To control diabetes, you need to have control over your eating habits. You might feel that in order to control your diabetes, you have to sacrifice taste. You might also feel that you have to sacrifice the snacks and treats that you so loved, before you developed type 2 diabetes. You truly don’t have to sacrifice taste, and you don’t have to give up all the good tasting treats. What you do have to do is to make your foods diabetic friendly. The following tips will help you to incorporate healthy eating into your type 2 diabetes diet.
- Simple carbohydrates tend to elevate blood sugar levels. Simple sugars, have molecular structures which are absorbed readily through the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Because they are so readily absorbed, simple sugars will cause your blood glucose to rise, which is why you would need to avoid corn syrup candies, table sugar, pastries, cakes, cookies, and other foods laden with sugar.
Refined carbohydrates are not the wisest choice when you are trying to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Refined carbs are those found in white rice, white bread, white pasta, and those sugary breakfast cereals. You can replace these refined carbohydrates with healthier complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.
- You can still have sweet treats, but they cannot be made of sugar. You can modify most any recipe that calls for sugar, and substitute the sugar with a pourable granulated sugar substitute, such as Splenda or the store brand that is equivalent to it. There are some other brands out on the market now also that are pourable just like sugar.
- Portion control is very important when you are managing your type 2 diabetic diet. When you think of a portion size, what do you think of? Do you think of a portion as how much you put on your plate? If so, you may need to rethink what a portion size is. According to the Diabetes Food Pyramid, serving sizes are very specific. For example, a serving of orange juice is 1/2 cup, so if you free pour an 8 ounce glass of orange juice, you have two servings of juice. If you have a serving of whole wheat pasta 1/3 cup is a serving, so if you load a plateful of pasta, you may have as much as 3 or more servings. When eating bread, keep in mind what a serving is. A serving of bread is 1 slice, a serving of whole wheat English muffin is 1/2 muffin. You may be able to have up to 6 to 11 servings of complex carbs per day, according to the number of calories you are allowed.
- Substituting healthy fats for saturated fats is important, when you are following a type ii diabetic diet. When preparing meals, you should use olive, canola, sunflower, flaxseed, or safflower oil. These oils contain Vitamin E, and they have essential fatty acids, which may lower your risk for heart disease. Be sure to read labels when you are buying prepared foods. Pay attention to the kinds of fats being used. If the labels mention partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, put it back on the shelf, because this is an unhealthy fat. If the labels say “no trans fat,” look again, if it mentions partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans fats. You will see cookies and snack foods say “no trans fats,” but they will mention hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, so beware.
In order to get accustomed to controlling your blood sugar levels, you will benefit by staying away from simple carbs, and substituting them with sugar free equivalents. You will also benefit by substituting the refined carbs for the more complex carbs, because these foods stay in the digestive tract longer and you stay satisfied longer. You also burn more calories by digesting complex carbs, because of complex carbs are less refined. You may need to measure your food portions for a while, until you get accustomed to what your portion sizes are supposed to be. It is also a good idea to track your food and calorie intake each day to be sure you are staying within the daily calorie intake your doctor prescribed for you.