Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan – Carbs, Fiber, Fats, and Salt

Following a type 2 diabetes diet plan can make all the difference for a person attempting to manage their blood sugar level. This guide will help you determine what you can eat for better control of your disease.

"Eating right is a key step to preventing and controlling diabetes. Fortunately, whether you’re trying to reduce your risk of diabetes or manage a pre-existing problem, you can still enjoy your favorite foods and take pleasure from your meals"(1). With this in mind, let’s look at how to piece together a proper type 2 diabetes diet plan.

Type 2 diabetes diet plan – carbohydrates and fiber

Carbohydrates are classified as either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugar (glucose, sucrose, lactose, and fructose) and found in refined sugars and in fruits. Complex carbohydrates are starches, they are found in beans, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains.

Complex carbs should make up the majority of the carbohydrates you eat as they tend to get digested slower, which provides a slower and steadier source of energy. Complex carbohydrates also contain more fiber.

Fiber slows the amount of time it takes for food to move through your digestive system and this causes less of a spike in your blood sugar levels.

Tips for adding more complex carbohydrates and fiber to your diet include:

  • Substitute brown rice for white rice
  • Substitute steel-cut oats for refined cereals or instant oatmeal
  • Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes
  • Substitute a bran muffin for a croissant or pastry
  • Add more vegetables to your meals by having a side salad with each meal
  • Limit your amount of sugary soda and juice and instead switch to water

Type 2 diabetes diet plan – fats

Having diabetes increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease; following a type 2 diabetes diet plan low in saturated fats helps keep your risk as low as possible. By eating a diet low in saturated fats, you will find it easier to lose weight, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Saturated fats come from animal products such as beef, cheese, and whole milk. They are also found in baked goods along with trans fats, which are man-made fats that have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are found in fried foods, fast foods, and many pre-packaged snack foods.

Tips for avoiding saturated fats in your diet include:

  • selecting lean meats such as fish, poultry and lean cuts of red meats
  • baking, broiling, grilling, roasting or boiling meats instead of frying them
  • substituting low-fat dairy products for whole-fat dairy products
  • using low-fat vegetable cooking spray to prepare and cook foods
  • using unsaturated oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil

Type 2 diabetes diet plan – salt

Having diabetes increases your risk for high blood pressure. For this reason a diabetic diet should be lower in salt (sodium).

Tips for lowering salt in your diet include:

  • avoid shaking salt on your food and instead add herbs and spices
  • select low sodium canned meats, soups, sauces and vegetables
  • avoid cured, processed, or pickled foods
  • avoid processed meats such as lunch meats, sausage, and bacon
  • avoid salty snack foods
  • avoid foods with MSG (monosodium glutamate) common in Chinese food
  • use orange or pineapple juice as a base when preparing a meat marinade
  • choose fresh or frozen vegetables over canned vegetables

You can still enjoy many great foods when you follow a proper type 2 diabetes diet plan, moderation is key.

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