Eating healthy is very important when you have type 2 diabetes. It can help to keep your blood glucose (sugar) in a healthy range. It can also help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.
As most everyone knows, foods contain building blocks called carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They are all needed for good health. Carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar. However, everyone still needs to eat carbohydrates every day.
When you have type 2 diabetes an excess of carbohydrates at one time can make it hard to control blood sugars. These guidelines are based on Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and will help you find the right balance of foods to eat.
Tips to Manage Blood Glucose Levels:
- Eat at least 3 meals every day to help spread out foods that contain carbohydrate. Rice, pandesal, breads, cereals, noodles (pansit), pasta, fruits, milk products, beans, and sweets all have carbohydrate in them. Choose foods from all four food groups.
- Sugar and sweets have large amounts of carbohydrate in them and often have few nutrients. They can still be included in small amounts in a healthy diet.
- For packaged products, read the Nutrition Facts table on the label for the carbohydrate content. For products with no label, the sweeter something tastes, the smaller the portion should be.
- Fill half the plate with vegetables. Include small amounts of starchy foods and meat or meat alternatives. In many dishes, vegetables, and meat are mixed together. Picture the balanced plate on the cutting board so that half the cutting board is vegetables and a small amount is meat before mixing them together to make ulam. Add milk or milk alternative and fruit for a balanced meal.
- Choose lower fat foods as often as possible. Low-fat eating helps with weight loss and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Choose higher fiber and less refined foods more often. These foods are digested more slowly, resulting in a smaller increase in blood sugar. Many of these are called “lower glycemic index” foods.
- Some people may find snacks helpful, but they are not always necessary. If you take medication for diabetes, please talk to your dietitian about the need for snacks.
This article originally appeared in FilipinoNurses.org, a wonderful resource for health-related topics. It has been republished with permission