Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan for Beginners

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan for Beginners

A type 2 diabetes diet is an incredibly important part of managing the often life long health condition. But, for those that are newly diagnosed, figuring out what to eat and when to eat it can be somewhat challenging involving a lot of food label reading and calorie counting. While long term planning for a type 2 diabetes diet will take some effort, especially to include some variety, a beginner’s plan can help make early transitioning less stressful and still include a good blend of foods ideal for those with high blood sugar.

Diet is one of the most important parts of type 2 diabetes treatment. Not only can a properly structure diet help prevent blood glucose spikes and help reduce blood sugar levels over time, it can also contribute to healthy weight loss which makes the disease easier to manage and helps to prevent the risk of complications. Nearly all medications that are used in type 2 diabetes treatment rely on the commitment of the sufferer to stick to a type 2 diabetes diet in order to be the most effective.

There is a lot of data to support just how effective diet can be. While evident in people at varying stages of disease progression, the most exciting and revealing data relates to those experiencing the early signs of type 2 diabetes in a condition known as prediabetes. Some of these individuals have managed to seriously delay the progression of or prevent the disease from developing at all. When blood sugar levels indicate a much greater risk for developing the disease, a type 2 diabetes diet combined with regular physical activity can actually prevent the disease from ever developing.

While planning a good diabetic diet may seem difficult, it’s important to remember that in fact a type 2 diabetes diet is not that different at all from a regular, healthy diet that is recommended for everyone, including those that do not have diabetes. A good diabetic diet centers on the incorporation of more whole foods as opposed to processed foods, plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy. A good type 2 diabetes diet will incorporate a wide variety of these items with emphasis on reducing the intake of sugars and bad fats, making food preparation something to think about as well.

One easy rule of thumb for beginners to remember when planning a type 2 diabetes diet menu is to stick to the same types of food for every meal. This will help make planning easier and will ensure that all nutritional needs are also being met. For instance at breakfast, a sample type 2 diabetes diet might include a piece of fruit, whole grain toast or a bagel and coffee without cream and sugar or a cup of low fat milk. Lunch can include a variety of salads with mixed greens, a whole wheat roll or pita and a side of fruit or low fat yogurt. Dinner is often the hardest part of sticking to a type 2 diabetes diet, but if the meal regularly includes a 3-4 ounce portion of lean meat, a whole grain side like brown rice or quinoa and a nutrient packed veggie like spinach or broccoli, dinner can be the easiest and most satisfying meal of the day.

We’ve put together a sample diabetic diet that is easy for beginners who are on a 2000 calorie diet. The meal ideas here can be modified to include a different variety of comparable sides or selections and some items can be omitted for those on a raw food diet for diabetes. Starting with this sample menu and expanding to suit individual tastes can make managing type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels less challenging, at least in terms of meal planning. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in our sample type 2 diabetes diet and are all equally important meals to properly regulating the body’s blood sugar levels.

Breakfast: For breakfast, consider ¾ of a cup of cheerios or other whole grain cereal like granola with one cup of 1% milk. The whole grains will help promote a feeling of fullness and keep the body from absorbing sugar as rapidly. Get an energy boost from a side of fruit like an apple, which has been shown in some studies to help reduce sensitivity to insulin. Don’t skip the coffee, just the cream and sugar. Sweeten with cinnamon for a double whammy of blood sugar lowering natural compounds.

Lunch: A tossed salad boasting dark, leafy greens can be the basis for a small serving of salmon or chicken breast meat. Pair the salad with a whole wheat roll or pita and sweeten things up with a cup of low fat strawberry yogurt or a cup of grapes. Some greens contain chemical compounds that help our bodies regulate blood sugar, and a fiber boost is excellent at the midday meal.

Dinner: Perhaps the most important part of a type 2 diabetes diet is dinner as the meal needs to be satisfying but not overwhelming. Grilled meats are ideal here and selections like grilled chicken breast or even a small portion of grass fed steak are suitable. Avoid fried meats and those seared or sautéed in oils or butter. Baked selections like fish are superb and provide many nutrients that the body needs. Pair the lean meat selection with a side of whole grains like couscous and a fiber full veggie like steamed spinach.