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Diet Restrictions for Type 2 Diabetes

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: lrohner • updated: 3/1/2011

People that have type 2 diabetes diet restrictions are not to worry. As long as they avoid certain foods, they can manage their blood sugar levels more easily. Also, find out about the three foods that do extensive harm to a diabetic.

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    Before we go into type 2 diabetes diet restrictions, its important to mention something called the glycemic index. In recent decades, scientists discovered that nearly all carbohydrate foods break down into the blood stream and raise blood sugar levels in ways we hadn't imagined before. Foods that had a high potential to raise blood sugar were given a higher index number than other foods that had less impact on glucose levels. Research has shown that chocolate has a lower GI value than Corn Flakes cereal. While this information is not an excuse to replace your breakfast with snack foods, it is a way to allow yourself to eat healthier foods. Thanks to the glycemic index, you can eat in a way that will keep your blood sugar in check. Many of the carbohydrate foods listed below are to be avoided because they are high glycemic. A database of high glycemic foods like the one found at http://www.glycemicindex.com will give you a better understanding of the foods that you should avoid as a diabetic. Below is a general guideline you can follow that shows a range of foods to avoid that include and go beyond carbohydrates.

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    A List of Foods to Avoid

    • Sugar - There is a strong relationship between sugar and the development and progression of diabetes; sugar has a high glycemic index. Avoid products that contain sugar like sweets, honey, syrups, jelly, ice cream, and cake.
    • Fried Foods - Bake, broil, or grill foods instead of frying them. The added fat content, cholesterol, and carcinogens can worsen some of the complications of diabetes.
    • Sauces and Salad Dressings - These are often high in sodium, and because a large percentage of type 2 diabetics will develop hypertension in their life, it is important to avoid these condiments.
    • Cheese and Diary Products (Full-Fat) - These products contain high levels of saturated fat. Saturated fat makes your insulin less sensitive. Furthermore, the excess calories that these products provide will only help you gain weight, which also doesn't help treat diabetes. Instead, go for low-fat and skim versions of these products.
    • Refined Flour - Refined flour is a very simple form of carbohydrates. It is stripped away of its essential nutrients and can enter the blood stream in similar ways that sugar does. Avoid these foods which are found a lot in baked goods and breads. Read labels and go for products created from whole wheat flour.
    • Certain Types of Fruits - Some fruits will enter your blood stream quickly and leave your blood sugar levels elevated. This can also happen if you eat too much of any fruit. Stay away from sugary fruits like mangoes and jack-fruit. Avoid canned fruits that are preserved in sugary syrups altogether.
    • Certain Types of Starchy Vegetables - Avoid potatoes at all cost as they reek havoc on blood sugar levels.
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    3 Main Types of Food to Stay Away From

    If you read the contents above and want a simpler way to know what foods should be restricted, then here is a simple rule. Avoid these three white foods. They are sugar, salt, and white flour. These three foods are harmful to everyone, especially type 2 diabetics. Remember that type 2 diabetes diet restrictions are not meant to only confine you to eat less of certain foods, but to give you the freedom to lead a healthier lifestyle. However, type 2 diabetes diet restrictions are only partly responsible for for your overall health. You must take the initiative to be physically active, check your blood sugars often, and meet with health care providers when necessary.