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Healthy Eating on a Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Tips for Managing Nutrition for Diabetes


Updated May 16, 2014

Diabetes is one of the only diseases where your food plays a part in the treatment. Eating too much can make you overweight, which raises insulin resistance. The kinds of foods you eat can affect your blood glucose levels. Taking good care of yourself means learning how to manage food and meals on a Type 2 diabetes diet.

Good nutrition for diabetes can be approached on three levels.

1. What foods should I eat?

2. When should I eat?

3. Should I watch my portion sizes?

But that's not all. Chances are, you are going to have to make changes to how you are eating.

  1. Although sweets aren't totally off limits, it's important to limit how many sweet foods you do eat.
  2. Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can keep your blood sugar at a more constant level.
  3. Carbohydrates are one of the big players in diabetes management. Eat whole grain foods instead of processed, sugar-laden foods.
  4. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Try for 5 to 7 servings a day.
  5. Limit the amount of fatty foods you eat.
  6. Limit alcohol consumption. If you do drink, keep it to 1 to 2 a day. Opt for heart-healthy red wine. The antioxidants found in wine are beneficial.

Consistent Carbohydrate Diet

Many experts recommend you follow a consistent carbohydrate diet with Type 2 diabetes. Typically, in addition to choosing the right types of carbohydrates like whole grains and fruits, you want to spread those carbohydrates fairly evenly throughout the day. This will help keep your blood sugar steady and less vulnerable for fluctuations. Therefore, once you understand how many carbohydrates are right for you every day, aim to have the same number of servings at every meal. For example, if you need 225 grams of carbohydrates per day, try to have 60 grams at each meal, plus one to two snacks adding up to 45 grams throughout the day.

Food plays a big part in how well your blood glucose levels are managed. When you combine this with the other cornerstones of diabetes, exercise and medications, you are on your way to feeling better and living well. Remember, you can keep your blood glucose levels on target by:

1. Making smart food decisions. Calorie Count is About.com's online diet website where you can customize an eating plan and meet others with like-minded goals.

2. Bumping up the daily exercise

3. Taking your prescribed medications

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