Although people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes do have foods they should avoid, there is a massive amount of foods that are allowed. The best choices are the foods lowest in carbohydrate.
While eating the right balance of healthy foods is important, it’s also vitally important for Type 2 diabetics to:
- maintain as near-normal a blood sugar level as possible.
- achieve optimal serum lipid levels (normal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides).
- achieve a healthy blood pressure reading (lower than 140/80 Hg).
- maintain or reach a reasonable body weight.
While everyone should eat more fruit and vegetables, this is even more important for diabetics. Since many fruits and vegetables are lower in fat and naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients, it makes them a positive addition in many ways. Plus, they are usually high in fiber, which is another plus for diabetics.
But there is a hidden danger with this category. Many fruits contain high levels of sugar. This is why they should be eaten in moderation and only during certain times, such as when they are accompanied by other foods. Eaten alone, they spike blood sugar.
Choose whole fruits, since dried fruits can be very high in sugar. Apples, pears and plums have low glycemic values. Berries are also great choices; you can add them to cereal and salads and are also great for snacking.
Kiwi fruit, passion fruit, cherries grapefruit, lemons and limes are also great
Vegetables also have to be regulated… to a certain point. Depending on where they land on the glycemic index, some vegetables are much better for diabetics than others. Simply saying it’s okay to eat vegetables isn’t good enough: it has to be the right ones, in the right amounts, eaten at the right times.
Starchy vegetables should be avoided; these include potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnip and Swedes. Corn is a grain and should be avoided
Always keep fixings on hand for salads, such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. Don’t forget to use low sugar, low-fat dressings.
Meat is good for diabetics as long as the fat content is monitored. Ask your butcher to remove all visible fats from any cuts of meat.
Lean cuts of meats are great, as long as they are limited in their serving size. Just because meat is extremely lean doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. You still have to take calories into account.
Avoid or minimize smoked meat, bacon, ham, sausages, hot dogs and other small goods. Offal, oysters and mussels are higher in carbohydrate than other meats and seafood; they can be eaten only in smaller amounts.
Looking for anther good source of protein besides meat? Try legumes, cheese, eggs and nuts. And don’t forget poultry and deep ocean fish.
The last category of foods is complex carbs. This is a touchy subject since many diabetics take the stand to completely eliminate carbs from their lives altogether. While carbs should be limited, they are still necessary, as long as they are complex in nature. What does that mean? Regular carbs negatively alter blood sugar levels, but complex carbs actually help to control your blood sugar.
Examples of complex carbs would be brown rice, wheat germ, oatmeal, barley, corn, buckwheat and other assorted grains. Eating these in moderation allows you to splurge on carbs, but in a good way.
- brown rice is great for casseroles, with stir-fries, or in soups. It has a low glycemic index value.
- bulgur and barley are alternatives white rice.
These foods can be kept in airtight containers for long periods of time. They contain a variety of nutrients and fiber, and are recommended for a heart-healthy diet. Don’t forget: for people with Type 2 diabetes, the amount is always a consideration.