Type 2 Diabetes Diet
Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that effects an ever growing number of people each year. It is a life long illness, and those who have it must take careful steps to avoid further diabetes complications. This is by far the most common form of the disease, as about 90% of the people who have diabetes have type 2. In 2009 almost 24 million people were reported to have diabetes, which makes up about 8% of our total population.
This condition occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin naturally, or has built up a resistance to the hormone over time.Â Insulin does the job of directing the sugar in our bloodstream to our cells, so that they can use them for energy. This means that the glucose (sugar) remains in the blood stream, leading to some serious complications such as damage to the eyes, heart, and kidneys.
Obesity and inactivity are two of the tell-tale risk factors for this disease. This is why a proper type 2 diabetes diet is essential to managing and preventing this condition. If you think you may have this condition, or have already been diagnosed, it is essential that you and your doctor work out a plan for dealing with it. The content provided here should only be used for informational purposes. Each of us have unique body chemistry, and only a medical expert can develop a plan for you specifically.
It is likely that your doctor will ask you to work towards losing weight until it is at a healthy level, and ask you to change some things in your everyday diet. The goal of a type 2 diabetes diet is to control your blood sugar levels, so you can minimize the negative effects having high levels of glucose in your bloodstream cause.
Different guidelines have been published by various diabetes organizations, but let us take a look at what these guidelines are trying to accomplish. As you know the three major components of the food we eat are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Most people would consider controlling the carbohydrates the most important factor in a type 2 diabetes diet plan. It is true that carbs will have the biggest effect on your blood glucose levels, but the other aspects of the diet should not be ignored.
When you make a plan with your doctor it is likely that he will recommend a certain amount of carbs you should eat each day in order to keep your blood sugar at normal levels. These should be spread out evenly throughout the day to avoid any spikes in glucose levels.
It is also important that you know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs are the basic types of sugar, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and lactose. These found in refined sugars, fruit, and other “white carbs” (white bread, pasta, etc). Complex carbs are sugars which have bonded with each other, and are found in nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and beans.
Complex carbs are usually an important part of a diet for diabetes type 2, because it takes the body longer to break them down. This means it takes longer for them to be released in the blood stream, and are less likely to cause elevated blood sugar levels. Simple carbs need to be monitored very carefully, because they can cause an almost immediate effect on glucose levels. This can be achieved easily by eating more natural food, and avoiding overly processed and packed meals. A simple tip that helps a lot of people out is to keep your shopping to the outside of the grocery store. The food found in the middle aisles are usually overly processed and contain little nutritional value.
The exact number of both simple and complex carbohydrates you will need to eat at each meal will have to be determined by your doctor or a recommended dietitian. Food effects everyone differently so giving a specific guideline here would not help anyone out.
Since type two diabetes can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease, it is very important to change your diet to foods that help manage these issues. Fiber helps protect your heart, and also does a good job at helping to control blood sugar levels. Many diets do not contain the 25 to 35 grams of protein per day that is recommended. Beans, fresh fruit, and whole grains are going to be the best source for this heart healthy and blood sugar friendly food component.
You intake of dietary fats is also important to maintaining the health of your heart. Fat is often misunderstood, and the truth is that some types of fats are actually very good for your heart. While you want to monitor your fat intake carefully, you should especially try to reduce your intake of saturated and trans fats. Eating lean meats such as chicken, fish, and turkey, as well as eating low fat dairy products is a good way to control saturated fats. Trans fats are possible the most dangerous type of fat, and you should try to reduce them as much as possible (0 grams per day would be ideal). Anything that contains “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil” will have trans fats in it.
Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet will help control the high blood pressure that can be associated with type 2 diabetes. If you follow the tip of eating as much natural, unprocessed, food as possible, you should be on your way to avoiding high sodium levels. Anything that comes in plastic wrap, a can, or in a box is very likely to have a lot of sodium. For example, if you choose to eat beans as one of your carbohydrates, use the dry kind instead of the ones in a can.
With the help of your doctor, and a well constructed type two diabetes diet, this disease is something that many people live with each and every day. It will most likely take some significant lifestyle changes, but it is something that you can deal with. As mentioned earlier, if you think you might have this, or have already been diagnosed, contact your doctor immediately and work with them to find a plan that works for you.