What to include in type 2 diabetes diet?

fruits and vegie bowl

When your fasting blood glucose level is above 120 mg / dL, on several occasions, you are considered to have diabetes. But do not worry. Diabetes only needs good control. Type 2 diabetes is the condition that you develop at some point in life due to not following proper eating habits. A type 2 diabetes diet will help you to keep your blood glucose level under control. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to poor eyesight, kidney damage, nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. In some people, although there is insulin, the cells in the body might not be able to use insulin properly. In our body insulin helps to reduce the blood glucose level. When cells in our body do not respond properly to insulin, the blood glucose level will keep elevated. This condition is known as type two diabetes.

What causes type 2 diabetes? 

There can be many causes of type 2 diabetes. Some are listed below.

  • High blood pressure
  • smoking
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • overweight
  • high fat and cholesterol level in the blood

It is very important to maintain normal blood glucose levels between 110- 180 mg/dl. Very low blood glucose levels are also not good such as 30-40 mg/dl because it can cause hypoglycemic coma. To control diabetes you need to control your diet, exercise, and take medication.

What are the complications of diabetes?

There are 3 main types of adverse effects of uncontrolled diabetes, they are diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, and diabetic neuropathy. Heart diseases and stroke can also be caused by uncontrolled diabetes. 

What should be included in a type 2 diabetes diet?

diabetic diet

For the nutritional management of diabetes, it is preferable to take 40 -60 % of energy from carbohydrates, 15 -20 % of energy from proteins, 20-35% of energy from fat. You can calculate the amount of energy you need per day and then you can determine how much carbs, proteins, and fat you should take from your diet.

If your calorie requirement per day is 2000kcal, then you will need to consume 225 – 300g carbohydrates, 75 – 100g of protein, and 4 – 78 g of fat.

In a diabetic diet, it is important to avoid trans-fatty acids, also it is better if you can take only 9% of energy from saturated fatty acids. Also, there should be about 30 -50g of dietary fiber per day in a diabetic diet. From this amount of dietary fiber, about 10 – 20 g of fiber can be soluble fiber which is found in many fruits and vegetables as well as oats.

Some food ideas for a diabetic diet

  • Cereals: parboiled rice or rice with bran, heavy grain bread
  • Vegetables: Eat less starchy vegetables.
  • Fruits: Eat moderate amounts of fruits. Also, go for half-ripe sour fruits instead of sweet ripe fruits.
  • Meats: Instead of beef, pork, mutton, skinless chicken and fish (herring, sardines, salmon) as well as eggs.
  • Pulses: Eat a variety of foods made from black beans, green peas, soy, and millet.
  • Drinks: Drink plenty of water. If necessary, drink unsweetened tea and coffee.

How to prepare a diabetes diet plate?

  • 1/2 of the plate is low in starchy vegetables,
  • 1/4 of a plate of rice or starchy foods,
  • 1/4 of a plate of protein foods,
  • The food dish should be prepared as follows. Thus, 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are available.

What are the foods to avoid in a diabetes diet?

  • Foods high in sugar, salt, oil, and fat
  • Foods made from whole wheat flour (bread, buns, biscuits, etc.)
  • High sugar carbonated beverages
  • Processed foods such as sausages and ham
  • Fast food like burgers, french fries

What is the importance of exercise?

Exercising 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, cycling, gardening, and leading an active lifestyle can help control diabetes. It is also important to maintain good mental health.

These tips will help you control your diabetes. Also, if you have diabetes, it is important to see your nutritionist and doctor.

Dilini Tharaka

Dilini Tharaka

BSc. (sp.) in Food Science and Nutrition, Specializing in Applied Nutrition (Founder, Editor, and an Author)
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Your well being affects your quality of life. If your body is healthy you’ll also feel good. Proper nutrition can help you to be healthier. 

Dilini Tharaka

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