10 Healthy Foods for Type 2 Diabetics
As a diabetic, it is all about making the right choice to manage your diet. This is very important for your health. It is one of the most vital parts of food management for you. I have here ten healthy food choices for you
As a diabetic it is still possible to enjoy an enormous variety of appealing food. Just small changes in your diabetic meal plans may be needed to better manage your blood glucose levels and avoid the complications that poor diet choices can trigger.
Whilst a diabetic uses insulin to control sugar levels, in accordance with medical advice, you can also make use of food and diabetic menus to support your management of the disease.
What are the healthy food choices for type 2 diabetics? You may be surprised to discover they are no different from the food choices that are healthy for everyone.
1. Fresh and Frozen Fruit
Select fruit that is in season. Avoid tinned fruit to stay clear of additives. Fruit is portable, nutritious and tasty.
Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep the body healthy. Select a mix of root and leafy vegetables and be guided by colour. It sounds simplistic but by selecting a variety of vegetables by their colour, you?ll be increasing the variety of nutrients in your diet.
The advice to select a minimum of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day applies to everyone, including diabetics.
3. High Fibre Carbohydrates
These include wholemeal bread and pasta, porridge oats, sweet potatoes and basmati rice. Dietary advice for diabetics does pay special attention to carbohydrates – the amount eaten plays an important part in keeping blood sugar levels within the recommended range. Follow the advice given to you by your medical practitioner and make your selections from the healthy choices listed here.
4. Monounsaturated Fat
Now, we all know that too much fat in our diet is a bad thing. Some fat is, however, essential. Olive and rapeseed oils are the healthy choices but still need to be used sparingly, as do all fats. Just because these oils have been identified as the healthy option for this food group does not mean it is OK to overindulge.
5. Oily Fish
Oily fish is a rich source of Omega 3, a particular sort of polyunsaturated fat that helps to protect the body against cardiovascular disease. Do select a portion of oily fish twice a week – these are the darker or coloured flesh fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines and pilchards.
6. Pulses and Beans
This food falls within the carbohydrate group but deserves special mention as it is thought to have less of an effect on blood glucose levels than other carbohydrates and some beans and pulses are even thought to play a part in controlling the level of blood fats. They can be used as well as or instead of meat. They all need cooking but can be eaten hot or cold – try experimenting to see which ones you like best, perhaps butter beans added to soups and casseroles or a lentil and chickpea curry. Delicious.
7. Lean Meat
The body needs protein. Eating a small portion of lean meat as part of your meal will help you to feel full, will provide your body with many of the essential amino acids it needs and slow down the digestive process and subsequent release of glucose into the blood stream. Trim off all visible fat and skin, and drain off the fat released during cooking to increase the health value of this food group.
8. Milk and Dairy Foods
These play a part in balancing the diet, providing a range of nutrients. Unless you are dairy/lactose intolerant there is no need to exclude them from your diet. Do choose the healthy versions – skimmed milk and low fat cheeses are best. Hard and full fat cheeses can be eaten but used as treats and strict portion control is recommended.
Perhaps a controversial item to include in a list of healthy food options and you may well question what it is doing here.
First, alcohol offers no nutritional value – the calories it provides to the diet are all empty calories. Alcohol should never be drunk on an empty stomach, as this can be a cause of hypoglycaemia when combined with certain medications.
The generally accepted guidelines regarding alcohol consumption should be followed. These advocate a maximum of 2 units daily for women and 3 for men.
Having offered the caveats, if you enjoy a glass of wine, have one. An occasional alcoholic drink will make life on any diet more normal – diabetic or not. This does not give you carte blanche to binge drink. It is simply that some alcohol can have psychological and physiological benefits that can be helpful to anyone on a diet regime.
Do be sure to follow your medical practitioners advice regarding alcohol consumption.
Water is as essential to us as air. Do keep your body hydrated by sipping water throughout the day. Avoid glugging down pint glasses of water as that tends to be self defeating – rather than making its way to your cells it will go straight to your bladder. Just keep a bottle or glass of water with you, always, and sip regularly. As well as drinking water, start drinking Aloe Vera gel, it will do you no end of good.
Making changes in your diet can affect your need for diabetic medication and for this reason you should talk to your medical practitioner and follow their advice. To help you, it is well worth keeping a food journal so you can keep track of diet changes, which diabetic foods you eat and the effects they have
About the Author
Richard is a writer who enjoys blogging about Aloe Vera and health. His blog is full of tips for using Aloe Vera for the benefit of your good health. Richard also distributes a weekly newsletter regarding great home remedies and health related articles