when combined with fat and protein. Choose low-processed foods, whole-grain products with a high percentage of whole grains, and unsweetened foods. This helps avoid major blood sugar fluctuations.

Our table tells you which foods you can swap out to put less stress on your blood sugar.

Swap for
Sweetened tea or coffee Unsweetened tea, coffee or water
Fruit juice or fruit juice drink Unprocessed fruits and raw vegetables, e.g., tomato, cucumber, bell bell pepper, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes
Light-colored rolls, white bread, light-colored toast Whole-grain bread, rolls
Sweetened muesli or flakes Unsweetened muesli, unsweetened cornflakes, whole grain cereal flakes
Nougat cream Small portion of jam in combination with low-fat curd cheese or cheese
High-sugar fruit such as bananas, grapes Small portions of low-sugar fruit, e.g. kiwi, berries, orange
Fruit yogurt, cottage cheese Low-fat natural yogurt, cottage cheese with fruit
Large portion of pasta, rice, potatoes Small portion of potatoes, whole-grain pasta or rice

Whether you eat a vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet – your personal likes and dislikes of certain foods and your eating habits naturally play an important role and should be taken into account in any case. After all, this is the only way to permanently adjust your diet.

If the special carbohydrate selection does not lead to blood glucose levels in the target range in normal-weight people with type 2 diabetes, the use of blood glucose-lowering tablets or insulin is necessary.

And be patient with yourself. Cherished eating habits that you may have practiced for decades can’t necessarily be jettisoned overnight. It’s a process that can take months to years. Allow for relapses and crises, but try to stay on the ball. It is worth it in any case. To accompany a lifestyle change, it makes sense to get professional support and make use of qualified nutritional counseling. The professional has the time and the competence to develop a strategy with you that suits you best. In addition, she is there when it comes to maintaining a reduced weight.


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