type 2 diabetes diet
Nutrition

Healthy Diet For Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which blood sugar (glucose) levels become abnormally high. It is caused when the cells in your body do not absorb insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas, sufficiently due to various reasons. 

It is frequently associated with being overweight or sedentary and having a family history of type 2 diabetes. Its symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue. It can also lead to increased chances of developing significant eye, heart, and nerve issues.

It can severely impact your daily life. Therefore, it is essential to modify your type 2 diabetes diet, take medications, and undergo frequent check-ups if diagnosed with this ailment.

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Type 2 diabetes is distinguished by insulin resistance. The body cannot efficiently use the insulin hormone to transport sugar levels, or glucose, to tissues and muscles for fuel. This causes glucose levels in your blood to rise above normal, putting your health in jeopardy.

Everybody, irrespective of a person with diabetes, should eat a nutritious diet. However, for patients with this condition, eating healthy meals in proper amounts provides two essential benefits:

  • Lower blood sugar levels: Lowering high blood sugar levels can help minimise a person's diabetes mellitus symptoms and associated risks.
  • Healthier weight: Weight reduction is linked to a lower A1C and a 2 to 3 average blood glucose level. Following a diet for type 2 diabetes to lose weight is imperative.

What Kind of a Diet should People with Type 2 Diabetes Follow?

Many dietary habits have been researched and shown to help treat type 2 diabetes. People may pick the dietary plan that usually works for them and create a type 2 diabetes diet chart because numerous patterns exist. However, there are several things that every suitable healthy diet for type 2 diabetes has in common:

  • A daily dose of fresh vegetables.
  • Minimised intake of processed sweets and red meat.

A person with a type 2 diabetes diet must be very mindful of their carbohydrate consumption. Too much of it may lead to a rise in their blood glucose levels. A type 2 diabetes diet chart should:

  • Be abundant in veggies and fruits
  • Contain high-quality proteins such as beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Include plant-based fats such as olive oil and avocado.
  • Include whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa. 
  • Avoid processed carbs.

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Best Type 2 Diabetes Diet 

People with type 2 diabetes are deeply impacted by their dietary choices and the way they lead their life. They also need to follow a type 2 diabetes diet to satisfy their nutritional requirements. If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to consume a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods since these foods provide your body with the fiber, vitamins, and minerals it needs to operate properly. In addition, you should aim to eat a variety of heart-healthy fats, such as meals high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Healthy fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, which is good for heart health and avoiding other health problems. Eating a lot of fiber-rich meals may also help manage blood sugar levels and keep you full for a longer amount of time. This will keep you from overeating or consuming harmful meals. There are various type 2 diabetes diet plans that one can follow, after consulting their doctor. 

Your type 2 diabetes diet chart needs to be practical and simple to adhere to as well. It may be considerably more challenging to continue with a diet plan over the long term if it is extremely restricted or does not fit in with your lifestyle and preferences. 

There are very specific diets and strategies for type 2 diabetes that people can follow such as carb counting, keto diet, mediterranean diet, DASH diet or vegetarianism. 

Carb counting is an important step to take towards making your diabetes more manageable as type 2 diabetes is heavily reliant on weight and insulin resistance. Following a calorie deficit while counting carbs is a quick and easy way to lose weight. 

The keto diet, which was wildly popular in the recent past, severely limits the intake of carbs and sugars and replaces it with proteins and healthy fats. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes if executed properly. 

The Mediterranean diet is a dietary approach that majorly focuses on plant-based foods, such as olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, red meat is restricted, and the consumption of poultry is also restricted to a very small amount. The Mediterranean diet is abundant in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It has minimal levels of added sugars, trans fats, saturated fat, and cholesterol and works wonders for people with prediabetes and diabetes type 2.

Much like the mediterranean diet, the DASH diet emphasizes eating more plant based food and leafy vegetables. Dash stands for dietary approach to stop hypertension and the fundamentals of both diets remain the same. 

A vegetarian diet focuses on consuming plant based foods and milk products only. Poultry, meats and other seafood are not a part of the vegetarian diet. This may not entirely be beneficial for people with diabetes as it lacks protein and can be high in carbohydrates. 

Type 2 Diabetes Food List 

The following is a type 2 diabetes food list that should be included in your diet because of their high nutritional value:

  • Low gi fruits (apples, oranges, berries, melons, pears, peaches)
  • veggies (such broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini)
  • whole grains (quinoa, oats, brown rice, farro)
  • legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews)
  • Seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds)
  • High protein foods (skinless poultry, seafood, lean cuts of red meat, tofu, tempeh)
  • fatty acids that are good for your heart (olive oil, avocados, canola oil, sesame oil)
  • Healthy beverages (water, black coffee, unsweetened tea, vegetable juice)

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Chart - Best Food For Diabetics

A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes will go a long way in managing blood sugar levels and avoiding dangerous episodes. Therefore, in order to help you in understanding how you should arrange your meals in order to get diabetes under control, here is a plan especially designed for the Indian diet. 

Time Meal
6:30 AM Methi seeds – 2 tsp (soaked) Water – 1 glass
8:30 AM Millet Vegetable Cheela/Dosa – 2 Green chutney – 1 tsp
11:00 AM Buttermilk – 1 glass Apple – 1
1:30 PM Mixed Vegetable Salad – 1 cup Multigrain chapati – 2 OR Chapati – 1  & Brown rice – ½ katori Methi Dal – 1 katori Bhindi sabji – 1 katori
4:30 PM Lemon green tea without sugar/honey – 1 cup Roasted Chana – 0.25 cup
7:30 PM Sprouts salad – 1 katori
8:30 PM Mixed vegetable Daliya – 1 cup Mint curd chutney – 2 tsp  OR Chapati – 1 Palak sabji – 2 katori
10:00 PM Milk without Sugar – 1/2 cup

The timings in the diet chart can be adjusted according to personal preferences. Although you may use this chart as a general Indian diet guide for people with diabetes , it is crucial to get advice from a nutritionist before committing to a specific eating regimen for yourself.

What Is A Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan?

A meal plan is a guide that tells you when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat in order to acquire the necessary amount of nourishment while maintaining your blood sugar levels within the goal range. A smart meal plan will take into account not just your objectives, preferences, and lifestyle, but also any medications that you are currently taking. A type 2 diabetes diet plan aims at tackling the issues of diabetes through a nutritional diet. 

A smart meal plan will also include a greater quantity of vegetables that are low in starch, such as green beans, broccoli, and spinach and will reduce the amount of refined grains and added sugars in your diet. Refined grains include white bread, rice, and pasta, all of which have less than 2 grams of fiber per serving and are only harmful to people with diabetes. Your blood sugar levels will rise when you consume foods that are high in carbohydrates. How quickly carbohydrates boost your blood sugar depends on the kind of food you have and what you have with it. For instance, blood sugars rise more quickly when consuming fruit juices rather than the fruit. Eating carbs with the correct proportion of fats and protein will help slow down the release of glucose and help in managing diabetes. 

Foods To Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

It's common knowledge that eating certain meals may throw off your blood sugar levels and lead to unwanted weight gain. If you have type 2 diabetes, the following foods should be consumed in moderation or completely avoided:

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Bread made with white flour and noodles
  • Soups from a can, which tend to have a high salt content
  • Meals that are prepared in a microwave, which are often rich in salt
  • Candies or chocolates (anything high in sugar)
  • Those foods that are high in saturated fat, such as bacon and fatty cuts of meat

Foods To Eat With Type 2 Diabetes

Being careful about what you eat is the main way of managing type 2 diabetes as it is directly related. A diabetes friendly diet will promote healthy weight management or weight loss as well as help in managing blood sugar levels. Depending on every person’s individual case, a diabetes friendly diet chart can be designed along with a nutritionist. But overall, here are the things people with diabetes should consume:

  • Non-starchy vegetables and fruits rich in fiber, including apples and broccoli, are great examples.
  • Lean forms of protein like boneless, skinless chicken and turkey as well as fatty seafood like salmon are healthy options.
  • foods that are high in healthy fats, such as avocados, nut butter, and nuts (in moderation)
  • Whole grains, including quinoa and barley 
  • Dairy products without added sugar or flavoring, such as skim milk and plain yogurt

Are Vegan or Vegetarian Diets Good for People with Diabetes?

A person with diabetes may benefit from a vegan or vegetarian diet. A vegan or vegetarian diet is often high in fibre and low in calories and trans fats. This is the best healthy diet for type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the inflammatory concerns associated with increased meat intake are negligible. Vegan and vegetarian diets have been proven to help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. 

ADA Diabetes Diet

The American Diabetes Association promotes the best diet for type 2 diabetes that emphasises the need to balance calorie consumption with activity. Historically, they recommended that most calories come from complex carbs derived from whole grains and cereals. They also discouraged fat consumption. They now believe that there is no single optimal macronutrient ratio and that dietary programs should be tailored to the person. The ADA standards recommend for type 2 diabetes diet chart:

  • Low glycemic index.
  • Avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda.
  • Being mindful of fat quality and amount.

However, many individuals find these suggestions challenging to follow in practice. The dietary patterns outlined below can be simpler to follow and have a manageable approach for people to control their eating habits.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diets are abundant in vegetables and effective if included in Type 2 Diabetic diets. The Mediterranean diet is the best diet for type 2 diabetes. They also help lose weight and usually consist of:

  • A bounty of fresh veggies
  • Berries
  • Olive oil and other plant fats
  • Nuts and avocados
  • Sardines are a kind of fish.
  • A glass of wine
  • Occasionally meat and dairy products

This eating pattern is nutrient-dense, which means your body receives many vitamins and other healthy nutrients for every bite you take. Recent research found that two variations of the Mediterranean diet improved diabetes control, including lower blood sugar levels and increased weight reduction. It is, therefore, the best diet for type 2 diabetes to lose weight. Of the two variations, one stressed more on nuts, the other on olive oil. Because both were healthy, a common-sense strategy to implement the Mediterranean diet would contain both. Sprinkle chopped almonds over green beans, for example, or drizzle zucchini with olive oil, oregano, and hemp seeds.

The Paleo Diet

Diets based on the Palaeolithic era, high in protein, have recently gained popularity. This eating plan is based on the anatomical principle that our genes haven't evolved to suit our current lifestyle, filled with high-calorie foods and little exercise. An adaptation to primitive eating methods will be more compatible with our physiology. Researchers have conducted a few small studies, and this treatment seems helpful for a person with diabetes type 2.

Type 2 diabetic diet chart for the Palaeolithic diet comprises the following components:

  • Lean meat
  • Fruit and fish
  • Cruciferous and leafy veggies
  • Vegetable roots
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

It did not include:

  • Products derived from milk
  • Grains of all types
  • Beans
  • Refined oils
  • Sugar
  • Beverages

No targets are outlined for calorie intake or macronutrient balance in the Paleo Diet. It was discovered that participants in a study following the Palaeolithic diet consumed less energy, more carbohydrates, glycemic load, fibre, saturated fats, and calcium while consuming more unsaturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and vitamins. Diabetes patients who follow a lower-carb type 2 diabetes diet and exercise feel better, feel less thirst and are less likely to get the flu.

FAQs

What can I eat for breakfast with type 2 diabetes?

A Type 2 diabetes-friendly breakfast is something that has the correct quantities of carbs, protein, and good fats to help control blood sugar levels. A dish of scrambled eggs and avocados on whole-grain bread is a specific type 2 diabetes-friendly breakfast. Additional options include Greek yoghurt with fruit and cereal, smoothies with minimal carbs, wheat bran cereal, fruit, cottage cheese, and nuts.

Which food to avoid if you have type 2 diabetes?

High-fat meat (fatty cuts of beef, hog, and lamb, dark flesh chicken, poultry skin), dairy with full-fat (butter, whole milk, sour cream, cheese), sweets (baked goods, cookies, desserts, candy, ice cream), and sweetened sugar-filled beverages (sports drinks, soda, juice, sweet tea) should all be avoided if you have type 2 diabetes.

India's diet plan for type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes wherein the body resists insulin requires a diabetic person to follow a good diet. It is a common myth that Indian diet plans are not good for diabetes. Some of the best diet plans for type 2 diabetes in India according to different meals include items that are listed below.

Breakfast – Start your morning high protein seeds, nuts, beans, oatmeal, herbal tea, fresh fruits, multigrain paranthas with whole vegetables, moong dal chilas, smoothies, etc.

Lunch- Try to avoid rotis and rice that are high in carbs and can trigger your sugar levels. However, having whole grains like brown rice and quinoa is a better option. Along with that diet for sugar diabetes includes salad, tofu, multigrain roti, sprouts, and green vegetables for lunch.

Snack- For snacks, you can go for oat cookies, herbal tea, fruits, etc.

Dinner- This meal should inculcate multigrain rotis, vegetable soup, bajra roti, and other high-protein items.

What is a good diet for type 2 diabetes?

According to the type 2 diabetes diet chart, a good diet for type 2 diabetic people must include items that are proteins, whole fruits, and vegetables, plant-based fats such as olive oil and avocados, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Also, a person with type 2 diabetes must avoid processed carbs, trans fats, and items that are high in sugar quotient. Following a type 2 diet chart can help you regulate your blood sugar levels.

What foods can I eat with type 2 diabetes?

One major cause of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance which is directly impacted by our dietary choices and our lifestyle. Foods that people with type 2 diabetes can eat include whole grains, low carb, high protein and healthy fat rich foods along with nuts, beans, legumes and healthy seeds. All of these help in managing blood sugar.

What not to eat with type 2 diabetes?

People with type 2 diabetes should strictly avoid consuming starchy foods, foods rich in carb content, sugary drinks like sodas and juices or fried foods. All of these will cause spikes in blood sugar levels which can ultimately be fatal. Along with avoiding these foods, people with diabetes must consume smaller meal portions.

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