Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Guidelines

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Guidelines

The body’s inability to maintain the equilibrium of blood sugar levels is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Because of this process the blood sugar, which is the body’s energy fuel is unable to enter the cells of liver, fats, and muscles, where it can be utilized.  

Where conventional medicine has come up different therapeutic approaches to tackle this condition dietary management remains the primary line of defense against this disease. Dietary management of type 2 diabetes does not involve complex pathways; rather the same group of food items is to be consumed. The only factor that is detrimental to the management of this disease is the quality of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to be consumed.  

In order to create a balance in blood sugar levels, it is imperative that the source of sugar should be tackled. For this specific target, the overall percentage of different macronutrients should be 

  • Carbohydrates 55-60% 
  • Proteins 10-15% 
  • Fats 20-35% 

 

In addition to the above-mentioned distribution, two important aspects should be kept in mind regarding the quality of food consumed:

  1. Carbohydrates with low glycaemic index should be preferred  
  2. The proteins and fats should be sourced from plant origin  

 

What is a glycemic index? 

Glycemic index is the ability of a particular food to raise the blood sugar levels, the lower the glycaemic index the convenient it is to maintain the blood sugar at optimal levels. 

That brings us to the subject of different choices among the food categories, which are termed best for a healthy diabetic meal plan. 

 

Carbohydrates choices for type 2 diabetes meal plan 

Carbohydrates are two types:  

  • simple   
  • complex  

 

Simple carbohydrates, also known as the white food, are the main culprits in our current eating styles that have culminated in the increasing incidence of type II diabetes. Owing to the lifestyle and dietary changes of current fast-paced life, many processed food items have replaced homemade meals and fresh fruits and vegetables in our grocery lists as well as supermarket shelves.  

With a high glycaemic index, the simple sugars are not included in a diet plan for type 2 diabetes. Some of the examples of simple carbohydrates are:

  • sugar  
  • processed flower  
  • White pasta  
  • white bread  
  • processed foods as bakery items  
  • fruit juices 

 

Complex carbohydrates are the preferred choice while planning a meal plan for type 2 diabetes owing to their low glycaemic index. Some of the examples of such food are :

  • fresh fruits  
  • vegetables  
  • beans  
  • lentils  
  • oatmeal  
  • brown rice  
  • whole wheat  
  • quinoa  

 

The complex carbohydrates are a good source of fiber and nutrients. Some of the starchy vegetables can be eaten in moderation as potatoes, corn, and other root vegetables. The non-starchy vegetables can be eaten in abundance. 

 

Choices of fat for type 2 diabetes  

Though fats are not responsible directly for a rise in blood sugar levels, they are very useful in slowing down the overall absorption of sugar from carbohydrates with a contribution towards satisfied taste buds as well as appetite.  The overall result is minimized overeating and white food cravings (as for bread, pasta). 

Good fat choices like olive oil, nuts as walnuts, salmon and avocados should be included in a meal plan for type II diabetes. 

 

Protein choices for type 2 diabetes 

 Proteins have a similar role to play as fats in a meal plan devised specifically for type II diabetes, that is to maintain the blood sugar levels and help overcome sugar cravings by satisfying the satiety levels.   

Similar to fats, the choice of proteins should be among the plant sources, which include:

  • Beans 
  • legumes  

 

Some of the good protein choices from animal source are:

  • eggs 
  • fish and other seafood  
  • organic dairy products  
  • tofu and soy foods  
  • lean meats as skinless chicken and turkey 

 

The overall target of the particular food choices is to increase the fiber content of food as they all help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, thereby resulting in a steady insulin release instead of an insulin spike.

 

Of all the diets that are followed around the globe for type II diabetes, the Mediterranean diet is the best among them. The rationale behind this choice includes many vegetables with moderate amounts of fruit, a healthy portion of good fats and lean proteins.