There is some good news when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes and diet. The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about what you can and can’t eat. Basically you can eat most things however some foods you will have to moderate as part of an overall healthy, balanced diet.
Your type 2 diabetes and diet needs to be realistic and manageable over the long term. It should try to achieve long term weight loss levels and healthy overall blood sugar levels. Ideally you should work to get yourself into a situation where your diet and exercise regime is so good that your diabetes goes into remission.
This is a subject that is close to my heart and one that I know can make a big difference in the life of type 2 diabetics across the globe. Through proper diet and a good exercise regime you can get yourself off diabetes medication including Metformin and insulin and live a healthy, normal life. It is all a matter of exercising your willpower and forming some new life long habits in the kitchen. To access the best ebook ever written on healthy, tasty type 2 diabetic recipes that was written by a 5 star chef you should start here.
An education in type 2 diabetes and diet
To get the most out of your diet you need to understand how different food impacts your blood sugar levels. The most crucial food group to understand is carbohydrates or carbs. Carbohydrates are a type of sugar, they are stored in your body and broken down into fuel for your body to function. They are found in pasta, bread, rice, fruit, grain and anything with sugar in it.
You will need to manage your diet and match it against the amount of physical activity or exercise that you undertake on any given day. This will require some initial calculating on your part and you may need to formulate a plan with a dietitian initially. If you eat too much food, especially food that is high in calories and you do not burn it off via exercise, those excess calories will lead to weight gain which is especially dangerous for diabetics.
It doesn’t have to be hard work
Managing your type 2 diabetes and diet does not have to be a painful process by any means. In fact you can still eat some of the naughty foods that you love, so long as it is part of an overall healthy, balanced diet. Your diet should have a good balance of healthy carbs, protein and fat. The main point of your diet is to get your blood sugar levels into an optimal target zone in order to keep them well maintained.
Type 2 diabetes and diet can be managed so that, with the addition of exercise, you can limit insulin resistance in your body and therefore manage your blood sugar levels effectively.
What’s in our food?
Carbohydrates gives your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. They also have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels so they need to be monitored very closely. Carbs come in two forms, simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are something like sugar that requires little effort to be converted into energy by your body. Complex carbs take longer for your body to absorb and digest therefore they give you a slower release of fuel. Complex carbs include vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruit and beans.
You should include a small amount of carbs in each meal. You should look to eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. For the record one serve is equal to about half a cup of vegetables.
If you eat more carbs than the insulin supply in your body then your blood sugar levels are going to increase and vice versa. Carb counting is a common method of planning and managing the carbs you intend to eat. Please see my blog post about carb counting here.
In a nutshell, saturated and trans fats should be limited, this is because diabetics are more susceptible to heart disease. Please see my blog post on diabetes and heart disease here.
Fats are essential for healthy living. You should focus on eating healthy fats or unsaturated fats, although it important to remember that if you eat too much fat, be it good or bad fat, you may see yourself gain excess weight. You should focus on polyunsaturated fats which includes omega 3 found in fatty fish. Monounsaturated fats are also good for you, these are found in some nuts and in avocados.
Saturated fats are found in animal products such as steak, lamb, cheese and dairy products. To limit the amount of fat in your diet you should choose lean cuts of eat and restrict fried and fast food.
Foods high in protein include meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, eggs, and soy foods. Diabetics should focus on eating more fish and poultry to keep weight and cholesterol levels under control. If you are going to eat meat then you should trim the fat off it and bake, roast or grill it where possible. If you are shallow frying something you should use healthy oils such as olive oil. You should rarely deep fry anything you eat.
A quick word on alcohol
I like a drink and probably drink more than I should. For the record a glass of red with an evening meal is considered to be healthy. Binge drink is not. We are all human and we all like to socialise but you do need to understand the effects alcohol has on the body. Please see my blog post about the best alcohol choices for diabetics here.
See a dietitian
To get your type 2 diabetes and diet under control it is highly advisable that you see a dietitian. Many diabetes centres let you book in for a consultation with a dietitian free of charge so you really don’t have any excuses. Your dietitian should be able to get the most out of your diet and put you on course to effectively manage your diabetes. It will only be a matter of following the instructions laid out and forming some new lifestyle habits.
Buy this eBook for the best recipes
This eBook that I am recommending on this blog post is written by a type 2 diabetic who just so happens to be a 5 star chef. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it really rocked his world. Ultimately he decided to use his disease as a reason to help others. He developed some incredible meals and has shared this with others. In fact he worked so hard on finding healthy, tasty recipes that his type 2 diabetes went into full remission. I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of this award winning eBook, it might just save your life.
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to diets
These days there are so many diets out there and a number of them I have reviewed for you free of charge on this website. A diet that gets a lot of attention inside diabetes circles and out is the Atkins diet. This focuses primarily on your intake of carbs and may make a lot of sense for diabetics. please see my blog post on the Atkins diet here.
The Paleo diet is also getting a lot of coverage in the media these days. The paleo diet focuses on man’s diet when he lived in the caves and how a number of the diseases we see today including diabetes were not around back then due to the unprocessed food early man ate. Please see my blog post about the paleo diet here.
As I have mentioned many times, it is possible to manage your type 2 diabetes and diet to a level where your diabetes goes into remission and you can take yourself off any medication that you are on. It is all a matter of forming some healthy new habits. Getting off your medication is ideal although it may not be feasible for all type 2 diabetics especially if you have had your disease for some years. Ultimately your diet and your exercise regime is going to determine your quality of life and your longevity.
If you have has success managing your type 2 diabetes and diet I would love to hear from you below…