Diabetes is a deadly and life-long persisting disease that impacts the way in which your body deals with glucose intake. It can be the cause of various other diseases and thus must be addressed at the initial stage. The most common type of diabetes is type 2 and it affects nearly 27 million people in the country.
In this type of diabetes, the body becomes incapable to break down the sugar intake and store the glucose in the body properly, thus making it important to abide by the type 2 diabetes diet specifically designed by the physician.
Although mostly found in people above the age of 40, there is an increase in the cases of type 2 diabetes among youngsters as well.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Some primary causes of type 2 diabetes are as follows:
- Being overweight
- Genetic history
- Lack of physical activities
- Malfunctioning of the pancreas or liver
Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes
Some of the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes that should not be ignored are as follows:
- A perpetual feeling of being thirsty
- Recurrent urge to urinate
- Hazy vision
- Bad temper
- Difficulty in the healing of wounds
- Extreme and impenetrable tiredness
Diet plan for type 2 diabetes – First step toward healthy living
An important factor that can help you to control diabetes and keep your blood sugar level stable is following a proper diet. Therefore, while your doctor will give you oral medication, he will also specify a structured diet plan which you should not ignore at any cost.
Following a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice all your favorite dishes. It basically comprises a wide range of starches, fibers, fats, and proteins. The challenge in deriving the right type 2 diabetes diet lies in creating a perfect blend of foods that will provide your body with all the necessities without an excess of a certain type of food to ensure that the sugar level is in control.
Here is a list of food items that you should avoid and certain alternatives that you can have instead in case you are suffering from type 2 diabetes:
An important ingredient of any diet is veggies and a diet plan for type 2 diabetes is no exception. Ensure to consume loads of fresh vegetable but try to avoid starchy ones.
Vegetables that should ideally be avoided are as follows:
- Green peas
Instead of these, some of the best alternatives that you can consume are as follows:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce
- Bamboo shoots
You can also consume any other vegetable that is not rich in starch.
As part of a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes, ensure to consume a minimum of 3–5 portions of vegetables in a day. One portion of vegetables should ideally consist of both cooked and uncooked veggies.
As carbohydrates play a direct role in diabetes and fruits are rich in it, the intake of fruits should also be well balanced and carefully done.
You can enjoy some of the lesser sweetened fruits such as the following:
- Apples, pears, and peaches without peeling the skin
- Citric fruits
However, the following options should be excluded from your type 2 diabetes diet:
- Fruit syrup
- Juices—both fresh and packed
- Dried fruits
Instead of discarding the consumption of dairy products, you can choose to curb the intake of high-fat dairy items and this will comfortably fit into your type 2 diabetes diet.
Dairy products, such as the following, can be included in your diet:
- Skimmed milk
- No-fat cheese or yogurt
However, the following dairy products should be avoided:
- Flavored milk
- Milk chocolates
- Full-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, or butter
In case you are on a vegan diet, then managing the intake of protein can be a challenging task for you. While beans and nuts can be a good substitute, an excessive intake of these can be problematic as these also contain a huge amount of calories.
In your regular diet, if you can integrate a well-measured quantity of protein along with adequate fiber, it will help you in losing the excess fat from your body, thereby reducing the level of insulin.
Some of the best protein options you can include in your type 2 diabetes diet are as follows:
- Raw and un-flavored nuts
- Chicken and turkey without skin
- Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna
However, the following proteins should be excluded or avoided from your diet:
- Packed and pre-cooked meats
- Bacon and pepperoni
- Smoothies loaded with sweeteners
- Chicken and turkey with skin
As per the American Diabetes Association, it is important to include whole grains in a diet for type 2 diabetes, as the fiber in these grains helps in effective digestion. Moreover, consumption of fiber also helps satiate hunger along with less consumption of food. While this can prevent you from overeating and controlling your body weight, this also kills your desire to consume unhealthy foods.
Grains mostly contain carbohydrates, therefore, it is important to select the correct items and eat them in a uniform pattern.
Grains that can be consumed in a controlled portion are as follows:
- Whole wheat grains—these can be consumed; however, as it is challenging to find products made of whole wheat grains only, it is advised to read the ingredients mentioned on the pack carefully.
- Brown rice
Grains that need to be strictly disregarded from your diet are as follows:
- White bread, pasta, or anything prepared with wheat flour
- White rice
- Sweet and packed breakfast items
- Bakery items like pastries
Diabetes is a non-curable disease, and thus, it is important to follow a strict diet to ensure that this disease does not lead to any other complications. Strict medical consultation is also required along with maintaining a diet for type 2 diabetes. One should check with their medical practitioner or dietician regarding the inclusions and exclusions as per their health condition.