What to Eat If You Have Type 2 Diabetes-It’s not So Bad

Being Diagnosed Set Off A Roller Coaster Of Emotions

 

So you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  This isn’t a cold or the flu but rather it is a very dangerous disease which needs some very drastic lifestyle changes to make sure you keep it under control.

Yesterday you were just living a fairly normal life and today you face an endless list of things you need to change.  You need to learn to eat healthy.  That has to include a balanced diet.  The appointments to the Dr. are gonna seem like they never end.  Now you need to get off the couch and get moving.  Chances are you will be prescribed medication and if you are a smoker you would be stupid not to quit.

What to eat if I have type 2 diabetes is going to be one of the most important questions you ever ask.  At the beginning you will have no clue.  You are going to hear about sugars, proteins, starches and very importantly carbohydrates.  This is gonna keep your head spinning because you want to eat properly but at this point you have no clue what is good and what isn’t.

There is no sense panicking.  You have been diagnosed with type two diabetes and its likely going no where fast so just take a deep breath and lets move forward.

The reason you need to take a breath is because you need to focus because you now have a lot to learn and understand the facts.  Through out all of this you will also find out that there are a lot of myths when it comes to what you can and cant eat.

Below Im going to see if I can help you with some serious suggestions as to what you can eat.

 Biggest Question Of All-What Can I Eat

 

Im going to do my best to try and answer this question and many others throughout this article.  The easy answer which might surprise you is that you can pretty much eat anything you want.  Yes I know your jaw just dropped but believe it or not almost all foods work well with people who have type 2 diabetes.

Years ago when you were told that you have diagnosis usually your Dr. or dietician would work hard to let you know what foods you need to avoid.  It’s pretty different now.  You are now taught that you can eat almost anything but it needs to be part of a healthy diet and needs to be balanced when it comes to the things you consume in your meal plans.

Of course there will be changes that will be made when you are deciding what you can eat to make sure that over the long run you achieve the best health possible.  Every person’s situation is different and you will have to deal with things according to how you eat now or how you ate before being diagnosed.

However I don’t want you to think that you are open to just hit the chocolate bars and candy bar because yes there will be certain changes that you are going to have to make if you want to get to these targets with diabetes.

  • Get down to a good weight
  • Bring your blood pressure to normal levels
  • Get control of your blood glucose
  • Maintain your blood levels in your fat

It has been proven that everything that was just listed can be maintained with a good diet.  It doesn’t always mean you will get off your medications but it will help you to maintain good levels.  Once you start your regular appointments your Dr. will likely send you to a dietician to help with getting your levels into good shape.

What Do I Need To Avoid Is the Next Question

 

Of course you didn’t think everything would stay the same, did you?  Yes there are some things you should stay away from at all costs.  Well almost all costs.

Stay away from fruit juices and drinks that are full of sugar like soda pop.  These will really work hard at making your blood glucose levels rise too high.  In fact they can be raised to dangerous levels in a hurry.  Also they do absolutely nothing for you trying to lose weight.

You do have some options to keep you away from those drinks with high sugars.  You can drink water or diet sodas.  Another option if you like is coffee.  You do however need to stay away from creams in your coffee.

There are some confusing aspects out there that you need to be careful of.  There are foods marked “diabetic” or “suitable for diabetics.”  Quite often these foods make your levels spike because of the fat and calories.

These foods also in many cases act like laxatives and are also very costly.  The best thing to do is stick to most foods that you are already used to.  Even in most cases you can once in a while have your normal treat.  The biggest thing is you need to watch how much of it you have.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

So we have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and at first we thought all we would be able to eat would be cardboard and water.  However now we know that you actually don’t have to eliminate the greatest foods you have ever eaten.  The thing you need to do is make healthier choices.

Below are some typical suggestions for your 3 main meals which are the most important ones.

Breakfast

  • A fat-free yogurt like some Greek yogurt and have some fruit with it.
  • A single bowl of cereal with some skinned milk
  • Have a slice of multi grain bread with a small amount of jam

Lunch

  • A pasta salad on a small plate
  • A sandwich with multi grain bread and ham or chicken salad
  • Have a few slices of fruit and soup

Dinner

 

  • Small plate of lasagne and some salad
  • Fish with a little bit of rice.
  • A couple small potatoes, big scoop of vegetables and a small piece of chicken
  • Chicken tortillas and some salad
  • Vegetables, little bit of rice and a nice beef stir fry.

 

Now that you have seen some of these healthy choices do they really look that different from everything you have always been eating?  Another thing you are going to quickly realize is that your favorite meals can be made much healthier with a few tweaks here and there without doing much to change the taste.

 

  • Below are a few of those changes
  • Be sure to have smaller portions
  • Use less sugar, less fat and for sure less salt
  • Double up on your vegetables and fruits.

Making changes like this really will help.  You will notice good things happening immediately.  The problem is if you change things too quickly is down the road you may not be quite as focused and you may end up going backwards.

Snacks

 

As a diabetic a very big recommendation is to have snacks between meals especially if you are taking medications because you don’t want to let your sugars get too low.  Thus the reason you will need to make sure you do some healthy snacking.

You do need to be careful when it comes to snacking.  It can be a catch 22 situation.  Too much snacking is going to affect your weight which of course is bad.  However not enough snacking could make your sugars go too low.  It’s all about diabetes management and you will learn as you go.

 

As for snacks you should have some Greek yogurt, maybe some fruit or even some rice cakes.  The biggest thing to remember is to watch your portions.

 

Keep a Record of What You Eat

 

It’s a well-known fact that if you want to lose weight you should keep track of the food you are eating.  People who do this almost always lose weight as compared to the ones who don’t lose weight because they never kept the diary.

To many this might seem like a dumb thing to do but I say if it works then go for it no matter how silly people might say it is.  By keeping track you can figure out the things you are doing right and the things you are doing wrong.  It will help you with your snacks as well.

When you figure out the problem areas you will be able to figure out the bad calories that you are taking in.  The notes you take also makes you aware of the things you are eating too much of.  This way you are held accountable and you pay attention to everything that goes in your mouth.

Long Term-Choices Are Choices

 

When we talk balanced diet for diabetics we mean you absolutely need to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit.  After that you need to eat regular meals, less the salt, sugar and saturated fats.

Watching the foods you eat will go very far when it comes to keeping your sugar levels at bay.  It will also help with your blood pressure and maintain the blood fats.  Putting all this together will make it that you have a healthy weight.

By doing this you may not get rid of the diabetes but you can greatly reduce the risks of some of the things that can happen as a result of your diabetes.  The two biggest are stroke and heart disease.  By making portions smaller you won’t have as high of glucose levels.  Then we talk about carbohydrates which can be your biggest enemy.

You absolutely want to make sure you are making better choices when it comes to the carbs you are taking in.  The choices like dairy, vegetables, grains and fruits.  As many diabetics you may be carrying some extra weight and watching your portions with everything and you add all the other things will help getting some of the weight off.

Losing weight can do so much for your health.  It works for the ole cholesterol levels, keeps blood glucose normal and helps maintain the blood pressure.  Make sure the changes are nice and slow so that you have a better chance of making the weight loss happen.

It’s very important to get all the tools to make sure you can make the diabetic thing work.  Make sure you get the education, Make sure your friends and family are just as involved so that you have the support.  Something very important is to find a good dietician.

At the end of the day you need to take a deep breath.  Yes you have been diagnosed with a not so good disease and right now you are feeling very overwhelmed.  Keep your head up and remember you can beat this disease.

The time is come to end this article.  I hope you got some good info out of this.  Please feel free to leave comments or questions below on what to eat if you have type 2 diabetes or any other diabetes concerns.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi there,
    Great article, I’ve found it very useful!
    One of my friends was diagnosed as diabetic. I don’t know if it was type 2 but he has completely recovered from diabetes by himself. He didn’t want the receive any medical treatment. He went on a special diet. He was only eating non-cooked food, no bread, no sugar at all, not even fruits. When he went to do a new blood test, the Doctor couldn’t believe that he wasn’t Diabetic anymore.
    So yes, I believe that you can cure Diabet only by eating healthy!
    I will show him this article. I am sure he will find it very interesting!
    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • That is great news for him.  No meds are best.  However your friend needs to know that diabetes is never really gone.  A few slip ups and his numbers will be back.  However he should be dam proud of himself.

  2. Hi Dale,

    Thank you for taking the time to share this article. It is a very good read!

    Recently my mom was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My mom and I both have sweet teetch, so its kinda depressing for her to give up all the sweet stuffs and both of us always enjoy every day.

    After reading this, I felt encouraged. Its not the end of the world and I will make the best meals from her following your recipe.

    If you don’t mind, can you share more recipes for patients with type 2 diabetes. It would be a great help to me and all those who are having this disease. Much obliged!

  3. I’ve been making juices for my mom to help with her diabetic problem but I was using fruits. Her recent blood test shows that her glucose is rising and I am wondering if the juices might have contributed to the problem.

    I am pretty sure that I’ve selected low glycemic ones but I don’t want to take the risk anymore. I am turning to vegetables and greens for juicing – using bitter melon as one of the ingredient. Masking the bitterness is challenging and I am still trying to figure out which goes best with what.

    • The reason her glucose is rising is because honestly we would think fresh squeezed fruit juices would be good for diabetics.  Well the truth is that they arent good and they wreak havoc with our sugar levels.  The problem is juicing removes the fibres which work hand in hand with carbohydrates.  By taking the fibres out the carbs end up being higher.

      Honestly at the end of the day diet sodas, water, coffee and sugar free drinks are what best.

      Hope this helps

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