Diabetes is a common disease that occurs when the body cannot make or use the hormone insulin properly. This leads to the building up of too much glucose in the blood. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes – It is a condition in which your body cannot produce any insulin and is also known as juvenile diabetes because it generally occurs in children and teenagers but can occur in adults too.
Type 2 diabetes – this type of diabetes occurs when the body does not produce the required insulin or cannot use insulin as it should.
How does diet affect diabetes?
Diabetes can be well managed by including the best food for diabetes, along with regular physical activity and weight management. If you have diabetes, it is advisable for you to follow a healthy eating pattern that contains the best food for diabetes and it should be based on a variety of vegetables and legumes, some high-fibre, low glycemic index foods and some lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products. The condition can also be managed by reducing the serving size of your meals and can also help you to maintain a healthy body weight.
It is crucial that you understand the link between healthy eating and diabetes to manage it well. Before knowing the type 2 diabetes food list, you need to understand the importance of a healthy diet to manage the condition: if you have diabetes, healthy eating:
- will help you to control your sugar levels.
- will help you to attain healthy blood lipid levels.
- will help you to maintain a healthy diet plan that offers many health benefits.
- will help you to maintain overall good health.
- will help you to maintain an appropriate body weight.
- will help you to maintain your blood pressure levels.
Ways to make a good meal plan to manage diabetes
Consuming certain foods for diabetes can help people manage their blood glucose levels better. The rich and healthy diabetes diet will always include vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins as it can have significant benefits. The worst food for diabetes must be avoided as much as one can in order to manage it well. When your sugar level is higher than normal, the main culprits are cereals, some fruits, milk, dessert, pasta and bread. For a diabetic person, a proper meal plan is very important because it is the best way to know what foods to eat and in what quantity. A good meal plan for diabetes must include the following:
- Glycemic index
To manage diabetes well, you should eat foods with low glycemic index value as it helps stabilize blood sugar more than foods with high Glycemic value—foods with high glycemic value range above 50 or between 75 to 100.
- Carb counting
To manage diabetes, it is vital for you to have the best food with low carbs, as carbs have the greatest effect on your blood glucose levels because they are broken down with glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. If diabetic people consume more crabs, their blood sugar levels can rise to very dangerous levels.
- Plate method
The plate method is the best and easiest way to manage your sugar levels. With this method, you can create a perfect-portioned meal plan that includes food for diabetes with a healthy balance of veggies, protein and carbs. The best part of this method is that you can eat without counting, calculating, weighing and measuring the contents, all you need to do is be mindful of what you are eating.
Healthy and a balanced diet is all about variety and choosing multiple foods to get all essential nutrients. You must know how to manage your blood sugar levels and how healthy food choices can help you reduce your risk of diabetes complications. There are many fruits and vegetables that can help you to protect against many health conditions, and if you have diabetes, you are more prone to developing conditions like stroke, heart disease and blood pressure.
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List of best foods for people with diabetes
Type 2 diabetes food lists include all superfoods. This may include many foods and beverages that offer health benefits to diabetic people. Below we have listed ten foods that are considered the best food for diabetes, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre that promote good health and also help to prevent and manage diabetes.
- Whole grains
Diabetes treatment starts from home and can be done by the food you choose. It is best for you to include whole grains, which are on the top of the type 2 diabetes food list and are great at controlling your post-meal sugar levels. It takes more time for whole grains to digest and thus they release sugars into the blood slowly. There are some healthy whole grains that you must include to manage sugar levels:
- Whole wheat flour
- Brown rice
- Bajra or pearl millet
- Wheat berries
- Coarse rice flour
- Buckwheat or Kuttu
- Green leafy vegetables
Including green leafy vegetables in your diet can help you manage your blood sugar levels and reduce the chances of an individual developing Type 2 diabetes. Leafy green veggies are fully packed with vital nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. You must include
- Green beans
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Nuts are a super snack for people with diabetes as they are considered the best foods for diabetes that are low in carbs and fibre and have healthy fats. It helps by creating the feeling of fullness. However, it also contains fats, but they are healthy fats that protect your ticker and which is essential for people with type 2 diabetes. Some amazing nuts for diabetes are:
- Greek yoghurt
If you have diabetes is important for you to know which yoghurt you should consume to manage your sugar levels. People must include protein-packed low-fat greek yoghurt in their daily diet as it is rich in calcium and probiotics and low in carbs. It has a low glycemic index, which is why it is considered best for people with diabetes. It also helps to prevent the risk factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus. You can add greek yoghurt to your diet along with your meals or can also take it as a snack between major meals.
Garlic is one of the best foods for diabetes, which leads to a significant decrease in glucose levels. It is one of the rarest foods with no GI value and is best for controlling sugar levels. Consuming raw garlic is best as it maintains sugar levels and also decreases the risk of atherosclerosis. It is rich in vitamins C and B6, reduces BP, improves heart health, exerts a powerful antimicrobial effect, and has many more benefits.
Cinnamon controls blood sugar levels and helps in fighting diabetes by offering the same effects as insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells. It helps in lowering blood sugar levels by elevating insulin sensitivity and making insulin more effective at moving glucose into the cells. It is best for diabetes as it lowers blood sugar following meals by slowing down the stomach emptying and blocking digestive enzymes.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is best for many health conditions and offers many health benefits. It has the potential to impact many types of diabetes in multiple ways. It is on the top of the best type 2 diabetes food list that helps to reduce sugar levels when taken after meals. T help in reducing stomach emptiness, and the acetic acid in it suppresses and disaccharidase activity and enhance the glycogen repletion in muscles and the liver.
Beans are among the best foods that help to manage sugar levels. It is fully loaded with nutrition and is rich in fibre and protein. It helps people to stay full for longer and also reduces carbs intake. It has a low GI and is effective in reducing blood sugar levels. They are considered as the most beneficial food for diabetes.
Berries are a diabetes superfood, whether blueberries, strawberries or any other type of berries, but they are an extremely amazing food that manages glucose levels. They are said to be ideal for a diabetic diet, are sweet and delicious, and have a low glycemic index. They are rich in Vitamin C and fibre and are powerful antioxidants, and prove to be beneficial for type 2 diabetes.
- Fatty fish
Fatty fish is another food that always has its place on the type 2 diabetes food list. People with diabetes must include salmon, sardines, mackerel and many other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Getting enough of these fats will offer many health benefits. Consuming it on a regular basis is vital for people with diabetes who are more prone to heart disease and stroke.
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Check the list of Worst foods for a diabetic
Nutrition is the most important part if you want to control and manage diabetes, hypertension and many other health conditions. It is possible for people to control, manage and treat their blood glucose levels by controlling what they eat. Consuming the best foods and avoiding the worst food for diabetes can help you with it. For people with diabetes, it is important to avoid some food groups as they can make your health condition worse and increase your risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain and heart disease, and uncontrolled sugar levels. This can lead to patients developing other health complications. Foods to avoid are:
- Sweetened drinks
People with diabetes must avoid sweetened drinks as they raise blood sugar levels .as per many studies, sugar consumption from sugar-sweetened beverages is harmful to people with diabetes. Avoid drinking drinks with a lot of sugar, like fruit juices, coffees, shakes, energy drinks and shakes. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sweet tea offer no nutrients but contain concentrated sugar in every serving.
- White rice, bread and pasta
People with diabetes must avoid white bread as it is a refined grain with a high glycemic index and can elevate blood sugar levels. Consuming refined grains like pasta, rice, and bread can be harmful as they have high carbs and can increase blood glucose levels.
- Salty foods
Salty foods are considered the worst food for diabetes and a major cause of high blood pressure. It is necessary for people to limit their sodium intake, irrespective of whether they have diabetes or not. People consuming potato chips, french fries, and many other snacks loaded with salt harm their health and should be avoided.
- Fruit-flavoured yoghurt
People with diabetes must know very well which yoghurt to eat and which to avoid. Fruit-flavoured yoghurts are in markets and should be avoided if you have diabetes because these contain small amounts of fruits and are overfilled with sugar and with many other added flavours. Instead, choose greek yoghurt as it is on the top type 2 diabetes food list.
- Trans fat
People with diabetes must keep a check on their fats and oil intake as it can make them more prone to heart disease. Trsnfat is in two natural forms that are in animal products and is very harmful to people. Another is artificial, which are hydrogenated vegetable oils that are also among dangerous food groups. Avoiding both is advisable as they can lead to serious health consequences.
People with diabetes must avoid alcohol as it is among the worst foods for diabetes. It can make you more prone to low glucose levels if consumed on an empty stomach. It is necessary for people to avoid or limit alcohol intake, as if your blood sugar gets low, it can be a dangerous condition.
- Carb-heavy foods
People with diabetes must avoid carb-heavy foods as they can raise their sugar levels, which can be dangerous to health. It is important for them to maintain a low carb intake that will help them to prevent sugar glucose hikes and also help them to reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
- Fruits with a high glycemic index
People with diabetes should always consume fruits with low glycemic value and must avoid fruits with a high glycemic index. GI reveals how much food will raise a person’s blood sugar after consumption. If the glycemic index is high, it has high sugar; if it is low, it has low sugar. Fruits with a high glycemic index must be avoided; however, these are still safe for a person with diabetes if taken in moderation.
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- How to treat type 2 diabetes?
You must consume the foods on the type 2 diabetes list. Eating a healthy diet, staying physically active and losing weight can help you treat yourself better.
- Will I need insulin if I have type 2 diabetes?
About 40 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes need insulin therapy; however, there are many drugs that help manage the disease.
- Is exercise effective in managing diabetes?
Exercise is the best way to manage diabetes, and if done along with diet control, it can do wonders. You should consult your doctor about the guidelines to reduce the risk and exercise safely.
- What can people with diabetes drink?
Besides water, people with diabetes can drink orange juice, lemonade, apple cider, fruit smoothies etc. keep in mind that you should drink them in moderation to maintain your sugar levels.
- Do people with diabetes cannot consume sugar?
People with diabetes must follow a healthy as well as a balanced diet and must consume foods low in fat, salt and sugar. However, you can still consume a sugar-free diet.
- Do people with diabetes go blind?
Diabetes is not a primary cause of blindness, but if not managed properly, it can damage your eyes over time.
- Can I eat grapes, bananas or mangoes?
There are various fruits that have a high glycemic index and which should be avoided. However, eating these fruits in moderation will not affect your blood sugar levels. Thus consuming grapes and bananas can be a healthy choice.
If you have diabetes, it is important to consume the right amount and type of food daily. You should have a perfectly portioned eating plan that must include the best foods for diabetes, as it will help you to manage and control it effectively. Also eating at the right time is very important to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Making a perfect eating plan will help you to stick to your particular diet plan at home and help you monitor when you have to eat. Consuming the best foods and avoiding the worst foods for diabetes will reward you for living the healthiest and best quality of life with diabetes.