Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels become too high — and it’s on the rise worldwide. The International Diabetes Federation or IDF reports that over 400 million people have diabetes, with over 90% suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes is a ‘manageable’ disease, meaning that even if the condition doesn’t have a cure, you can manage its symptoms with treatment. You can easily control and live with type 2 diabetes by making particular changes in your diet.
Although each diet varies from person-to-person, here are the essentials that every healthy diabetic diet eating plan should have.
Stick to Low-Carb Meal Plans
When dealing with type 2 diabetes, your best course of action is managing your carbohydrate consumption. Although the limits and goals vary based on several factors, including activeness, medications, and a person’s insulin resistance levels, you must avoid having too much in one sitting. A great way to achieve this is by sticking to low-carb meal plans and taking advantage of ketogenic food and similar products.
Although a traditional keto diet calls for healthy foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, because of its popularity, there are now plenty of keto versions of popular junk foods like ice cream and cookies that you can enjoy.
Add Enough Calories
Although calorie-counting isn’t necessary for a diabetic diet plan, it pays to know how much you’re eating, plus it helps you see if you’re sticking to what you’re supposed to be eating. It’s best if you follow the National Institutes of Health calorie intake recommendation for those managing type 2 diabetes, which are:
- 1,200 to 1,600 Calories Daily — This is ideal for small- to medium-sized women either physically active or not.
- 1,600 to 2,000 Calories Daily — This is recommended for larger women or little men at a relatively healthy weight and isn’t physically active.
- 2,000 to 2,400 Calories Daily — This is the optimal calorie intake recommendation for medium- to large-sized men or physically active women.
Add More Fiber to Your Diet
A great way to shed some pounds while keeping your blood sugar levels to a minimum is adding foods rich in fiber to your diet. The nutrient isn’t digested by the human body wholly, so fiber-rich foods with carbs don’t raise blood sugar levels as fast since your body processes them slower. Additionally, it helps you feel fuller longer, significantly aiding in weight loss.
Stock Up on Healthy Fats
Heart-related diseases such as hypertension and stroke are the number one cause of death for individuals with diabetes, and the fats in your diet have a direct effect on your heart. Consuming the right type of fats can help lower your blood pressure and sugar levels at an all-time low. The ADA recommends you stock up your diet with avocado, nuts, and use healthier grease like olive or canola oil when cooking.
Avoid Certain Foods
Besides adding healthy foods to your diet, every healthy diabetic eating plan should avoid having the following:
- Trans-fat Rich Foods — Trans fats are the worst type of fat you can eat as it raises your low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) through the roof.
- Sodium — This element can raise your blood pressure and result in complications. That’s why it’s best to consume less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
Type 2 diabetes is a manageable condition you can control with treatment, and most doctors recommend switching your eating habits to deal with the disease. The essentials mentioned can help you control blood sugar, manage a healthy weight, and prevent heart disease risk factors, including hypertension and high blood fats.