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Foods to Eat and Avoid with Type 2 Diabetes

Updated on 11 November 2022

Type 2 diabetes affects millions of people around the world. The best way to understand whether you have diabetes or not is by going through the diabetes symptoms. In this condition, people don't produce enough insulin or resist insulin because when a person has type 2 diabetes, it affects the way their body processes blood sugar (glucose). This is why a well-balanced and healthy diet can have a huge impact on controlling Type 2 diabetes.

Choosing the right types of foods and eating in the correct amounts can help lower your blood sugar or at least keep it stable. However, there is a lot of confusion and even widespread myths about what types of food are the best and which ones are the worst for people with type 2 diabetes. The good news is that nothing is completely off-limits for diabetic people. What people consider the worst type of foods for diabetic people can also be eaten occasionally in small amounts as a once-in-a-while treat. 

Best Food to Eat as per the Type 2 Diabetes Diet

A good type 2 diabetes would include nutrient-dense, high-fibre, vitamin & mineral-rich foods. Also, they should be low in trans fats and balanced in monounsaturated & polyunsaturated foods. Some good choices of food for type 2 diabetes are:

  1. Whole grains and high-fibre vegetables like sweet potato are great choices for carbohydrates. Some good whole grains can be brown rice, barley, oats, etc. 
  2. Vegetables, in general, should be eaten a lot in a diabetic diet. They provide the right amount of fibre and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Green leafy vegetables should be used regularly, such as Spinach, Lettuce, Spring Onions, etc.
  3. Lean protein should also be a part of a well-balanced type 2 diabetes diet. These include chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, etc. Other good sources of proteins include plant-based items like tofu, beats, nuts and seeds.
  4. Plant-based oils are good sources of fats like canola, grapeseed, or olive oils. Avocados are another good plant-based fat that should be added to a type 2 diabetes diet.
  5. Fresh fruits are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They contain more carbs than vegetables in the form of natural sugars and, therefore, should be eaten in moderation.

Worst Food to Eat As Per The Type 2 Diabetes Diet

It might be difficult to resist certain types of foods. However, including the wrong foods in your type 2 diabetes meal plan can raise your blood sugar levels and may be dangerous for diabetic patients. Some of the worst foods that diabetic patients can have are:

  1. Processed and Refined Carbohydrates like foods made with all-purpose flour, processed cereal, etc.
  2. Canned vegetables that may have a lot of added sodium
  3. Sugary drinks like packed juices and soft drinks, and Ice creams
  4. Fried foods like french fries, Burger, fried cheese, Hot dogs, etc
  5. Canned or Packed Fruits
  6. Proteins that are processed or fried and are high in fat content, like fried meats with skin, etc.
  7. Foods rich in Trans Fats
  8. Packed food items like chips, biscuits, refined pasta, processed cheese, etc.

Although most people understand which types of food are healthy for them, they might be confused about the right quantities to eat them in. Therefore it is always advised that diabetic patients consult a good nutritionist for a diabetic diet plan specific to their requirements. A Clinical Dietitian from the best diabetes hospitals in India will look into your medical history, BMI, allergies, etc., and help you follow a well-balanced diet to regulate your Type 2 diabetes.

Ms. G Sushma

Registered Clinical Dietician

CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills.

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