13 Things to Keep in Mind When Managing a Type 2 Diabetes Diet
- To Space Out Your Meals Throughout the Day:
To have blood glucose levels in your target range, have your meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Avoid eating no food for long hours and then gobbling up plenty of it after a long interval. Do not skip breakfast. It is wise to seek the advice of a certified nutritionist to have well-planned, nutritious meals at proper intervals throughout the day. This will help prevent the spike in your blood sugar and keep your diabetes in check.
- To Opt for Complex Carbohydrates and Do Carbohydrate Counting:Carbohydrates are necessary as they provide your body with fuel; however, they impact your blood glucose levels quickly. So, when choosing them, prefer to have complex carbohydrates in your diabetic meal plan, as they take a longer time to get digested. They have a minimal immediate effect on your blood sugar level, thereby making it rise more slowly. You receive steady energy and fibre from complex carbohydrates. So, add vegetables, such as beans, brown rice, lentils, whole grains, and nuts to your diet plan for diabetes. Avoid simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, cookies, pastries, pasta, bread, and flour.
Also, do carbohydrate counting, which means keeping a track of your daily consumption of carbohydrates. Calculating the grams of carbohydrates that you consume daily and splitting them evenly between meals can help you manage your blood glucose levels effectively.
- To Include Low GI Foods:Foods having a low glycemic index are better options for diabetic individuals, as they help avoid the spike in blood glucose levels. Adding low GI foods to your prediabetes dietcan help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart-related ailments. They also help you in your weight loss efforts. Whole grains, legumes, brown rice, fresh vegetables, fruits, whole milk, and plain yoghurt are some healthy low GI options that you can incorporate into your type 2 diabetes food list.
- To Have Protein Food Sources:Proteins are healthy options for diabetic individuals to include in their diet. Eating proteins do not cause a spike in your blood glucose levels. It satisfies your appetite, helps reduce your sugar cravings, makes you feel full for longer than usual, and provides you with steady energy. Legumes, eggs, peas, beans, dairy, and seafood are some foods loaded with proteins that you can include in your diet plan for diabetes.
- To Impose Portion Control:Do not fill your plate with only one type of food. Ensure that your one-third plate is filled with vegetables or salad, one-third portion is filled with protein food sources, and the rest is filled with complex carbohydrates. This helps prevent your blood glucose level from shooting high.
- To Add Healthy Fats:Including healthy fats in your diabetic meal planreduces the GI of the meal, helps balance your sugar levels, and curbs your cravings for unhealthy carbohydrates. The intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is effective in slowing the absorption of carbohydrates, improving insulin resistance and secretion, and keeping your diabetes in check. So, include avocadoes, almonds, olive oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and oily fish, such as salmon, in your type 2 diabetes food list.
- If You Smoke, Plan to Quit It:
Smoking is injurious to the health of any individual, and it is particularly harmful if you have diabetes. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular issues. Smoking constricts your blood vessels and compounds the risk of serious health issues. It may even impair the blood vessels in your legs and may make you more prone to diabetes complications, such as serious leg infections and leg conditions needing surgery. So, work out to quit smoking.
- To Check Your Blood Sugar Often as Doctor Recommends:
Keep a track of your blood sugar levels as your doctor advises to ensure that you don’t suffer from severe highs and lows. An abnormal drop in your blood glucose levels can make you suffer from fatigue and cloudy thinking. Although following a type 2 diabetes diet will help you manage your blood sugar levels, monitoring it often, as your doctor recommends, can help you learn whether they are in the target range or not. This helps your healthcare advisor to make the right modifications in your diet to enable you to have blood glucose levels in the target range and prevent the potential consequences of fluctuations in blood sugar.
- To Restrict or Stop Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption in excess can cause high fluctuations in your blood sugar levels when you are following a diet plan for diabetes. Heavy drinking can make it difficult for you to stick to healthy dietary and precautionary habits to manage your type 2 diabetes. It also hampers your decision-making skills. So, have a word with your healthcare provider to learn whether your alcohol intake is compromising your diabetes care and how can you limit or stop drinking with the right measures for healthy living.
- To Avoid Fast Foods and Processed Foods:
Heavily processed foods have high levels of fat, empty calories, and sugar. So, they can cause a rise in your blood sugar. Also, eating fast foods often promotes insulin resistance and causes weight gain, as they are loaded with sodium, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats. Choose to eat healthy foods instead of these tempting, unhealthy processed and fast foods. A certified nutritionist can help you eliminate various fast foods and processed foods, such as white bread, pasta, and more, from your type 2 diabetes food list and substitute them with healthy options.
- Regular Exercise:
Diet and exercise both play a vital role in managing type 2 diabetes. Doing mild to moderate exercise daily, such as brisk walking, running, yoga, or workouts at the gym, causes muscle contractions that push glucose into your cells from your blood. If you are physically strong, practising weight-lifting exercises regularly can help you have steady blood glucose levels. So, stay active and include exercise in your routine life while following a prediabetes diet or type 2 diabetic meal plan.
- To Reduce Weight:
Losing weight can help you keep your type 2 diabetes in check. Obese and overweight individuals are at a high risk of developing diabetes or suffering from health risks if they already have diabetes. Going for a customised diet plan for diabetes and incorporating an exercise schedule into your routine life can help you shed those unwanted kilos and lower your blood sugar naturally. Regular aerobic exercises, yoga, or workouts along with a diabetic meal plan can help you manage the condition effectively.
- To Have At Least 7 Hours of Sound Sleep at Night:
Sleep deprivation can increase your insulin resistance. If you get less than 7 hours of continuous sleep at night, you may experience excess appetite the next day. Also, a lack of sleep reduces your feeling of fullness after eating. The increase in insulin resistance due to sleep deprivation can cause a spike in your blood glucose levels. So, along with a type 2 diabetes diet, you should enjoy sound sleep for 7 to 8 hours continuously at night to keep your blood sugar in check.
If you are working hard on your diet to have your blood glucose levels in the target range, follow all these helpful tips. Certified nutritionists at Health Total can help you have a personalized diet plan for diabetes comprising the right foods. Also, the health experts offer proper advice on planning your meals at the right time, staying active, and avoiding wrong food choices while following the diabetic meal plan. This will help you not just reduce your blood sugar levels but also lose weight and improve your immunity. So, wait no more, get in touch with us at Health Total, and manage your blood sugar levels naturally and smoothly with our customized type 2 diabetes diet.