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A Diabetic Diet Plan for Type 2 Diabetes

written by: Ravneet Kaur • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/13/2011

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you must take care of a few important aspects, such as your diet, weight and blood sugar levels. It is always best to seek counsel from a dietitian in such cases, who would prescribe a plan for diabetic diet for type 2 diabetes depending on your condition.

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    Importance of Diabetic Diet Plan for Type 2 Diabetes

    So you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are looking for a plan for diabetic diet for type 2 diabetes. The first immediate step for you should be to contact your doctor, who would suggest that you should pay special attention to nutrition and diet, besides weight management and medication, as part of your diabetes treatment program. Besides, to devise your diabetic diet plan, consult a dietitian, who is the best person to advise you about medical nutritional therapy depending on your lifestyle, weight, medication, sugar levels and any other medical conditions, besides diabetes. The dietitian will create a diet for you that will keep space for your favorite foods and not ignore them. But remember, no diabetes diet plan is the same for two persons, for it depends on individual needs.

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    Diabetic Diet Plan

    To a type 2 diabetic patient, following a healthy balanced meal plan and routine will do wonders. Besides helping control your blood glucose levels, a diabetic diet plan keeps your weight on track. No one diabetic diet plan is the same for all type 2 diabetic patients. It differs from person to person depending on their nutritional needs, weight, routine activities and type of diabetes. Remember, a diabetic diet is not just the one that is free from sugar; rather, it is a balanced healthy diet comprising appropriate mixture of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A diabetic meal provides essential nutrients required by a diabetic like other non-diabetic patients, though the major difference is the quantity and portion of intake. The American Diabetic Association suggests the following important points for you to plan your meal in order to maintain your blood sugar at the normal levels.

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    Nutritional Supplementation

    After every meal, blood sugar levels go up because food is broken down into glucose. If blood glucose isn't controlled, serious complications can ensue, such as hyperglycemia and kidney, nerve and heart damage. Adequate nutritional supplementation will keep a check on your blood sugar levels and thus help control diabetes.

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    Weight Management

    Diabetics are advised to keep a healthy weight because extra fat makes it difficult for diabetics’ body to make and use its own insulin. Limiting calories from fat restricts weight gain, besides an exercise regimen. Cheese, cream milk, grocery items and beef are major contributors of fat, thus restricting their quantity will keep a check on fat levels in the body. Go for lean meats, such as poultry and fish, and instead of frying them, boil, broil, grill or roast them. Select low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheese and buttermilk.

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    Moderating Carbohydrates, Sugar and Fat

    Complex carbohydrates are the starches found in vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, which are considered healthier than simple carbohydrates because they are digested slowly, thus not raising the blood glucose levels instantly. These contain valuable amounts of fiber and provide a steady energy source. However, if compared with fats and proteins, carbohydrates break down directly into sugar; therefore, eating carbohydrates in moderate amounts is recommended for diabetics, who cannot take the risk of eating large quantities of foods that raise their sugar levels instantly.

    A type 2 diabetes patient should eat more starches and fibers, such as cereals, bread, and vegetables and fruits. Starchy and fibrous foods are good in case of type 2 diabetes, as these help slow down intestinal absorption of glucose and thus control blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibers, such as whole grains, purge the lower gastrointestinal tract.

    If you think you will have to completely forget your favorite desserts and sweets, then reducing your intake of sugars and sweets will certainly help to a great extent. But you don’t have to forego your favorite sweets, you can still enjoy them once or twice a week.

    High levels of salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure for a diabetic, which is certainly dangerous and can directly affect the heart. Limiting the quantity of salt will certainly help a diabetic keep blood pressure under control.

    A plan for diabetic diet for type 2 diabetes holds key importance for diabetic patients because it is the food you eat that determines your blood sugar levels, which go up after every meal and then return to the normal levels after one or two hours. Therefore, it is essential that you know which nutritious foods to eat, how much to eat and when to eat to keep your blood glucose levels within a targeted range. Remember to eat a range of nutritious foods in moderate quantity at appropriate time. Sticking to regular mealtimes is another important facet of a diabetic diet plan.