What foods are good for type 2 diabetes: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Diabetic Food List: Best and Worst Choices
Your food choices matter a lot when you’ve got diabetes. Some are better than others.
Nothing is completely off-limits. Even items that you might think of as “the worst” could be occasional treats — in tiny amounts. But they won’t help you nutrition-wise, and it’s easiest to manage your diabetes if you mainly stick to the “best” options.
Your body needs carbs. But you want to choose wisely. Use this list as a guide.
- Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth
- Baked sweet potato
- Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar
- Processed grains, such as white rice or white flour
- Cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar
- White bread
- French fries
- Fried white-flour tortillas
Load up! You’ll get fiber and very little fat or salt (unless you add them). Remember, potatoes and corn count as carbs.
- Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled
- Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed
- Greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. Iceberg lettuce is not as great because it’s low in nutrients.
- Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables
Go for a variety of colors: dark greens, red or orange (think of carrots or red peppers), whites (onions) and even purple (eggplants). The 2015 U.S. guidelines recommend 2.5 cups of veggies per day.
- Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium
- Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce
- Pickles, if you need to limit sodium. Otherwise, pickles are OK.
- Sauerkraut, for the same reason as pickles. Limit them if you have high blood pressure.
They give you carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Most are naturally low in fat and sodium. But they tend to have more carbs than vegetables do.
- Fresh fruit
- Plain frozen fruit or fruit canned without added sugar
- Sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves
- No-sugar-added applesauce
- Canned fruit with heavy sugar syrup
- Chewy fruit rolls
- Regular jam, jelly, and preserves (unless you have a very small portion)
- Sweetened applesauce
- Fruit punch, fruit drinks, fruit juice drinks
You have lots of choices, including beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, seafood, beans, cheese, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
The American Diabetes Association lists these as the top options:
- Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu
- Fish and seafood
- Chicken and other poultry (Choose the breast meat if possible.)
- Eggs and low-fat dairy
If you eat meat, keep it low in fat. Trim the skin off of poultry.
Try to include some plant-based protein from beans, nuts, or tofu, even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan. You’ll get nutrients and fiber that aren’t in animal products.
- Fried meats
- Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs
- Pork bacon
- Regular cheeses
- Poultry with skin
- Deep-fried fish
- Deep-fried tofu
- Beans prepared with lard
Keep it low in fat. If you want to splurge, keep your portion small.
- 1% or skim milk
- Low-fat yogurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Low-fat or nonfat sour cream
- Whole milk
- Regular yogurt
- Regular cottage cheese
- Regular sour cream
- Regular ice cream
- Regular half-and-half
Fats, Oils, and Sweets
They’re tough to resist. But it’s easy to get too much and gain weight, which makes it harder to manage your diabetes.
- Natural sources of vegetable fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados (high in calories, so keep portions small)
- Foods that give you omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel
- Plant-based oils, such as canola, grapeseed, or olive oils
- Anything with trans fat in it. It’s bad for your heart. Check the ingredient list for anything that’s “partially hydrogenated,” even if the label says it has 0 grams of trans fat.
- Big portions of saturated fats, which mainly come from animal products but also are in coconut oil and palm oil. Ask your doctor what your limit should be, especially if you have heart disease as well as diabetes.
When you down a favorite drink, you may get more calories, sugar, salt, or fat than you bargained for. Read the labels so you know what’s in a serving.
- Unflavored water or flavored sparkling water
- Unsweetened tea with or without a slice of lemon
- Light beer, small amounts of wine, or non-fruity mixed drinks
- Coffee, black or with added low-fat milk and sugar substitute
- Regular sodas
- Regular beer, fruity mixed drinks, dessert wines
- Sweetened tea
- Coffee with sugar and cream
- Flavored coffees and chocolate drinks
- Energy drinks
The Best and Worst Foods for Type 2 Diabetes
The Best and Worst Type 2 Diabetes Choices by Food Group
As you pick the best foods for type 2 diabetes, here’s a helpful guideline from the NIDDK to keep in mind: Fill one-half your plate (use a 9-inch dish for reference) with nonstarchy vegetables. One-fourth of your plate should feature your protein (such as meat or a plant-based source), and the final fourth should include a grain or other starch, such as starchy vegetables, a piece of fruit, or a small glass of milk.
Because processed and sugary foods are unhealthy carbs, limit them in your diabetes diet, says Massey. That includes soda, candy, and other packaged or processed snacks, such as corn chips, potato chips, and the like. And while artificial sweeteners like those found in diet sodas won’t necessarily spike your blood sugar in the same way as white sugar, they could still have an effect on your blood sugar and even alter your body’s insulin response.
A previous study found that when 17 obese, non-insulin-resistant people ingested a beverage treated with the artificial sweetener sucralose (sold as Splenda) before taking a standardized dose of glucose, their blood sugar and insulin levels rose more than when they drank plain water. On the other hand, a meta-analysis published May 2018 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that artificial sweeteners didn’t increase blood sugar levels. More research is needed to determine how artificial sweeteners affect people with diabetes.
For now, here’s what you need to know about choosing the most diabetes-friendly foods from each food group.
RELATED: 9 Sugar Substitutes to Consider When Managing Type 2 Diabetes
What Foods High in Protein Are Good for Type 2 Diabetes?
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends lean proteins low in saturated fat for people with diabetes. If you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, getting enough and the right balance of protein may be more challenging, but you can rely on foods like beans (dried or canned beans, and bean products like hummus and falafel), nuts and nut spreads, tempeh, and tofu to get your fix, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Just be sure to keep portion size in mind when snacking on nuts, as they are also high in fat and calories, according to Harvard Health. The American Heart Association (AHA) counts a small handful (roughly 1. 5 ounces) of whole nuts as one serving. If you opt for unsalted almonds, 1.5 ounces will provide 258 calories and nearly 23 g of fat, per estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Meanwhile, processed or packaged foods should be avoided or limited in your diabetes diet because, in addition to added sugars and processed carbohydrates, these foods are often high in sodium, according to the AHA. Getting too much sodium in your diet can increase your blood pressure and, in turn, the risk of heart disease or stroke, notes Harvard Health. And heart disease and stroke are two common complications of diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s important to keep your blood pressure in check when managing diabetes.
In addition to getting enough fiber, incorporating protein-rich foods in your diet can help keep you satiated and promote weight loss, per a past review. Losing just 5 percent of body weight has been shown to improve blood sugar control in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to a review published June 2014 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
Best options, according to the ADA:
- Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, Albacore tuna, mackerel, and rainbow trout
- Shellfish, including clams, crab, imitation shellfish, lobster, scallops, shrimps, and oysters
- Skinless turkey
- Skinless chicken
- Beans and legumes
- Cottage cheese
- Nuts and nut spreads, like almond butter (in moderation)
- Whole eggs
Worst options, per the Mayo Clinic, the ADA, and the NIDDK:
- Many deli meats, like bologna, salami, ham, and roast beef (turkey is an acceptable option)
- Hot dogs
- Sausages and pepperoni
- Beef jerky
- Sweetened or flavored nuts, like honey-roasted or spicy
- Sweetened protein shakes or smoothies
RELATED: 7 Immune-Boosting Foods for People With Diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, not all carbs are off-limits if you’re managing diabetes. In fact, the ADA recommends vitamin-rich whole grains in a healthy diabetes diet. These foods contain fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber can also promote feelings of fullness, preventing you from reaching for unhealthy snacks, and it can help slow the rise of blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. Plus, whole grains contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are healthy for anyone, regardless of diabetes status.
On the other hand, grains in the form of popular foods such as white bread, as well as sugary, processed, or packaged grains, should be avoided or limited to help prevent unwanted blood sugar spikes. Also, while some refined white flour is enriched — meaning B vitamins and iron that were removed during the milling process get added back in — it doesn’t contain the fiber that whole grains do, warns the USDA. Dietary fiber slows the breakdown of starch (a type of carb) into glucose (sugar), which helps keep blood sugar levels steady, explains the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Just keep in mind that while Harvard lists whole grains as one of the healthiest sources of carbs, it’s still important to keep tabs on your overall carb count and practice portion control to keep your blood sugar level steady, according to the NIDDK.
Best options (in moderation), per the ADA and the NIDDK:
- Wild or brown rice
- Whole-grain breads, such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread (check that each slice offers at least 3 g of fiber)
- Whole-grain cereal, such as steel-cut oats
- Whole-wheat pasta
Worst options, per the Mayo Clinic and the ADA:
- White bread
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- White rice
- White pasta
RELATED: How Do You Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs?
Which Types of Dairy Can People With Diabetes Eat?
When picked well and eaten in moderation, dairy can be a great choice for people with diabetes. In fact, a review published September 2017 in Nutrients revealed that dairy products such as milk and yogurt offer protective benefits against type 2 diabetes. Whenever possible, opt for low-fat and fat-free dairy options to keep calories down, and unhealthy saturated fats at bay. Also, try to avoid flavored dairy, such as milks and yogurt, without added sugar.
Best options, per the ADA and the Mayo Clinic:
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Unsweetened soy milk
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Nonfat, low-sodium cottage cheese
- Reduced-fat cheese (in moderation)
- Nonfat, unsweetened kefir
- Skim milk
Worst options, as the ADA’s pages on healthy fats and superfoods, and the Mayo Clinic note:
- Full-fat or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk, especially chocolate or other flavored milks
- Full-fat or reduced-fat cottage cheese
- Full-fat or sweetened yogurt
- Full-fat cheese
- Full-fat, sweetened kefir
RELATED: Yogurt for Diabetes: Is One Type Better Than Another?
What Vegetables Are Good for People With Diabetes and Which Aren’t?
Vegetables are an important food group to include in any healthy diet, and a diabetes diet is no exception. Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients, and nonstarchy varieties are low in carbohydrates — a win for people with diabetes who want to gain control over their blood sugar level, Massey says.
As for packaging, frozen veggies without sauce are just as nutritious as fresh, and even low-sodium canned veggies can be a good choice if you’re in a pinch. Just be sure to watch your sodium intake to avoid high blood pressure, and consider draining and rinsing salted canned veggies before eating, per the ADA. If possible, opt for low-sodium or sodium-free canned veggies if going that route.
Follow this general rule: Aim to fill one-half your plate with nonstarchy veggies, as recommended by the NIDDK. And if you’re craving mashed white potatoes, try mashed cauliflower, Massey suggests.
Best veggie options, according to the ADA:
- Greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
- Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
- Artichoke hearts
RELATED: What’s the Best Way to Prep Veggies if You Have Diabetes?
Aim to fill one-quarter your plate with starchy veggies, which count toward your daily carb goal.
Veggies to enjoy in moderation, as the ADA notes:
RELATED: Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes: How Do They Compare?
What Fruits Are Good for Diabetes and Which Should You Avoid?
Fruit often gets a bad rap due to its carb content, but this food group can actually be great in a diabetes diet when chosen wisely and eaten in moderation. In particular, fruit can be a great replacement for unhealthy processed sweets, such as pastries, cakes, and cookies, while providing disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and satiating fiber to boot.
But just as with grains, it’s important to roll out your carb-counting skills when noshing on nature’s candy. The ADA notes that a small piece of whole fruit or ½ cup of canned or frozen fruit typically contains 15 g of carbs, while fruit juice — a less ideal source of fruit for diabetes — can have that much in 1/3 to ½ cup.
Also, dried fruit may not be the best way to get your fix. Because so much water is removed, a serving of this variety is much smaller and usually less filling than whole fruit — the ADA warns that just 2 tablespoons of raisins contains the same 15 g that a small piece of whole fruit contains!
Same goes for canned fruit: This variety often contains sugary syrup at a high concentration, which should be avoided at all costs. Instead, look for terms like “packed in its own juices,” “unsweetened,” or “no added sugar,” the ADA says. Trendy juices are similarly less than ideal, as they’re stripped of the beneficial fiber that you’d find in whole fruit with the skin on.
But some pleasant news: When consumed in moderation and made with whole ingredients and no added sugar, fruit smoothies can be a good food for diabetes. Consider stocking your fridge with unsweetened frozen fruit so you can whip up one in a hurry for breakfast, and in each smoothie add no more than 1 cup of fruit to keep carbs under control. Adding ingredients with protein, such as yogurt or a small amount of nut butter, will also help your body break down the carbohydrates more slowly, leading to less of a spike in blood sugar.
When in doubt, consult the glycemic load (a scale that can help you measure how much a serving of a certain food is likely to spike your blood sugar) to pick a diabetes-friendly fruit. Your healthcare team can also help you safely incorporate fruit in your diabetes diet.
You have many fruit choices at your disposal, according to the ADA. Best options for fruit include:
- Berries, like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
- Apples with the skin on
- Peaches with the skin on
- Tart cherries
- Apricots with the skin on
- Pears with the skin on
Worst options, as the NIDDK and the ADA point out:
- Dried fruit
- Packaged juices
- Canned fruit in syrup
RELATED: The Best Fiber-Rich Foods for People With Diabetes
What Sources of Fat Are Good and Bad for Diabetes?
Fat is not the enemy! In truth, getting enough of the right kind of fat can ultimately help you lower insulin resistance and attain better control over your blood sugar, according to a meta-analysis published July 2016 in PLoS Medicine. The key is knowing how to tell good fat from bad fat.
The monounsaturated fats found in avocados, almonds, and pecans or the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and sunflower oil, which can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, are great picks when eating for type 2 diabetes, according to the ADA.
Meanwhile, saturated fats and trans fats can harm your heart and overall health, according to the AHA. To spot trans fats, look for the term “hydrogenated,” or “partially hydrogenated oils” on labels of processed foods, such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers. “I always tell my clients to double-check the ingredient list to make sure they don’t see any partially hydrogenated oil in their food products,” Massey says.
Best options, per the ADA:
- Nuts, like almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts
- Nut butters
- Plant-based oils, like soybean oil, corn oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil
- Seeds, like flaxseed and chia seed
- Fish, like salmon and tuna
RELATED: 5 ‘Low-Fat’ Foods That Are Making It Harder to Control Diabetes
Worst options, per the ADA:
- Fast food
- Beef, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, spareribs, and salt pork
- Full-fat dairy products
- Coconut and palm oil
- Packaged snacks, like crackers, corn chips, and potato chips
- Processed sweets, like doughnuts, cakes, cookies, and muffins
- Stick margarine and butter
Additional reporting by Lauren Bedosky.
For more on eating healthily while living with diabetes, check out Diabetes Daily’s article “How to Have a Healthy Relationship With Food!”
Diabetes Diet: The Best Way to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes—or even prediabetes—usually means the doctor has suggested that you make some changes to your diet or the diet of someone you care for. This is a good time to become wiser about how you are eating on a regular basis.
Fortunately, following a diabetes diet doesn’t mean giving up the joy of eating or avoiding your favorite foods and special family meals. You can still enjoy “pizza night,” celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and partake in holiday meals and vacation dining. This is more about your routine daily food choices and meal planning.
Use the four sections of a plate as a guide when planning healthy meals for someone with diabetes. Photo: 123RF
Eating to beat diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.1
What Should You Eat If You Have Diabetes?
In truth, a diet aimed at reducing the risks of diabetes is really nothing more than a nutritionally-balanced meal plan aimed at supporting maintaining blood sugar levels within range and supporting a healthy weight.
For those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, the main focus of a diabetes-focused diet is being attentive to your weight. That said, a diabetic diet is simply an eating approach that works to keep you healthy, and so is not reserved only for people with diabetes. Your whole family can enjoy the same meals and snacks, regardless of whether others have diabetes or not.
Yes—There are a few food decisions that will matter more if you do have diabetes. We provide you with some general guidelines to help you understand how much and how often to eat in order to maintain steady blood sugar levels. And, these recommendations hold true for anyone who has diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes and gestational diabetes.
Diet really does matter, a lot!
In fact, if you were recently diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, by decreasing your weight by about 10%, you may even reverse your diabetes, putting it into remission.
Adopting a Diabetes Diet Plan for Long-Term Health
By becoming a bit more savvy about the effect that foods, especially carbs, can have on your blood sugar, you will want to know how and why to adjust your food choices; you can feel so much better in the process.
It may ease your mind to know you will be able to incorporate your favorite foods into a healthy diet while being mindful of your diabetes diet goals (eg, healthy weight, steady blood glucose levels, good blood pressure). Check out our type 2 diabetes diet sheet for an idea of the variety of delicious and balanced meals that can fit into a diabetic meal plan. For many people, at least initially, this may seem harder than it should be and that’s understandable; after all, it can seem very, very challenging to change current eating habits and find the right food rhythm to fit your lifestyle.
You don’t have to go it alone—Seek advice from a registered dietitian (RD) or certified diabetes educator (CDE) who has the right training to help you come up with an individualized meal plan that will help you meet your self-management goals, get the nutrition you need, and show you how you can incorporate some of your favorite foods into your diet so that you continue to enjoy eating. Hopefully, your doctor has someone on the team, but if not, call your health insurer to ask for the names of a few in-network RD/CDEs.
There are also virtual coaching programs that appear very effective; this means you can get individualized dietary guidance at home or at work. Most health insurance companies will cover the cost of diabetic diet counseling so ask your doctor for a prescription so cost doesn’t hold you back.
“While the idea of changing your diet can be confusing and overwhelming at first, research shows that making healthy lifestyle choices can help you manage your blood sugar levels in the short term and may even prevent many of the long-term health complications associated with diabetes,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, and author of The Diabetes Cookbook and Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed.
Although you can include most foods in a diabetic diet, you do need to pay most attention to particularly to the types of carbohydrates you choose in order to prevent spikes, or unhealthy increases, in your blood sugar.
Foods high in simple carbohydrates—mostly from added sugars (ie, cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey) and refined grains (especially white flour and white rice)—as foods containing these ingredients will cause your blood sugar levels to rise more quickly than foods that contain fiber, such as 100% whole wheat and oats.
“Everyone is different and, ultimately, you know best how your body responds to different types of foods, so you may have to make individual adjustments when cooking at home, eating out, or attending celebrations,” Ms. Zanini points out. “You may find that some processed, high-carb foods, like commercial breakfast cereals and plain white rice, are just too “spiky” for you and it’s best to stay away from them and find reasonable substitutes.”
Diabetic Diet: All About Making Calculated Food Choices
There are different types of diabetes, determined mainly by your body’s ability to produce and use insulin—the hormone necessary for getting sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it is used to produce energy.
The symptoms of all types of diabetes are similar, so the steps you need to take to control your blood sugar remain the same. Your diet plays a very critical role in managing your diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels stable throughout your lifetime. You are in control of what you eat, so this is one area you can and should learn to manage wisely.
For people with type 2 diabetes, your pancreas produces plenty of insulin that is not sensed by the cells so your body is unable to properly use the insulin you make. Usually, type 2 diabetes can be controlled well with lifestyle changes—particularly shifting from processed carbs to high fiber foods, and walking daily— as needed with the addition of medication.
“Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need to begin taking insulin at some point,” says Sandra Arevalo, MPH, RD, CDE, a diabetes expert and spokesperson with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It can depend on your age and your individual ability to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise.” However, when type 2 diabetes is found early enough and weight loss is achieved, in most cases, insulin is never needed.
A diagnosis of prediabetes means that your blood sugar levels are slightly above the normal range because your body is no longer responding to insulin effectively, but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
By making some adjustments to your current food patterns, and increasing your level of physical activity, it is possible, even likely, that you can prevent or delay the progression to diabetes, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease and other complications associated with poorly-controlled diabetes.2-4
“You don’t necessarily have to follow a strict food regimen and avoid all kinds of foods when you’re diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes,” Ms. Arevalo adds. “You just have to learn how to combine different types of foods in the same meal and measure those foods so you eat appropriate amounts.”
Combining foods, by combining a carb with either protein or some fat, is the best trick for controlling blood sugar, and keeping it steady. The food portions, as you might expect, have more to do with meeting your energy needs but not consuming excess calories, which get stored as fat, leading to undesirable weight gain.
Three Diabetes Diet Strategies: Basic Guidelines for People with Diabetes
Finding your way to a healthy diet can reduce the risks associated with diabetes. There are three main goals, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), so following these proven strategies will help you to:
1. Achieve a healthy body weight. Body mass index (BMI) uses your height and weight to determine how much body fat you carry. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered to be a healthy weight range with a healthy amount of body fat. Another measure: waist circumference (WC) is considered by many to be a better measure of excess abdominal body fat. A waist circumference—greater than 40 inches for men, and above 35 inches in women—has been shown to increase the risk of developing health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
The closer you are to a healthy body weight or at least an acceptable waist circumference, the more likely you will be able to control and, possibly reverse your risks of diabetes.
“Don’t get overwhelmed by thinking about how much total weight you have to lose,” Ms. Arevalo advises. “Studies have shown that losing just 5-10% of your body weight will significantly improve your blood sugar levels as well as your cardiovascular health so set short-term goals of losing just 5-10 pounds to start.”
2. 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.
3. Avoid future complications. Lifestyle changes, including adjustments to your diet and the addition of regular physical activity (even if only a 30-45 minute daily walk), can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, stroke, blindness, and other long-term health problems that can commonly occur in people with diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a Mediterranean-style diet, a plant-based diet, and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) are all good starting points for a type 2 diabetes meal plan that can be modified to accommodate your personal eating preferences.
These diet approaches have two important factors in common: mostly whole foods, and meals built around vegetables rather than carbohydrates (carbs).
However, contrary to popular belief, a type 2 diabetes meal plan is not necessarily a low-carb diet, nor should it be a high-protein or very low-fat meal plan. In fact, ADA recommends less emphasis on specific requirements for proteins, carbs, and fats, and more emphasis on following a whole foods approach that focuses on the quality of your diet; the less processed, refined, prepared, and fast foods focused, the better. Making a move towards eating more home-cooked meals may seem daunting, but just takes a little planning, especially with resources like the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub.
Diabetic-friendly recipes sourced from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub. Infographic by Lauren Hunter.
What’s the big deal about avoiding processed foods? The more a food has been mechanically handled, and refined, the greater the likelihood that their nutritional value will lower, and typically has more sugar, refined flour, and saturated fats as their main components. By eating foods considered highly refined (ie, empty calories), you are filling up on foods that will make it harder to manage your weight and your blood sugar levels.
“An RD or CDE can look at your usual diet and help you identify where there’s room for improvement,” Ms. Arevalo suggests. “These diet experts can also help you create a diabetes diet plan tailored to your personal needs and food preferences.”
When you meet with a dietitian or CDE, she will consider all of your health concerns, your weekday and weekend schedules, any cultural or religious preferences, and your likes and dislikes, as well as anyone else who usually eats with you. By taking into account all of these factors, you will have the best chance of establishing a workable new approach to eating that will support your ability to manage your diabetes with the least disruption possible.
What You Need to Know About Eating with Diabetes
How much do calories matter? For people with diabetes, the exact number of calories to consume each day is based on the amount and timing of food that assures you can you’re your blood sugar levels stable and your weight within a healthy range. That number can change, depending on your age, activity level, frame size, current versus preferred weight, and other factors.
“When the goal is a healthy weight and blood sugar control, a good starting point for a woman is 1,400-1,600 calories a day, with main meals containing up to 30 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, and snacks containing 10-20 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates,” Ms. Zanini advises. “For men and more physically active women who are already at a healthy weight, you may start with a 2,000-2,200 calorie meal plan, in which you may increase proportionately your carbs.”
Recent research suggests that by eating a big breakfast, and a modest lunch, so you get most of your calories in by 3 pm, you will find it easier to lose weight and achieve better blood sugar control.
Choose Carbohydrates that Keep Blood Sugar Steady
Our wide variety of food products contain different levels and types of carbohydrates making it harder to eat wisely with diabetes. In general, you will want to choose carbs that have the least impact on your blood sugar. That means selecting foods that are high fiber, low sugar foods since these are absorbed more slowly and so have little impact on blood sugar changes.
Best carb choices to promote a healthy lifestyle for people with diabetes:
- High fiber foods include: Whole grain breads and cereals, and foods made with 100% whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, corn and cornmeal
- Dried beans, lentils, and peas
- Fresh (or frozen) fruits like berries, apples, pears, and oranges
- Dairy products including yogurt, milk, and cheese. The best yogurt is Greek-style or strained yogurt since these contain triple the level of protein.
- Vegetables. Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are all healthy carbs that have less (glycemic) effect on your blood sugar
As you might guess, sugar-sweetened cookies, cakes, doughnuts, and other baked goods made with white flour as well as candy and soft drinks that contain sugar and high fructose corn syrup have little nutritional value and are likely to send your blood sugar soaring, so should eat them only occasionally, if at all, and only in very small amounts.
The same goes for yogurt. Better to avoid so-called fruit-sweetened yogurts because these are mostly added sugar. Instead stir in some fresh or frozen berries, banana, or your favorite seasonal fruit to plain yogurt; and you might even add some granola or chopped walnuts for crunch and a bit of added protein and fiber.
Flour and sugar represent two ingredients most likely to wreak havoc for people with diabetes because they typically add unnecessary calories, and end up leading to a boost in blood sugar and your weight; a double whammy. While you don’t have to avoid flour and sugar altogether, you have to be mindful of when and how often you are eating foods flour-based, sugary foods. Skip foods made with all-purpose white flour and avoid sugary foods, sugar-sweetened drinks.
A Word on Sugar Substitutes. The current belief is that people who need to follow a diabetes diet should avoid added sweeteners of all kinds, including sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners. Researchers have found that people who consume foods with any form of sweetener typically crave more of these foods, and end up gaining weight.
Your best bet is to begin using fruit to get your sweet fix. By adding fruit to foods, you totally avoid the added sugars and sugar alcohols and get the added benefit of dietary fiber, which is better for blood glucose control.
“Of all the alternative sweeteners, stevia is the one I recommend most often,” says Ms. Zanini. “It’s a great natural and zero-calorie option for blood sugar control when added to beverages, hot cereals, and other foods when you are looking for a little sweetness.” You’ll have to experiment with stevia, she adds, because it works better with some foods than with others.
One of the best changes anyone with diabetes can make is to switch from white food products—white bread, white potatoes in any form, and white rice—which can also cause notable spikes in blood sugar to similar products made from whole grains, like multigrain sourdough bread, shredded wheat or sweet potatoes, and roasted red potatoes which still have the skin on.
Learning to prepare your favorite pancakes or waffles with oat flour or almond flour will go a long way in helping you to enjoy a diabetes-friendly breakfast that the whole family will enjoy. Check out our handy More or Less guide to help you make healthy swaps and promote balanced blood sugar management.
Keys to Reducing Complications of Diabetes
Fiber, Fiber, Fiber: Best Carb Choices Contain Dietary Fiber
This is the basis of a healthy diet, as well as the key to a diabetic diet plan, and even a good diet for weight loss. After reading the section on carbs, it may be obvious to you now that the one factor that separates healthy carbs from all other carbs is the presence or absence of dietary fiber. Only plant foods contain fiber. Those with the most fiber include dried beans, peas, and lentils, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
A high fiber diet—one that contains at least 25 to 35 grams of dietary fiber a day—is essential for good health, and is the key for people with diabetes because fiber helps slow down the absorption of all sugars—those that are naturally forming like in fruits and starches, as well as any refined sugars you consume—in your bloodstream.
“When meals are well-balanced (including some protein, fat and fiber-rich carbs), they are generally more satisfying,” Ms. Zanini adds, which means you won’t get hungry between meals and go looking for a quick fix that will cause your blood sugar to soar, and your body to store those unneeded calories as fat.
Protein: Make Your Choices Lowest in Saturated Fat
Unless you are a vegetarian or vegan, you’re likely to get plenty of high-quality protein from lean meats, poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs.
Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians should also look to plant sources for some or all of your protein needs. Plant foods like soy-based foods: tofu and tempeh are excellent sources of non-animals proteins and fits quite well into a diabetic meal plan because it is also low in carbs. The same can be said for nuts, and legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and edamame as well as some whole-grain foods such as quinoa, kamut, teff, even wild rice and couscous contain some protein.
Not All Fats Are Created Equal so Aim for Heart-Healthy Fats
When you have diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing other chronic health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease, so it’s just as important to watch the types and amounts of fat in your diet as it is to monitor your carbs.
What foods contain heart-healthy fats? These include olive oil and oils made from nuts (eg, walnut oil, peanut oil), avocado, fatty fish l(eg, Sockeye salmon, mackerel, herring, and Lake trout), nuts and seeds.
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 isn’t, 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 people’s 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 food products is to check the nutritional label for sodium content. You’ll 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.
Arriving at Healthy Diet that Fits Your Needs with Diabetes
Simple Guidelines for a Diabetic Meal Plan
Now that you know what foods are better if you have diabetes, putting the right foods on your plate is a matter of portions. The key to a balanced diet is planning meals using the diabetes plate method—divide the plate into quarters: ¼ protein or meat, ¼ carbs, and 2/4 (=1/2) vegetable and fruit. If you want to lose weight, use 9-inch dinner plates and bowls so you aren’t piling the food on to a large dinner plate.
For example, fill half the plate with non-starchy veggies such as salad greens or steamed broccoli, and fill the remaining half of the plate with equal portions of a grain or starchy vegetable like mashed sweet potato, and a heart-healthy protein such as broiled salmon.
Here are some sample dinner menus to give you an idea of reasonable portion sizes that make up a healthy meal for someone with diabetes (or anyone for that matter!):
Suggestion for Dinner 1:
- 5 or 6 ounces roasted chicken (skin removed)
- 1/2 cup multigrain pasta (cooked, or Bangz chickpea pasta) tossed with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups sautéed zucchini and/or summer squash and sliced mushrooms
Suggestion for Dinner 2:
- 6-ounce salmon fillet, broiled with lemon
- 1/2 cup lightly steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup baby kale and spinach, lightly sautéed in olive oil with chopped garlic and onion
Suggestion for Dinner 3:
- 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) sauteed tofu seasoned with Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1/3 cup quinoa
- 1/4 avocado, sliced and topped with sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime
- 1 cup cucumber, snow pea pods, arugula, and radish salad dressed with vinegar and light soy sauce
How to React When Temptation Strikes with Diabetes
In diabetes diet terms, temptation translates to foods you “shouldn’t” eat because they are loaded with sugar and empty carbs that will send your blood sugar skyrocketing. That piece of cake, cinnamon bun, brownie, or bag of chips usually contain more than just carbs, they usually contribute unhealthy fats too.
The less often you eat these sugary, fatty desserts and snacks, the less you will come to want them. Some people do better allowing yourself an occasional craving. Striking the right balance will depend upon your goals, and urgency. By skipping these calorie-laden artery cloggers, you are voting for long-term health in place of serious medical complications. But you know that already.
Here’s the thing: this word of caution is not just for people with diabetes who need to watch their sugar and fat intake, in truth, it is a red flag for anyone who wants stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases. That’s why the whole family benefits from eating healthy foods and saving small indulgences for special occasions.
How to Participate in Celebrations with Diabetes
Let’s face it, being surrounded by cupcakes and chips while other people get their fill at birthday parties and holiday celebrations, can be very frustrating. There are several things you can do to get through these events without feeling completely deprived. First, you can make sure you have been eating balanced meals earlier in the day, so you arrive at the event with a stabilized blood sugar, and not starving.
“You don’t have to stop eating sweets in order to control your blood sugar and, in fact, if you add these “extras” strategically, you’ll improve your chances of long-term success,” Ms. Zanini says. “Giving yourself permission to enjoy an occasional sweet may empower you to self-manage diabetes in a way that suits your individual needs.”
Updated on: 07/09/21
Mediterranean Diet: Anti Inflammatory Foods Behind Health Benefits
Diabetes Superstar Foods | ADA
“Superfood” is a term used by many food and beverage companies as a way to promote a food thought to have health benefits; however, there is no official definition of the word by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates the health claims allowed on food labels to ensure there is scientific research to support the claims. The list of foods below are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that are good for overall health and may also help prevent disease.
Kidney, pinto, navy or black beans are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. They are very high in fiber too.
Beans do contain carbohydrates, but ½ cup also provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much added salt as possible.
Dark green leafy vegetables
Spinach, collards and kale are dark green leafy vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E and K, iron, calcium and potassium. These powerhouse foods are low in calories and carbohydrates too. Try adding dark leafy vegetables to salads, soups and stews.
Grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes or pick your favorites to get part of your daily dose of fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Berries can be a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth and they provide an added benefit of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium and fiber.
The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fats may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation. Fish high in these healthy fats are sometimes referred to as “fatty fish.” Salmon is well known in this group. Other fish high in omega-3 are herring, sardines, mackerel, trout and albacore tuna. Choose fish that is broiled, baked or grilled to avoid the carbohydrate and extra calories that would be in fish that is breaded and fried. The American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes recommends eating fish (mainly fatty fish) twice per week for people with diabetes.
An ounce of nuts can go a long way in getting key healthy fats along with helping to manage hunger. In addition, they offer magnesium and fiber. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s the whole grain you’re after. The first ingredient on the label should have the word “whole” in it. Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, B vitamins, chromium, iron and folate. They are a great source of fiber too. Some examples of whole grains are whole oats, quinoa, whole grain barley and farro.
Milk and yogurt
You may have heard that milk and yogurt can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many milk and yogurt products are fortified to make them a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health. Milk and yogurt do contain carbohydrate that will be a factor in meal planning when you have diabetes. Look for yogurt products that are lower in fat and added sugar.
Tips for eating on a budget
Some of the items above can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live. Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish. Foods that are easier on the budget year ‘round are beans and whole grains that you cook from scratch.
Learn more about how to include these and other healthful foods into your meals. The American Diabetes Association’s book What Do I Eat Now? provides a step-by-step guide to eating right.
The Type 2 Diabetes Meal Planner – Diabetes Care of Elders
Everyone who has diabetes should have a diabetes meal plan. The reason is that certain foods can seriously raise blood sugar levels and make diabetes more difficult to control. In addition, by having a Type 2 diabetes meal plan, you can not only control your blood sugar levels but depend less on medications, which can result in significant cost savings.
When you consume excess calories that include simple sugars and fats, it results in an undesirable increase in blood sugar levels. If this glucose remains high persistently, it can lead to long-term complications of diabetes that include loss of vision, neuropathy, malfunction of the kidneys, premature heart disease, stroke, loss of limb, or even death.
By eating a healthy diet, you can help maintain a safe level of blood glucose and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes complications.
Why Is A Diabetic Meal Plan Essential?
There is ample evidence showing that a healthy eating plan has the following benefits:
- Controls your blood sugar levels.
- Helps manage your weight.
- Reduces the risk of high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia.
- Enhances the quality of life.
- Lowers the need to use diabetic medications.
There is ample literature on the internet offering information as to how to create a Type 2 diabetes meal plan or you can speak to your healthcare provider, dietitian, or diabetic nurse. In the simplest terms, a diabetic meal plan usually means that you eat healthy foods in moderate amounts and adhere to your mealtimes. To help you get started on finding an effective diabetic meal plan, here are some vital tips:
- The diabetic meal plan should focus on foods that are low in calories and fat, and rich in nutrients and vitamins.
- Foods in a Type 2 diabetes meal plan should include veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
- You need to rigidly keep track of your eating habits. This means you should avoid eating outside of your mealtimes.
- A healthy diabetic meal plan can help you lose weight. By losing weight, most diabetics will quickly note that managing blood glucose levels becomes a lot easier.
- The loss in body weight also makes it easier to control blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.
What Does The Diabetic Meal Plan Involve?
The diabetic meal plan requires that you eat three healthy meals a day at set times. This type of diet plan will help your body utilize the insulin that is produced or require less of a diabetic medication to control the blood sugar levels.
Who Can Help Me With A Diabetic Meal Plan?
In most cases, a consultation with a dietitian is helpful. These professionals can help create a Type 2 diabetes meal plan based on your lifestyle, health goals, and tastes. At the same time, a dietitian can teach you how to improve your eating habits by selecting the right food portion that meets the needs of your physical activity and body size.
What Foods Are Recommended In A Type 2 Diabetes Plan?
Complex carbohydrates. Instead of consuming simple carbohydrates (sugars), one should consume complex carbohydrates that contain starch. These include:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairies like cheese, yogurt, and milk
- Legumes, such as peas and beans
Avoid consuming simple carbohydrates, such as foods or beverages with added sugars, fats, and sodium.
You should also consume fiber-rich foods because they help lower blood glucose levels, regulate your bowel movements, and assist with digestion. Fiber-rich foods include:
- Legumes, like peas and beans
- Whole grains
Fish For Heart Health
You should plan to include fish at least twice a week. It is well known that fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega fatty acids, which are known to prevent heart disease and stroke. At the same time, avoid fish that is fried. Some ocean fish, such as mackerel, have been known to contain heavy metals and should be avoided. Always select fresh fish from the local rivers and lakes.
Unsaturated Foods (or Good Fat)
Foods that contain unsaturated fatty acids are known to reduce the levels of cholesterol. Such foods include:
- Olive, canola, and peanut oils
Use these oils sparingly as they are very high in calories.
Foods That You Should Avoid
Diabetics are known to develop premature heart disease and stroke because the blood vessels quickly become clogged with fats. Foods that you should avoid include the following:
- Saturated fats can be found in beef, pork, animal skin, bacon, sausage, and butter. At the same time, limit the intake of palm kernel and coconut oils.
- Trans fats should also be avoided and are usually found in processed food, margarine, baked goods, desserts, and even ice cream.
- Cholesterol is often the cause of atherosclerosis, and foods containing a lot of cholesterol should be limited. Cholesterol-rich foods include egg yolks, animal meat, pork, bacon, and liver. Try and limit the intake of cholesterol to no more than 200 mg/day.
- Finally, limit the intake of sodium to no more than 2,300 mg/day. If you have high blood pressure, then the amount should be less than 1,500 mg/day.
Developing The Meal Plan
Now that you know what you can and cannot eat, you need to make a plan as to how you will eat the food to better contend with Type 2 diabetes.
The plate method: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has the simplest meal plan, and it focuses more on eating veggies than any other food. The ADA plan is as follows:
- Half your plate should contain non-starchy vegetables, like carrots, spinach, tomatoes, etc.
- A quarter of the plate should include a protein, like lean pork, tuna, or chicken.
- The last quarter of the plate should contain whole grain, like brown rice, quinoa, or a starchy vegetable like beans/peas.
- Sprinkle small amounts of good fats, like avocados and nuts.
- Serve the food with a drink of water, dairy product, fruit juice, or unsweetened tea or coffee.
Count The Calories
It is important not to overeat as this is often a cause of obesity and insulin resistance. A male should eat no more than 2,000 calories per day and a female should eat no more than 1,800 calories per day. All excess calories are converted into body fat which defeats the purpose of a Type 2 diabetes meal plan.
Learn To Read Labels
All diabetics should learn to read labels that will reveal the amount of salt, sugar, carbohydrates, and total calories in products. While this may sound overwhelming, it can significantly help improve your dietary habits and make diabetes much easier to control. A dietitian can educate you on how to read the food labels and measure food portions. At the same time, the dietitian can help you manage the insulin dose based on the amount of your meal.
Some diabetics use the glycemic index to select their carbohydrate foods. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates containing foods based on how they will affect the levels of blood glucose.
A Typical Menu Sample
A typical diabetic meal plan for an adult who consumes 1,600-1,800 calories per day is shown below.
- Breakfast could include a slice of whole-wheat bread with 2 teaspoons of jam/jelly, half a cup of whole cereal with a cup of 1 percent low-fat milk. The beverage may include tea or coffee. A few slices of fruit would be good as well.
- Lunch may include a tuna sandwich on wheat bread with tomatoes, lettuce, low-fat cheese, and mayonnaise (or you could substitute yogurt for the mayo). The beverage may be fruit juice or water. A few slices of fruit can also be consumed.
- Dinner may include a meat dish, a small baked potato, a whole wheat roll, and half a cup of mixed veggies. The beverage may include fruit juice, milk, or tea. Fruit slices can be consumed as a dessert.
- If you still feel hungry, then you can consume popcorn, unsalted crackers, or a variety of nuts.
If you have diabetes, then you must work closely with your primary care provider and a dietitian to develop a meal plan that suits your needs. By eating healthy and limiting the food portions, you will have more stable blood glucose levels after most meals. Eventually, this will reduce the risk of diabetic complications and save you an enormous amount of money in healthcare costs and you will feel better and have more energy. Contact us today for more information.
Food Choice for Type 2 Diabetes
The best diabetes diet is one that is well balanced and includes a variety of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The trick to this balancing act is choosing the right combination of foods that will help keep blood sugar level in your target range and avoid big swings that can cause diabetes symptoms.
The Basics of the Type 2 Diabetes Diet
To follow a healthy diet, you must first understand how different foods affect your blood sugar. Carbohydrates, which are found in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables, are broken down into glucose in the blood faster than other types of food, which raises blood sugar levels. Protein and fats do not directly impact blood sugar, but both should be consumed in moderation.
To hit your blood sugar level target, eat a variety of foods but monitor portions for foods with high carbohydrate content, says Alison Massey, RD, LDN, CDE, director of diabetes education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. “Carbohydrate foods have the most impact on blood sugar levels. This is why some people with diabetes count their carbohydrates at meals and snacks,” she says.
Best and Worst Type 2 Diabetes Choices by Food Group
As you fill your plate at each meal, here’s a helpful guideline to keep in mind: Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Round out the meal with other healthy choices — whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and small portions of fresh fruits and healthy fats. Sugar should be limited, says Massey.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best options from each group.
Best options: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends lean proteins low in saturated fat, like fish or turkey. Aim for two or three servings of seafood each week; some fish, like salmon, have the added benefit of containing heart healthy omega-3 fats. For a vegetarian protein source, experiment with the wide variety of beans. Massey adds that nuts, which are protein and healthy fats powerhouses, are also a great choice — just watch portion sizes as they’re very high in calories.
Worst options: Processed deli meats and hot dogs have high amounts of fat along with lots of sodium, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Heart attack and stroke are two common complications of diabetes, so keeping blood pressure in check is important.
Best options: When choosing grains, make sure they’re whole. Whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa, and whole grain breads and cereals contain fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Whole grains also contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Worst options: Refined white flour doesn’t contain the same health benefits as whole grains. Processed foods made with white flour include breakfast cereals, white bread, and pastries, so avoid these options. Also try to steer clear of white rice and pasta.
Best options: With only 6 to 8 grams of carbohydrates in a serving, plain nonfat Greek yogurt is a healthy and versatile dairy option. You can add berries and enjoy it for dessert or breakfast; you can use it in recipes as a replacement for sour cream, which is high in saturated fat.
Worst options: Avoid all full-fat dairy products and especially packaged chocolate milk, says Massey, as it also has added sugar.
Best options: Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and carrots are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and other nutrients, Massey says. You can eat non-starchy vegetables in abundance — half of your plate should be filled with these veggies. If you’re craving mashed potatoes, give mashed cauliflower a try, she adds.
Worst options: Stick to small portions of starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, and peas. These items are nutritious, but should be eaten in moderation. The ADA groups them with grains because of their high carb content.
Best options: Fresh fruit can conquer your craving for sweets while providing antioxidants and fiber. Berries are a great option because recommended portion sizes are typically generous, which may leave you feeling more satisfied, Massey says.
Worst options: Avoid added sugar by limiting fruits canned in syrup, and be aware that dried fruits have a very high sugar concentration. Also, fruit juices should be consumed in moderation as they’re high in sugar and don’t contain the same nutrients as whole fruit.
Best options: Some types of fat actually help protect your heart. Choose the monounsaturated fats found in avocados, almonds, and pecans or the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts and sunflower oil, which can help to lower bad cholesterol.
Worst options: Saturated fats increase bad cholesterol, so limit butter, cheese, gravy, and fried foods. Keep calories from saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total daily intake. Trans fats are even worse than saturated fats, so avoid them as much as possible. Look for the term “hydrogenated” on labels of processed foods such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers. “I always tell my clients to double-check the ingredient list to make sure they don’t see any partially hydrogenated oil in their food products,” Massey says.
20 Best Foods for Diabetics
Receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. To begin with, there’s the stress of being told that you have health condition that needs to be monitored closely. On top of that, your doctor may tell you to take new medications, try to exercise more and change your eating habits all at once. Fortunately, this guide should make the eating part a little easier.
Let’s get started with what type 2 diabetes is.
First, it’s helpful to have a little background information about what exactly a type 2 diabetes diagnosis means. When you eat, your body turns food into glucose, which the hormone insulin then shuttles to other parts of your body that need to use it as fuel. In a person with type 2 diabetes, the cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond to insulin properly so an excess of glucose remains in your bloodstream, which can have dangerous consequences if left untreated.
Why does diet matter for type 2 diabetes?
You can make some adjustments to the way you eat to help prevent blood sugar spikes. “Diabetes can be much better controlled when an individual makes food choices that are going to help them manage their blood sugar levels and keep their levels within ranges that will keep them safe,” says Colleen Johnson, M.S., R.D.N., adult diabetes educator at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. “Diabetes can be treated with many kinds of medications and different types of insulin, but the diet is really going to be key no matter what type of treatment they undergo.”
The main focus of an eating plan for type 2 diabetes typically revolves around reducing your intake of carbohydrates (like white bread, rice and potatoes — as well as sugar) because they are most easily converted into glucose and research shows they make up a large portion of the typical American diet. “When it comes to carbohydrates, what I like to remind people is that they are team players,” says Samantha Cassetty, R.D.N., nutrition and wellness expert and the author of Sugar Shock. “I think the biggest problem that I see is carbs on carbs on carbs. So, oatmeal with fruit with milk — those are all examples of foods that contain carbohydrates. Even our wholesome, fiber-rich carbs like fruits and vegetables really ideally operate best when they’re paired with a teammate.” She says not only does it allow you to get a variety of nutrients from different types of foods, it helps balance your blood sugar and enables you stay to fuller longer.
The American Diabetes Association recommends filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of it with complex carbohydrates and the last quarter with a source of protein. That said, Cassetty points out that its best to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to figure out the carbohydrate range that will work best for your body.
Below, you’ll find some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet if you have type 2 diabetes:
1. Leafy greens
Fill up on superstars like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens. “Non-starchy vegetables are great for adding lots of volume, and fiber to a plate with fewer calories,” says Johnson. “They also have fewer carbohydrates than starchy vegetables.”
“Salmon is rich in omega-threes,” says Cassetty. Unfortunately, we tend to consume too many omega-six fatty acids (which promote inflammation) and not enough omega-three fatty acids because they’re harder to come by in foods. If salmon is a stretch for you, Cassetty says canned tuna is also a source of omega-threes. (Just keep it to two or three weekly servings of light tuna to limit your mercury exposure.) Need inspiration? Check out these easy salmon dinner recipes.
Quinoa is actually a seed, but it’s considered to be a protein-rich whole grain. In fact, one cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Plus, research shows that eating it daily can help stabilize blood glucose levels.
There’s a reason parents try so hard to get gets to eat this green veggie—broccoli is really good for you! It’s high in nutrients like vitamin C and potassium as well as fiber. “If you’re not like that crazy about, let’s say, steamed broccoli, maybe you should try it roasted with olive oil and some Everything but the Bagel seasoning,” suggests Cassetty. “I think we forget that food should taste good. We can play it up.”
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews … take your pick! “Nuts are examples of healthy fats so we always want to try to include them,” says Cassetty, who has a relationship with California Walnuts. They can be incorporated into recipes (like this quinoa risotto with arugula-mint pesto) or eaten on their own. “When we’re talking to people about bedtime snacks, a handful of unsalted nuts is a really good fit,” says Kathleen Wyne, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
6. Lean meat
“Lean proteins may help reduce and delay spikes in blood sugar,” says Johnson. Chicken and turkey are more obvious choices, but you can also consider lean cuts of other meat like sirloin tips or pork loin.
Zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles) are popular for a reason. Not only do they pair well with nearly any pasta sauce, they’re also rich in antioxidants and fiber which makes them a great lower-carbohydrate alternative to traditional noodles.
Replacing a carbohydrate-rich food with the caloric equivalent of an avocado at breakfast can help improve blood glucose levels, according to one study. Unfortunately, the abundance of healthy fats in avocados means the fruit also contain more calories than you might think. “Avocados are tough,” warns Dr. Wyne, “because it is too easy to eat too much of them so they become a source of a lot of fat. People don’t eat just one slice.”
Eggs fall into the lean protein category mentioned above. Just don’t go too overboard with them as some research suggests that eating an egg every day might increase your risk of diabetes.
Cauliflower is well-known as a substitute for carbohydrate-heavy foods like white rice because its texture is malleable and it can pick up a variety of flavors while you’re cooking. One cup, chopped, has 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and just 5 grams of carbohydrates. See for yourself by trying one of these hearty cauliflower-focused recipes.
A diet that includes soy-based foods (like tofu, edamame or soy milk) is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to research. Tofu makes for a great high-protein meat substitute while edamame can be an excellent salad topper.
There’s nothing better than a nice tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, right? Fortunately, one study found that when people with type 2 diabetes eat 200 grams of raw tomatoes every day, their blood pressure improved and their levels of a protein that makes up HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) increased so it may help lower their risk of heart disease.
13. Olive Oil
Olive oil is known for the high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids it contains and research shows the oil can be beneficial for controlling blood sugars. You can cook other foods in it or use it as a base for homemade low-sugar salad dressings.
14. Shirataki noodles
Shirataki noodles are translucent Japanese noodles that come from a plant native to Asia. “Shirataki noodles are going to be lower in carbohydrate, so for some people that might be satisfying enough and sort of give them that pasta vibe without needing to have some actual pasta,” says Cassetty. You might also want to check out lentil or chickpea pasta if you’re looking for other pasta alternatives.
When you’re on the hunt for fibrous and versatile vegetables, celery is a clear winner. One cup, chopped, has 1.6 grams of fiber and just 3 grams of carbohydrates. It’s a natural component in chicken soup, perfect for a blue cheese slaw with a spicy burger and works well in a variety of salads.
Yes, beans contain carbohydrates, but they also contain plenty of fiber and protein without any of the unsaturated fats you’ll find in animal protein sources. In fact, one study found that when people added a cup of legumes to their daily diet, their blood sugars improved better than folks who added a cup of whole-wheat foods to their daily meal plan. Just try to remove as much salt as you can by rinsing canned beans before you eat them.
Things like farro, barley, spelt and millet are often referred to as “ancient grains.” “It’s like a new trend to talk about ancient grains, but some of these grains are actually really kind of cool to add to the plate,” says Johnson. “A lot of times when they’re diagnosed with diabetes, people want to stay away from carbohydrates in general or they tend to think carbohydrates are bad. In reality, there’s a lot of complex carbohydrate sources that would actually be really good for them.” She says the extra fiber that complex carbohydrates have will help you stay full and keep your blood sugar balanced.
18. Sweet potatoes
While sweet potatoes are quite starchy, they’re a better option than white potatoes, says Dr. Wyne. They have a slightly lower glycemic index and contain lots of beta-carotene along with other nutrients like potassium. Just make sure to keep the skin on and prepare them in a healthier way (like roasting instead of frying, topping with sugar or mashing with butter and milk).
Johnson says she gets asked about fruit a lot when it comes to diabetes-friendly foods. The key is to choose fruits like apples that have edible skin (and then eat the skin!). “The skin on fruits contains a lot of fiber, so when something has more fiber it tends to help delay the spike in blood sugar,” she explains. Pairing it with unsweetened peanut or almond butter will also help balance your glucose levels.
Garlic is like a secret weapon for eating when you have type 2 diabetes. For starters, research has found that eating garlic can help improve fasting blood sugars. On top of that, it can really kick up the flavor of vegetables you may not be used to eating and make them more enjoyable.
While a lot of this might feel strange, try not to think of your new eating habits as a diet of restriction — think of it as a journey to fill your body with the heart-healthy foods it needs. “A lot of people who have problems with diabetes don’t have the greatest relationship with food to begin with so we have to really focus on a positive approach to food and make them feel comfortable and safe with what they are eating,” says Dr. Wyne. Give yourself some grace and try to incorporate as many of the foods above into your diet as you can.
Kaitlyn started her career as a reporter in the research department at Real Simple and went on to become a health editor at Family Circle before joining the Hearst team.
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90,000 Basic principles of good nutrition in type 2 diabetes.
With diabetes mellitus of the second type, the correct metabolism is disrupted – glucose begins to be poorly absorbed. The main treatment, in addition to medication, is a properly selected diet. By following the basic principles and carefully selecting the necessary foods for the daily diet, you can easily keep your blood glucose levels normal and prevent the development of complications.
Basic principles of nutrition
Basic nutritional guidelines for second-degree diabetics:
- Before cooking it is necessary to remove the skin from the chicken, remove all fat from the meat.It is best to eat only lean meat.
- Carefully study the instructions for the products and the composition in order to reduce the use of fats in the diet to a minimum.
- You cannot fry, it is better to cook or simmer all dishes.
- Do not increase the calorie content with sour cream or mayonnaise.
- Vegetables must be eaten raw, as they are much healthier than boiled ones.
Attention! With diabetes, it is imperative to exclude from the diet all foods that may contain fat and give too many calories.
Permitted and Prohibited Food
Allowed foods for type 2 diabetes include all low-fat fish and meat, as well as low-fat dairy products. This food is able to diversify the daily diet of a diabetic.
From cereals, the best option is buckwheat or oatmeal. The most healthy foods include almost all fruits and vegetables. They not only allow maintaining normal glucose levels, but also reduce the parameters of “harmful” cholesterol, which negatively affects the state of blood vessels and the entire cardiovascular system.
Prohibited foods include the following:
- everything is sweet;
- puff pastry and pastry;
- pickles and marinades;
- smoked and fried foods;
90,013 grapes, bananas and strawberries.
It is also recommended to use various dried fruits and nuts with caution, since they have a high calorie content.
Low Carb Diet
The basis of proper nutrition in diabetes mellitus is a low-carbohydrate diet. If the consumption of carbohydrates is reduced to 20 grams per day, then in six months it will be possible to talk about a consistently low level of sugar, as well as about the rejection of drugs. To do this, you must use one of the effective low-carb diets.
Fat Burning Soup
To prepare such a soup, you will need 6 onions, a couple of tomatoes, a couple of Bulgarian green peppers, a head of cabbage, stalk celery.It is imperative to use hot chili peppers as a seasoning. You can eat this soup every day and in unlimited quantities.
This eating option is based on the fact that only 40% of the total amount of food should come from complex, unprocessed carbohydrates. These are fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread instead of white. A third of the diet should be fat and a third – low-fat dairy products.
Counting Bread Units (XE)
For a type 2 diabetic, it is important that the diet is balanced not in calories, but in carbohydrate content.90,030 In 1 XE, approximately 12 grams of carbohydrates. This corresponds to the following products:
- 1 st. l. flour or starch;
- 3 st. l. boiled pasta;
- 1 st. l. Sahara;
- 75 g mashed potatoes;
- 3 carrots;
- 250 ml of natural kvass;
- glass of low-fat dairy products.
Attention! A diabetic over 50 years old is allowed to consume no more than 12 XE per day.If obesity is added to diabetes, the number of XEs allowed is reduced depending on the degree of obesity.
Nutrition for diabetes mellitus – ChUZ “RZD-Medicine” urban village Sayansky “
Diabetes mellitus is associated with metabolic disorders, it is based on insufficient absorption of glucose by the body. Type 2 diabetes often occurs with obesity.
In diabetes mellitus, the patient’s nutrition plays an important role. For mild type 2 diabetes, dietary nutrition is the main treatment.In moderate to severe diabetes, the diet should be combined with the intake of antihyperglycemic drugs or insulin. In type I diabetes mellitus, the occurrence of which is associated with the death of beta cells in the pancreas and insulin deficiency, insulin replacement therapy is the main method of treatment. Compliance with the regimen and dietary nutrition in type I diabetes mellitus are auxiliary.
What is a bread unit?
What is the rate of carbohydrate-containing foods per day should be consumed by patients with diabetes mellitus? All carbohydrate-containing foods differ significantly in their physical properties, composition, and calorie content.It is impossible to measure all these important parameters of food in any one familiar home way – with the help of a spoon or glass. It is no less difficult to determine the required volume of the daily norm of products without special knowledge and without seeing the guidelines that are clear to oneself. To facilitate the task, nutritionists introduced a conditional concept used for diabetics – a unit of bread.
The unit of bread is a kind of “measuring spoon” for calculating carbohydrates. Regardless of the type and quantity of the product, be it bread or an apple, one bread unit contains 12-15 grams of digestible carbohydrates.It raises blood sugar levels by the same amount – 2.8 mmol / L – and requires 2 units of insulin to be absorbed by the body.
The bread unit was introduced specifically for diabetic patients receiving insulin. After all, it is very important for them to observe the daily daily intake of carbohydrates corresponding to the insulin administered. Otherwise, they may experience an increase or decrease in blood sugar – hyper- or hypoglycemia. Thanks to the introduction of the concept of a bread unit, patients with diabetes mellitus were able to correctly compose a menu, competently replacing some carbohydrate-containing foods with others.
So for example, 1 bread unit corresponds to 25-30 grams of white or black bread, or 1/2 cup of buckwheat or oatmeal, or 1 medium-sized apple, or 2 pieces of prunes, etc.
Approximately 18-25 grain units should enter the human body per day. It is advisable to distribute them into six meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3-5 bread units, at mid-morning snacks – 1-2 bread units. Most of the carbohydrate foods should be in the first half of the day.
What cannot be eaten in diabetes and how to correctly determine the required rate of carbohydrate-containing foods?
To answer all these questions, a diabetic patient needs to undergo appropriate training in special schools for diabetics.
PRINCIPLES OF HEALING NUTRITION
The diet must be physiologically literate:
- The amount of energy in food should be equal to the energy needs of the patient.
- The amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates must be balanced.
- Food intake during the day – 5-6 times.
For overweight diabetics, in order to increase the feeling of fullness, it is necessary to include in the diet such vegetables as fresh and sauerkraut, lettuce, spinach, green peas, cucumbers, tomatoes. To improve the function of the liver, which suffers greatly in diabetes, it is necessary to introduce foods containing lipotropic factors (cottage cheese, soy, oatmeal, etc.) into the diet.), as well as limit the diet of meat, fish broths and fried foods.
There are several options for diets for patients with diabetes mellitus, but almost at home you can use one (diet 9), which can be easily adapted to the treatment of any patient, excluding or adding individual dishes or foods.
It is allowed to include in the diet:
- Bread and bakery products – mainly black bread (200-350 grams per day, as directed by a doctor).
- Soups with vegetable broth, weak meat and fish broth with a small amount of vegetables (1-2 times a week).
- Meat and poultry dishes (beef, veal, lean pork, turkey, rabbit in boiled or aspicated form).
- Fish dishes, mostly low-fat (pike perch, cod, pike, navaga, carp, etc. in boiled or aspicated form).
- Dishes and garnishes from vegetables (leafy greens, cabbage (white, cauliflower), lettuce, rutabagas, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, beets, carrots) in boiled, raw and baked form.
- Dishes and side dishes from cereals, legumes, pasta (in limited quantities, occasionally, while reducing the amount of bread in the diet).
- Egg dishes (no more than 2 pieces per day in the form of an omelet or soft-boiled, as well as for adding to other dishes).
- Sour and sweet-sour varieties of fruits and berries (Antonov apples, lemons, oranges, red currants, cranberries and others) up to 200 grams per day raw, in the form of compotes on xylitol or sorbitol. With the permission of the doctor, you can use sweet dishes and specially prepared diabetic products.
- Milk – with the permission of a doctor, kefir, yogurt (only 1-2 glasses per day), cottage cheese (50-200 grams per day) in natural form or in the form of curds, cheese cakes and puddings.
- Mild sauces based on vegetable broth with vinegar, tomato puree, roots, as well as dairy sauces.
- Tea with milk, weak coffee, tomato juice, fruit and berry juices (total liquid with soup up to 5 glasses per day).
- Butter, vegetable oil (total 40 grams per day in free form and for cooking).
The diet of a diabetic patient should be rich in vitamins, therefore it is useful to introduce brewer’s and baker’s yeast, rosehip broth into the diet.
- sweets, chocolate, confectionery, buns, jam, honey, ice cream and other sweets;
- spicy, spicy, salty and smoked snacks and dishes, lamb and pork fat;
- pepper, mustard;
- alcoholic beverages;
- grapes, bananas, raisins;
- Sugar is allowed only in small quantities with the permission of a doctor.
90,051 90,000 Proper nutrition in diabetes mellitus – Events – News
How Food Affects Blood Glucose
Carbohydrates are the only nutrients that directly increase blood sugar, but there is no reason to severely limit them. Knowing which food contains carbohydrates and the amount of carbohydrates in a serving will make it easier to control your blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates in the diet of any person, including those with diabetes, should be sufficient (at least 50% of the total calorie content), since they are a source of energy for the body.But different carbohydrates have different effects on blood sugar.
There are carbohydrates that are very easy to digest (they are called easily digestible), because they consist of small molecules and are quickly absorbed in the digestive tract. They immediately and dramatically raise blood sugar levels. It is from such carbohydrates that sugar and honey are composed, a lot of them are found in fruit juices, beer (it is rich in malt sugar or maltose).
Another type of carbohydrates (they are called difficult to digest or starches) has a lower sugar-increasing effect.Representatives of such products: bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, corn.
Severe rises in sugar from starches can be prevented by using certain processing and cooking techniques. The enrichment of food with plant fibers prevents the increase in blood sugar.
Protein is an integral part of a balanced diet. They relieve hunger and, unlike carbohydrates, do not raise blood glucose levels. However, to prevent excess weight gain, control the amount of food containing protein.In people with type 2 diabetes, protein makes insulin work faster, so you shouldn’t try to deal with low blood glucose with protein shakes and blends.
Fats are also an important part of a balanced diet, especially those that are most beneficial for the body, for example, olive oil (however, its amount should still be moderate, because its calorie content is even slightly higher than butter, and gain weight it is forbidden!).According to the principles of a healthy diet, the consumption of fatty foods should not exceed 30% of the total calories.
Five food groups
There is an opinion that the diagnosis of diabetes will have to say goodbye to delicious food. This is not true. If a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, this does not mean that he will no longer be able to enjoy delicious food and pamper himself with his favorite dishes. Living with diabetes means eating healthy and healthy foods that belong to one of five groups:
- Grains and carbohydrates
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat and meat substitutes
Switching to a healthy diet
A dietitian or endocrinologist can help you develop a meal plan that suits your lifestyle.
Here are some recommendations for healthy eating:
- Healthy eating for someone with diabetes is healthy eating for their entire family.
- Eat regularly: do not skip breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let the interval between main meals be no more than 6 hours. It is advisable to observe the principle of fractional nutrition, i.e. distribute carbohydrates for 5-6 meals a day in small portions.
- Aim to include healthy fats, lean meats or proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy in your diet.
- Eat as many fiber-rich foods as possible, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (dark bread, bran, whole grain pasta, and brown rice).
- Try replacing the meat with lentils, beans, or tofu.
- Drink low calorie beverages such as tea, unsweetened coffee and water.
- Introduce sweeteners into your diet.
Choose food and quantity based on blood glucose.If you eat more than your body needs, your blood glucose levels will rise. To control diabetes, you need to keep track of what and how much to eat. At the same time, it is important to be able to correctly determine the portion size. Fortunately, the tool for this is always at hand – these are the palms.
The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends the following serving size:
Measure your blood glucose before meals and two hours after to see how your meal choice and serving size affected your glucose levels.
What is unacceptable in food
IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED CATEGORALLY
- Skip meals.
- Eat foods that are difficult for digestion.
- Limit your intake of saturated fats such as butter, coconut and palm oil as much as possible.
- Eat salty foods.
- Limit sugar-rich foods as much as possible, such as cakes, pies, donuts, sweetened cereals, honey, jams, jellies, ice cream and candy.
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and fruit juices as much as possible.
- Add sugar to your food.
How to choose healthy foods
Before going to the store:
- Schedule meals for a specific period of time (for example, from a couple of days to a week) and include foods from the above five groups.
- Write a grocery list for your meal schedule.
At the grocery store:
- Take a list with you and stick to it.
- Never go shopping when you are hungry, as this can impulsively buy unhealthy foods.
- Do not buy sugary soda, candy or chips.
- Read labels to choose products with natural ingredients.
Healthy Restaurant Food
Diabetes is not a reason to refuse to eat with family or friends.After all, even there you can control diabetes and order healthy meals.
Here are some tips to try when going out to restaurant:
- Don’t eat bread while waiting to order, instead grab a light bite before going out, such as crispy fresh vegetables, fruits or nuts.
- Choose green foods. If the restaurant has a buffet, then take a light salad and, for example, lean meat and do not mix many different dishes in one plate.
- Season the salad the right way. Place the salad dressing on the edge of the plate to eat exactly as much as you want. Choose a low-fat vinegar dressing.
- Ask for food substitutions if they are not suitable for you. Choose steamed, cooked or baked foods instead of browned or fried ingredients, and salads or steamed vegetables over heavy side dishes such as fries.
- Watch your portion sizes: Order a meal the size of an appetizer or ask to cut the portion in half.If the portion is too large, you can ask to wrap half of it with you.
- Choose Fruit – Eat fruit for dessert if possible and avoid heavy, high-calorie, sugar-rich desserts.
- Eat before 8 pm and allow yourself some time for a walk before bed.
The information is of a recommendatory nature and cannot be considered as a medical professional’s advice or a substitute for it. Before following this or that recommendation, it is imperative to consult your doctor.
90,000 What foods should not be eaten with type 2 diabetes
It is not only diabetics who need to adhere to a healthy diet
A nutritionist told how people with diabetes should eat.
So that diabetes mellitus does not lead to a significant deterioration in the quality of life, it is important for the patient to lead a correct lifestyle and follow a certain diet. Nutritionist-nutritionist Natalya Belyaeva told the portal “Healthy Nutrition” about which foods you can eat and which ones are better to forget.
First of all, remember to always monitor your blood glucose levels.With special food, it’s easy. You can even start keeping a specific food diary to help you stick to your diet.
What is useful for a “diabetic”?
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus can safely eat at:
Vegetable and animal proteins (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese and legumes)
Various fats (butter, fatty sour cream and cottage cheese, vegetable oils, nuts)
Carbohydrates (fiber – fresh vegetables, herbs, cereals – buckwheat, oatmeal).
Spices, herbs, herbs.
It is better to refuse
The list of “prohibited” products includes :
Fast carbs (baked goods, chocolate, white rice, potatoes)
Foods that contain lactose and fructose. Lactose is found in milk, kefir, fermented baked milk and other products.Fructose is dangerous because it reduces the sensitivity of cells to insulin. This means that sweet fruits, dried fruits, bananas, grapes and other natural sweets should not appear on the table of a diabetic. Especially don’t snack on fruit. This can lead to a sharp rise in glucose levels.
However, do not go to extremes: like any other person, a patient with diabetes should receive a balanced diet. Therefore, if there are difficulties with the development of the menu, then you can and should seek help from your doctor.
90,000 menus for type 1 and type 2 diabetics
A low-carb diet for diabetes is considered one of the most effective. Why? Let’s figure it out.
Sugar and diabetes
Diabetes is known to have elevated blood sugar levels. This is due to a malfunction of the pancreas. She can completely stop producing insulin – this is characteristic of type 1 diabetes, it is also called childhood.Another option is when the pancreas does not use insulin efficiently. This happens with type 2 diabetes, which can appear due to a sedentary lifestyle and excess weight. In both cases, the body’s metabolism is impaired.
The main challenge in diabetes is to keep glucose levels within normal limits. This will help to avoid the development of various chronic diseases or their complications. This is facilitated by a low-carb diet for diabetics. Before insulin was discovered, it was the only way to control blood sugar.It is carbohydrates that have a great influence on its content. With the sugar type, the body cannot process them in full. It turns out that the more carbohydrates enter the body, the higher the glucose level and the more insulin is required. Therefore, by reducing the amount of carbohydrate foods, you can keep sugar in check.
What Happens With A Low Carb Diet?
- the load on the pancreas is reduced;
- increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin;
- glucose level is within normal limits;
- blood pressure is normalized;
- weight is decreasing;
- lowers cholesterol levels;
- the risk of complications of chronic diseases is reduced.
The transition to a low-carb diet doesn’t have to be sudden. This threatens a sharp drop in blood glucose and can lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, preparation is needed before reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. What does it include:
- keeping a table with glycemic indications for at least a month;
- We compile a food diary, where we write down everything we eat during the day;
- we note physical activity: how many minutes a day do you devote to sports, do you move a lot or a little;
- We show the collected data to the attending physician.
The endocrinologist will help you draw up a menu and select an individual dosage of drugs, taking into account your activity, glucose indicators, the presence of chronic diseases. You may need to change your insulin dose after changing your diet. It is important to remember that switching to a new diet will require even more careful blood sugar control. Therefore, a glucometer should always be at hand, as well as something sweet in case of a sharp decrease in glucose and a hypoglycemic state.
It is difficult to say exactly how many carbohydrates diabetics should consume per day to the nearest milligram. This is calculated individually. Taken into account:
- fasting glucose values;
- indicators at least one hour after eating.
It is scientifically proven that a low-carb diet is effective for type 2 diabetes. Research has been carried out several times.In one of them, the subjects were asked to eat about 20 g of carbohydrates per day. After 16 weeks of the experiment, samples were taken from the participants in the study. Those who followed the principles of a low-carb diet improved glycemic control when their diabetes medication was reduced or stopped. At the same time, there were no side effects of the diet.
In general, the carbohydrate content in the daily menu may be slightly higher. For example, 70 grams per day. The main rule is that a low-carb diet must be long-term in order to achieve the desired effect.You can allow up to 25 grams of carbohydrates per meal if your blood glucose is 8 mmol / L or less.
Low-carb diabetic foods
The main question that arises when switching to a low-carb diet: what can and can not be eaten? First of all, it is worth figuring out which carbohydrates contribute to a sharp increase in sugar and which carbohydrates should not be afraid. For example, even products for diabetics can raise sugar levels if they contain components such as sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol – all these are sugar alcohols.In contrast, carbohydrate-rich vegetables are beneficial for diabetes because they contain dietary fiber that normalizes blood glucose levels. Therefore, the main rule of a low-carb diet for diabetes is to limit fast carbohydrates, replacing them in the diet with foods that are saturated with fiber.
What do diabetics have to give up?
- flour: white bread, premium flour, puff pastry, baked goods, pasta;
- soups containing fatty meat and milk soups;
- fatty meat: pork, goose, duck;
- smoked meats and sausages;
- fatty dairy products;
- white rice;
- vegetables containing starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes;
- boiled beets and carrots;
- sauces, alcohol, carbonated drinks, sweet tea, ice cream.
Many people worry that the diet will have to be severely limited. However, it is not. The list of foods with such a diet is quite extensive.
What can you eat with diabetes?
- lean meat products and lean poultry;
- lean fish and seafood;
- fermented baked milk, kefir, as well as low-fat cottage cheese and sour cream in small quantities;
- low-fat soups: from vegetables with cereals, mushrooms, with the addition of lean meat and fish;
- vegetables: almost everything is possible, except for potatoes, it is recommended to limit the consumption of carrots and beets;
- fruits and berries: you can afford those with a low glycemic index – cherry, sweet cherry, kiwi, mango, pineapple, apricot;
- bread: whole grain, rye, with bran.
The menu may also include mushrooms, cereals, squash caviar, pickled apples, sauerkraut. There is another group of products that can be consumed, but in limited quantities. It includes berries, nuts, dark chocolate.
What else is important for diabetics to consider when making a menu?
- your glycemic and insulin index;
- nutritional value of a product – the dish should provide enough energy;
- heat treatment of food – this also affects the glycemic index, in raw vegetables it is lower than in boiled ones.
The daily intake of carbohydrates between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks should be evenly distributed. It is important to follow the diet. It should be fractional – this means that you need to eat at least 4-6 times a day in small portions. At the same time, it is recommended to take food by the hour – that is, approximately always at the same time. Fried and smoked will have to be excluded or limited as much as possible and boiled vegetables, steamed fish will have to be loved.
Low carbohydrate diet for type 2 diabetes: menu
- breakfast: buckwheat porridge or egg with rye bread and butter sandwich;
- snack: nuts, low-fat yogurt;
- lunch: onion soup or vegetable stew, millet with chicken or beef stew with vegetables;
- Snack: orange, apples, baked with cottage cheese or dietetic cheese cakes, cooked in the oven;
- Dinner: vegetable salad and steamed pollock or buckwheat with mushrooms;
- last snack: low-fat kefir or fermented baked milk.
This is just a daily version of the low-carb diabetic diet menu. With the transition to a diabetic low-carb menu, new recipes will have to be mastered. We offer you to try several delicious dietary dishes.
Pumpkin, baked in the oven
- olive oil;
- pumpkin or sunflower seeds;
Wash the pumpkin, peel, cut into small cubes.Chop the garlic finely. Add chopped garlic, seeds, cumin to the pumpkin. Season with olive oil. Stir and season with salt. Put in a mold and bake in the oven for about half an hour at a temperature of 200 degrees. Sprinkle the finished dish with herbs.
- pink salmon;
- olive oil;
- salt, pepper.
Put greens in a double boiler. On it is a piece of fish seasoned with pepper and salt.Steam for about 25 minutes. Mix lemon juice with olive oil. Pour the prepared fish with this sauce.
- red lentils;
- vegetable oil;
- salt, pepper, spices.
Rinse the lentils, put in boiling water, cook for about 5 minutes. Peel turnips, grate, salt and pour boiling water over. Drain the water, rinse the turnips with water, add to the soup.Salt and pepper everything. Cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and add vegetable oil.
Low-carbohydrate diet is the best way to bring type 2 diabetes into remission
Diabetes mellitus is a group of endocrine diseases that are associated with disorders of carbohydrate metabolism and a persistent increase in blood sugar levels. With diabetes mellitus, a variety of complications arise – disturbances in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels, renal failure, weight gain and many others.In severe cases, diabetes can cause diabetic foot syndrome and even hypoglycemic coma.
All patients with suspected diabetes mellitus are prescribed diet therapy, which involves eliminating easily digestible carbohydrates from the diet and reducing the amount of saturated fat. Doctors also talk about lifestyle changes and increased physical activity. It is these measures that help cure diabetes mellitus in the early stages.
Why you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates
Overeating leads to disturbances in the functioning of the pancreas.
Patients with diabetes mellitus need to plan their diet very carefully. In doing so, they must control the size of portions of food, count the amount of carbohydrates eaten during the day, limit foods with fast carbohydrates, and also avoid long breaks between meals.
Why is it necessary to limit carbohydrates in particular? Because they are the main source of glucose for cells. 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal of energy. And depending on activity, a person needs about 2000 kcal per day (2400-2600 kcal for men and 1800-2000 kcal for women), which is 400-500 grams of carbohydrates per day.
In the body of a healthy person, carbohydrates are properly processed, and cells easily assimilate glucose. In diabetics, the level of glucose in the blood can significantly exceed the norm, but this glucose does not enter the cells, and they actually starve. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas simply does not produce the insulin the body needs. One of the causes of type 1 diabetes is genetic predisposition.
With type 2 diabetes, the situation is different. In view of overeating and an abundance of simple carbohydrates in food, receptors on cells over time become immune to the effects of insulin, which also adversely affects the absorption of glucose.Often in the early stages of diabetes, it is the reduction of carbohydrates in the diet that allows these receptors to work and improve the processes of glucose uptake in the body.
It is impossible to completely give up carbohydrates.
It would seem that it is enough to completely exclude all carbohydrates from the menu, and diabetes mellitus will recede. But, in fact, everything is not so simple. Glucose is a source of energy for our body. Complete hunger for tissues and cells is also not good at all. Some experts note that carbohydrates in the diet of diabetics should be from 26 to 60%.But these should be predominantly slow or complex carbohydrates that have undergone only minimal processing.
Diets that include a complete rejection of carbohydrates can have the most adverse effects. You can read more about the dangers of low-carb diets here.
Carbohydrates and Glycemic Index
There are foods with low, medium and high glycemic index.
One of the main indicators to consider when choosing food is the glycemic index.This concept was introduced by the Canadian nutritionist D. Jenkins, who conducted a study of patients with diabetes in the 90s. The scientist measured the blood sugar content of the subjects after eating various foods.
The glycemic index shows the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream. With a high index, the glucose level may rise too sharply, and the more often such surges are provoked, the worse for a person.
There are three groups of products – with a low index (less than 40), medium (from 40 to 70) and high (more than 70).According to this classification, the exact index can be calculated only for individual products, for example, fresh vegetables and fruits. But in our normal diet, foods mix with each other, so calculating the total glycemic index for an entire dish can be tricky.
The glycemic index depends on the fiber, fat and protein content, processing method, salt or acid addition. So, with a large inclusion of fiber, the glycemic index decreases, and with the addition of salt, it increases.
Foods with a low glycemic index include lettuce, cabbage, green peppers, eggplant, legumes, rice bran, apricots, plums and other fruits, onions, pearl barley, soy milk and many others.
High glycemic index foods include alcohol, white bread, canned corn, orange juice, potatoes, parboiled rice, pasta, and of course all confectionery.
In addition to the glycemic index, there is such a thing as the glycemic load.It indicates the amount of carbohydrates in the product. For example, watermelon has a high glycemic index – 72. But the load will be small, since there are only 4 carbohydrates in 100 grams of berries. Therefore, it is not always necessary to focus only on the glycemic index of a particular product.
And, of course, the total calorie content of the dish matters.
Effectiveness of Low Carb Diets
Low-carb diets show good results.
Very often diabetic patients are also overweight. It is to reduce excess body weight that a variety of low-carbohydrate nutrition systems have been developed, which also have a positive effect on the absorption of glucose in the body.
In January 2021, a meta-analysis of data from several studies was conducted that examined the efficacy and safety of low-carb diets for type 2 diabetes. We studied the performance of people who for more than a year adhered to a diet that included less than 26% carbohydrates in all foods.Scientists found that after 6 months, 32% of the participants had remission of diabetes mellitus. At the same time, the indicators of excess weight and lipid metabolism also improved. And in the short term, these are good numbers. But studies also showed that by 12 months from the beginning of the experiment, the effect of a low-carb diet had significantly decreased, cells began to lose insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism indicators deteriorated significantly.
Scientists note that it is quite difficult for people to adhere to this diet for a long time.Likewise, the long-term efficacy and safety of low-carb nutritional systems has not yet been established.
In another study, Polish scientists found that low-carbohydrate diets have a positive effect on blood glucose and hemoglobin levels, help reduce the amount of insulin medication, and reduce body weight. But at the same time, such adverse side effects arise as an increased risk of deficiency of minerals and vitamins, impaired renal function, an increased risk of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
All of these studies were conducted only on patients with type 2 diabetes. It was found that the reduction of carbohydrates in the diet of type 1 diabetics has practically no effect on the glucose content.
Correct diet for type 2 diabetes
Patients with diabetes mellitus need an individual nutritional system.
So how many carbohydrates should be in the diet? Scientists note that such a magical and one-size-fits-all number simply does not exist.The amount of carbohydrates in the diet should be calculated based on parameters such as body size, level of activity and metabolism, changes in appetite, concomitant diseases. These are always individual norms and an individual nutritional system. And in the case of diabetes mellitus, such diets should be formulated exclusively under the guidance of a physician.
Studies have shown that it is very important for people at risk of type 2 diabetes to include carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and skim milk in the diet, and eating at least 50 grams of fiber per day has a beneficial effect on glycemia.If diabetes is accompanied by excess weight, then just switching to a low-carb diet will not help the cause. Structured and intense lifestyle changes are needed.
Fast and slow carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are divided into fast and slow.
This division of carbohydrates is familiar to almost everyone who is interested in proper nutrition. They are also important for the nutrition of patients with diabetes mellitus.
As a rule, fast carbohydrates include sweets, white bread, honey, boiled vegetables, fruits, sweet juices, etc.The number of slow carbohydrates includes legumes, nuts, fresh vegetables, many cereals, and herbs. You can read more about the sources of complex carbohydrates and their benefits for diabetes here.
The division of carbohydrates into fast and slow carbohydrates allows you to make a more correct diet. But scientists, in truth, consider such a classification to be inappropriate.
According to scientific data, all carbohydrates are divided into monosaccharides, polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. And the most useful are polysaccharides.
Basic dietary rules for diabetes
Foods should be selected with a low glycemic index.
- Fractional nutrition – 5-6 times a day, elimination of long breaks in food and overeating.
- Maintaining optimal blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
- Priority of fresh products and dishes with minimal heat treatment.
- A selection of foods with a low glycemic index.
- Eliminate trans fats and fast food from the diet.
- Formulation of a diet based on the required number of calories and strict adherence to this menu.
- Adding the required amount of vitamins, microelements and unsaturated fatty acids to the diet.
Also, with diabetes mellitus, physical activity is mandatory, but it is better to discuss the set of exercises with your doctor.
How can you live without sweets?
Of course, after being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, you will have to give up most of the store sweets, but you can make homemade desserts using modern and safe sweeteners.In small quantities, such sweets can be eaten by diabetics.
Homemade kiwi and banana marmalade
Homemade marmalade is the best alternative to sweets.
This is a very tasty treat without sugar or preservatives. The sweetness of a banana in it is diluted with the sourness of kiwi, and thanks to agar-agar, this marmalade is suitable even for vegetarians. It is better to choose the ripe fruits according to the recipe.
Link to a detailed recipe with step by step photos:
https: // www.fresh.ru/recipe/1110-domashnij-marmelad-iz-kivi-i-banana/
Apples baked with cottage cheese in the microwave
Baked apples are one of the healthiest desserts.
Baked apples are one of the most popular and healthy desserts. You can cook them not only in the oven, but also in the microwave. The addition of low-fat cottage cheese, cinnamon and nuts to the filling will help diversify the taste of the dish.
Link to a detailed recipe with step by step photos:
https: // www.fresh.ru/recipe/2037-yabloki-zapechennye-s-tvorogom-v-mikrovolnovke/
Make the right diet and be healthy!
What kind of food will help to avoid diabetes mellitus?
Every 5 seconds in the world someone develops diabetes mellitus, and every 7 seconds someone dies from this disease, which has received the status of a non-infectious epidemic of the 21st century. The International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas estimates that there are 382 million people with diabetes in the world (three times as many as in 1990!).And by 2035, the number of patients with diabetes in the world will grow to half a billion people – that is, every tenth person on earth will be sick.
There are already 3.9 million such patients in Russia today. “In reality, there are many more patients, at least 10.9 million,” says Valentina Peterkova, chief pediatric endocrinologist of the Russian Ministry of Health, director of the Institute of Pediatric Endocrinology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, president of the Russian Diabetes Association. – Diabetes does not hurt and for many years it can proceed secretly. Excess weight is the leading cause of both the development of the disease itself and its attendant complications.But the number of overweight people in our country is growing. If we can stop the obesity epidemic, we will stop the type 2 diabetes epidemic. ”
It turns out that the diet that doctors recommend for people with diabetes is beneficial to absolutely everyone. Such a diet not only reduces the risk of developing disease, but also helps maintain normal digestion and a slim figure.
The first thing that doctors recommend both for the prevention of type 2 diabetes and for people with this diagnosis is to lose weight.But this does not mean “go on a diet” at all. “Every diet involves a reduction in the total caloric intake of the diet in one form or another. For example, prohibiting eating certain foods or combining one with the other. Miracles do not happen – in order to lose weight, in any case, you will have to eat less. And the basics of proper nutrition must be followed constantly. Without this, treatment even with the most modern drugs will not be effective, ”says Alexander Mayorov, head of the program training and treatment department of the Endocrinological Research Center of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
Our expert recommends starting weight loss by limiting the calorie intake of the diet by 500-1000 kilocalories. The easiest way to do this is to halve your usual portions. And also by removing or significantly limiting the use of high-calorie “snacks” rich in fats and easily digestible carbohydrates. These include fatty meats, butter, including vegetable oil, lard, sausages, smoked meats, fatty dairy products, poultry skin, canned food, seeds and nuts. Doctors recommend putting all these products on the “red list”.As with a traffic light, red will symbolize danger. “Many people believe that butter is more nutritious than vegetable oil. In fact, there are 720 kcal in 100 g of butter, and 900 kcal in 100 g of vegetable oil, this is the highest calorie content in nature. And many do not consider nuts as food, while one packet contains half of the daily energy requirement, ”the doctors say. Doctors also include sweets on the red list, including honey, which, it turns out, raises glucose levels much faster than pure sugar.
In order to prevent diabetes mellitus in children, since 2009, sugary carbonated drinks, spreads, mayonnaise, deep-fried food have been banned in school meals, ”says Valentina Peterkova.
The following list of foods should be colored yellow – this includes foods that should be consumed in moderation, that is, half the usual portion. These include proteins and carbohydrates: lean meat, lean fish, low-fat dairy products, grains, legumes, cereals, pasta, eggs, bread (white and black have the same calorie content!)
Finally, there are a number of foods, mainly vegetables and greens that you can eat without restrictions.This “green list” includes cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, beets, carrots, green beans, radishes, radishes. For example, the number of calories in one slice of bread is equal to the number of calories in two kilograms of cucumbers.
Doctors add that you should never go hungry! The approximate daily caloric intake should not be lower than 1200 kcal for women and 1500 kcal for men.
What if you (like the vast majority of people) do not know how to calculate calories? Doctors point out that this is not necessary.“The important thing is not how many calories a person has consumed, but how much he has cut his usual diet. The indicator will be weight loss. The rate of weight loss should be very slow – no more than 0.5 kg per week. If the weight does not decrease, then the person is not following the diet, ”notes Dr. Mayorov.
For people with type 2 diabetes, one of the main goals of dietary changes is also to prevent significant increases in blood glucose (sugar) levels. As a rule, it rises after the intake of carbohydrates.
– One of the common myths that with diabetes mellitus you should not eat carbohydrates, in particular, bread, potatoes, pasta. In addition, it is generally accepted that these products are contraindicated for people who dream of losing weight. It’s a delusion! If eaten without fat and in moderation, they are not dangerous for the figure. Carbohydrates are the basis of our nutrition, a source of energy for our body. The exception is easily digestible carbohydrates in their pure form, such as sugar, honey, fruit juices.They increase blood glucose levels immediately and dramatically. Well, everyone, without exception, should keep in mind that in order to maintain a slim figure, half of your plate should be occupied by vegetables, less than a third – fats and about 15% protein. However, the amount of carbohydrates required per day depends on the person’s needs, taking into account his physical activity. The latter should take at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity, and even better would be at least 1 hour per day, – continues Alexander Mayorov.
By themselves, fatty foods do not raise glucose levels, but they do lead to excess weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes.But (few people know about this) fat-free kefir seriously increases the level of glucose in the blood. For many years, Soviet doctors said that sour fruits are much more beneficial for diabetes mellitus than sweet ones, since they do not affect glucose levels. But in recent years, scientists have found that both green apples and bananas increase sugar in the same way.
The most useful, according to experts, are foods rich in plant fiber (whole grain bread, vegetables, greens), unsaturated fatty acids (fish) and non-nutritious sweeteners.
Many people believe that diabetes develops in those who eat a lot of sweets. However, sugary foods alone do not raise blood glucose levels. “Excessive consumption of sweets can lead to weight gain, which increases the risk of developing diabetes, but a slender person who eats only cakes has a much lower risk than a fat man who does not eat sweets,” doctors say.
Experts do not prohibit alcohol completely, but they advise to significantly limit it.Including because of its high calorie content. For example, 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 kilocalories. “The fact that beer is more high-calorie than spirits is a myth, beer is the lowest-calorie of all alcoholic drinks, there are as many calories in 100 grams as in fruit juice. However, they drink much more beer. And in two bottles of the foamy drink there are already 500 kilocalories, ”continues Alexander Mayorov.
Doctors emphasize that even with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, you can become a long-liver if you eat right, lead a healthy lifestyle and follow the doctor’s recommendations.By the way, in the last two years in Russia, they began to award Dr. Joslin’s medals (they are given to patients who have lived for more than 50 years with diabetes) – we have already accumulated 20 medalists.
Our experts point out that there are no people who cannot lose weight. “Many people say: I am getting fat because of hormonal disorders, or pills, or such heredity, or constitution. But kilograms of weight are taken from food, not from heredity. Therefore, proper nutrition should become a habit for everyone, ”says Alexander Mayorov.
In 43 cities of Russia, 57 regional educational centers for patients with diabetes mellitus have already opened, where patients can receive similar consultations on how to lead a lifestyle with this disease.