Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin; or when the body becomes resistant to it.
Fortunately, for many type 2 diabetics, a proper diet can reduce symptoms and even reverse the disease. The key point: that the menu is focused on maintaining normal blood glucose levels .
For this, a diabetic diet menu must include a correct selection of carbohydrate foods which must be distributed throughout the day. For proper monitoring, nutritionists recommend taking into account the indicator called glycemic load . This value must be kept within the 60 and 80 values.
Read on to find out what a type 2 diabetic diet should look like with an example of a daily menu with pdf.
Type 2 Diabetic Diet – Rules
Type 2 diabetics should eat the same things a person should eat to stay healthy; with special caution in the quality and quantity of carbohydrate foods consumed throughout the day.
In a menu for type 2 diabetics, limiting excess sugar should be the first rule. The consequences of eating sweet foods can be serious for them.
In addition, in a diet for type 2 diabetics it is of great importance to make a correct balance of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats and to ensure an adequate supply of essential nutrients. This is essential to control not only blood sugar levels, but also insulin and other hormones of great importance to the body.
Basic rules in a menu for type 2 diabetics:
- 50-60% of calories from complex carbohydrates (whole grains and vegetables)
- 15% of calories from protein (eggs, skim dairy, lean meats, etc)
- 25-30% fat (nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocado, etc)
- Limit refined carbohydrates and distribute good carbohydrates throughout the day
- The glycemic load should not be less than 60 nor greater than 80
Type 2 Diabetic Diet – Sample Weekly Menu with PD
If you click on the button, you can open a PDF with an example of a weekly menu for type 2 diabetics with an approximate daily contribution of 2000 Kcal.
Diet for type 2 diabetics to lose weight
80% of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese (9). For this reason, it is highly likely that diabetics are advised by doctors to lower their body mass index .
If losing weight is necessary, the rule is simple: reduce the number of calories by no more than 10-15%. As for the proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you must maintain the same.
That is, to lose weight a diabetic simply must eat healthily and reduce portions a little. Respecting the food and carbohydrate groups you eat per day. A type 2 diabetic diet to lose weight should always include:
1. Whole grains and pseudo-cereals
Whole grains, pseudo-cereals and their derivatives: oats , brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, are foods that allow maintaining stable insulin levels.
These foods are complex carbohydrates with a medium glycemic index, so they provide your energy slowly and do not cause insulin spikes. For this reason they are ideal foods in a diet for type 2 diabetics.
High- protein products : fish, chicken, eggs, beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and nuts; they are important foods in the diet of a diabetic. They allow to maintain the muscular system and practically do not alter insulin levels. Dairy products with lactose such as milk should be consumed in moderation.
3. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water. This group of foods has compounds that help prevent heart disease and develop overweight. Sweet fruits such as grapes, mango, caki, and other exotic fruits are allowed in moderate amounts.
4. Healthy fats
The healthy fats are essential in a diet for type 2 diabetics combine them with other foods is essential to lose weight, have a correct hormonal balance and reduce insulin spikes.
In addition, the Omega-3 fatty acids present in food and blue sea fish, tuna, mackerel, sardines, are essential for the proper functioning of the body and are also sources of iodine , zinc and vitamin B12.
Frequently asked questions when dieting for type 2 diabetics
If you are type 2 diabetic and you have decided to diet, you probably have several questions. Here are questions and answers about what a diabetic menu should look like.
1. How often should you eat?
To avoid hypoglycemia, (extremely low blood glucose levels) long periods of fasting should be avoided. In a diet for type 2 diabetics, the carbohydrate distribution times throughout the day must be respected. This is eating about 250 grams of carbohydrates spread over at least 4 times a day.
2. Can diabetics not eat carbohydrates?
If type 2 diabetics can eat carbohydrates. Ideally, a type 2 diabetic diet should include medium glycemic index carbohydrates: quinoa , amaranth , buckwheat, and oats . In this way, you will not only feel more satisfied but will moderate your blood glucose levels.
3. Are type 2 diabetics reversible with diet?
Yes, a diet for type 2 diabetics is one of the most effective treatments chosen by doctors for diabetics of this type. However, it does not always guarantee that it will be reversed. In some cases the genetic influence may be greater.
4. Can type 2 diabetics eat sugar?
A type 2 diabetic can eat sugar in very limited amounts. The moment should be reserved for special situations. Also at this time it is advisable to include foods with fiber to avoid hyperglycemia.
5. Are sweeteners allowed in the diet?
In a diet for type 2 diabetics, it is recommended to substitute sugar and honey for sugar substitutes (sucralose, stevia , xylitol , etc.) However, exaggerating with its consumption is not recommended for diabetics. Studies have shown that the use of sweeteners can increase the urge to eat sweet foods. (11, 12)
Are There Foods Forbidden On A Type 2 Diabetic Menu?
If a person has prediabetes or diabetes, they should be especially careful about eating foods with a high glycemic index . Bakery products, sweets, and all products with high sugar content should be considered practically prohibited.
This does not mean that they should not eliminate completely from the diet, but rather regulate them responsibly. Here is a list of foods not recommended in a diet for type 2 diabetics (3):
- White bread
- White rice
- Dried fruit
- Ice cream with sugar
- Chocolates (white and milk)
- Alcohol and sugary drinks
Supplementing the diet with physical exercise – An ideal method for diabetics
For diabetics, physical exercise is essential. A diet for type 2 diabetics supplemented with sports will even be able to reverse this disease.
However, diabetics should take special precautions when exercising. Always have carbohydrate foods on hand and do not overdo the intensities.
In addition, a diabetic with uncontrolled blood glucose should always have a test before starting to train.
The best exercises and sports for diabetics are medium intensity aerobic exercises: cycling, walking, swimming. Exercises such as boxing, kick boxing, and sports at heights are not recommended for diabetics. This is due to the risks that are run in the cardiovascular system. (10)
How do I know if I am a type 2 diabetic?
There are different tests and tests to find out if a person has diabetes. The most used is the fasting blood glucose test. When the result of this analysis is greater than 126 mg / dL two consecutive times, the person is diagnosed with diabetes. (5)
Diabetes tests are recommended when there are close relatives with diabetes. As well as in overweight or obese people who do not exercise and eat an unhealthy diet.
If the result has been positive, the simplest and most effective treatment is a diet for type 2 diabetics.
In a type 2 diabetic diet, sugar and other simple carbohydrates should be limited as much as possible.
To regulate insulin levels, it is essential to distribute foods with a medium or low insulin index – whole grains and pseudcereals throughout the day.
A type 2 diabetic diet menu should follow the rules of healthy eating .
Supplementing the diet menu with exercise is the most effective method for a diabetic to regulate blood sugar levels.