Food for Diabetics - What Should Eat Type 2 Diabetes Patients?

By Jenny Wilson June 20, 2021 in Diet Ideas

If you have lived with a diabetic patient, you know how rigorously you have to follow a particular diet plan to keep the sugar level low, as eating a balanced diet can help you maintain blood sugar level and weight.

However, figuring out the best food for diabetics can be challenging as your choosing good food for type 2 diabetics will play a significant role in preventing and managing diabetes. Being apprehensive of carb intake, eating smaller meals, and choosing a nutrient-filled diet can play a huge role in your battle against this disease.

Food for Diabetics

While there are no restriction or off-limit foods in the diabetes diet, it would be better if you keep some foods off the list to maintain your overall health and blood sugar. If you have diabetes, then it doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite food, as you will be able to enjoy some of your favorite food while managing this disease.

Your body will need carbs, but you will have to choose wisely. Choose this guide to make a perfect diet plan as here we have suggested some of the best food for diabetics. However, first, we will see what type 2 diabetes and what its causes are.

Read More : Type 2 Diabetes: Diagnosis, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Table of Contents –

  • What is Type 2 diabetes?
  • Best foods for diabetics:
  • Foods a Type 2 Diabetic Patient Should Avoid

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

It is a type of body impairment where the body regulates and uses sugar as a fuel. This chronic complication results in too much sugar supplied into the bloodstream. Eventually, it will lead to high blood sugar levels in your body, and that can lead to several disorders of the circulatory, nervous, and immune systems.

Two problems are connected to type 2 diabetes. The first problem will occur when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and the second problem will happen when your cells respond poorly to insulin and take in less sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, but rising obesity in children has led to more cases of type 2 diabetes in younger people too.

There’s no cure yet for type 2 diabetes, but you can contain and control it by losing weight, eating healthy food for diabetics, and exercising regularly. If diet and exercise fail to help you, you may need to take diabetes medication or insulin therapy.

Best Foods for Diabetics

In order to meet your health needs, you will need to follow different patterns and diet plans. If you have type 2 diabetes, you will need to choose a diet rich in nutrient-dense items that can make the best foods for diabetes.

These foods for type 2 diabetics will help you provide various nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs without aggravating your conditions.

6 Food Groups To Include in Indian Diabetic Diet Plan

Please don’t choose a diet plan that is overly strict or doesn’t fit your lifestyle, as you will find it challenging to stick with it in the long run.

What follows are some of the best food for diabetics:

Fatty Fish

These fatty fishes are some of the healthiest foods present on the planet! Fishes like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA, and EPA, which are very good for your heart health.

Food for Diabetics

If you have similar diabetes, it is essential to regularly get these fats, reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke. DHA and EPA are very beneficial fatty acids as they protect the cells that line our blood vessels and reduce signs of inflammation. Additionally, they may help improve the way your arteries work.

As per some research, people who eat fatty fish are less prone to have acute coronary syndromes, such as heart attacks, and are less likely to suffer death from heart disease. Research also shows that eating fish will help you regulate blood sugar in your body.

If you are looking for high-quality protein, then fish is considered one of the good foods for diabetics. It also contains omega-3 fats, which will help you reduce inflammation and other risk factors that lead to a heart attack.

Beans and legumes

If you are a vegetarian and looking for an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, then choose beans, lentils, and other pulses. The pulse family is full of high fiber contents, which means your digestive tract will absorb fewer carbohydrates.

This makes them the best foods for diabetics and an excellent alternative to carbs. You can also use them in place of meat or cheese.

What follows are some of the examples of beans you should pick:

  • black beans
  • lentils
  • white beans
  • chickpeas
  • kidney beans
  • pinto beans

You may need to soak dried beans and pulses overnight before eating. Always check the instructions given on the packet before using it.

It will take at least 8 hours of soaking for dried kidney beans, boiling for 10 minutes, and simmering for 45 minutes until they are soft. Kidney beans often contain a toxin; to eliminate it, you need to cook it for at least 10 minutes.

If you want to improve the digestibility of beans, then pressure or slow cook them.

Read More : What You Need To Know About The Ketogenic Diet

Eggs

Eggs are filled with excellent health benefits. Eggs are best when it comes to making you complete and satisfied between meals. If you consume eggs regularly, you will have fewer risks of having heart disease in several ways.

Eggs have so many qualities as they will decrease inflammation, improve your body’s insulin sensitivity, increase your HDL cholesterol levels and modify the size and shape of your LDL cholesterol.

As per a study, if you eat a high-fat and low-carb dish for breakfast, it may help diabetic patients manage blood sugar levels throughout the day. It was just a myth that linked the consumption of eggs with heart disease.

However, a recent study suggested that eating 6 to 12 eggs per week will not increase heart disease risk factors in those with diabetes.

Eggs are also known for reducing the risk of stroke. Additionally,  you can find lutein, zeaxanthin, and antioxidants that protect against eye diseases in eggs.

Ensure you eat the whole egg, as the most valuable part of the egg is its yolk. Eggs will reduce the risk factors for heart disease, enhance good blood sugar management, protect your eye health, and keep you feeling full.

Hence, you can count eggs as one of the best food for diabetics.

Dairy Foods

You can find some of the essential nutrients like calcium and protein in dairy products. If you have type 2 diabetes, here is some good news: dairy products can positively affect insulin secretions.

Here are some of the best dairy options you can add to your diet:

  • Parmesan, ricotta, or cottage cheese
  • low-fat or skimmed milk
  • low-fat or fat-free Greek or plain yogurt

Whole Grain

Unlike simple carbohydrates, whole grains break down slowly. To put this in simple words, whole grains are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes in your body as carbs do. Hence, it is easier to manage blood sugar levels with the help of whole grain.

If you want to lose weight and deal with obesity, avoiding bleached and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, will help you. Hence, whole grain is one of the good foods for diabetics.

Instead, you can add the following grains to your diet:

  • whole-wheat or legume pasta
  • whole-grain bread topped with at least 3 grams of fiber
  • quinoa
  • wild rice
  • 100 percent whole-grain or whole-wheat flour
  • cornmeal
  • oatmeal
  • millet
  • amaranth
  • barley

Whole grains are not only more healthful, but they will also make you feel full for a longer time, and they often possess more flavors than processed carbs.

Now, let’s see what you should avoid.

Foods that Type 2 Diabetic Patient Should Avoid

There aren’t many foods you need to eliminate, even if you have type 2 diabetes.

However, you will find some foods to be more nutrient-dense than others. This suggests that these food items are richer in vitamins and minerals. Plus, they contain less fat, sugar, and cholesterol.

If you want to maintain and manage your blood sugar level, you need to limit your high saturated fat, trans fat and added sugar.

What follows are some of the foods you should limit if you have type 2 diabetes:

  • High-fat meat like fatty cuts of pork, beef, lamb, poultry skin, dark meat chicken.
  • Full-fat dairy like whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream
  • Sweets such as candy, cookies, baked goods, ice cream, desserts
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages like juice, soda, sweet tea, sports drinks
  • Sweeteners such as table sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses
  • Processed foods like chips, microwave popcorn, processed meat, convenience meals
  • Trans fats like vegetable shortening, fried foods, dairy-free coffee creamers, partially hydrogenated oil

Final Words

Whichever diet plan or eating pattern you are choosing, it is necessary for you to eat nutrient-rich items as they are considered good food for diabetics. Additionally, learn how you can do portion management. Limit your consumption of saturated fats, high cholesterol foods, and added sugars to keep diabetes in check.

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Jenny Wilson

16 articles by Jenny Wilson | View Author Profile

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