Although diabetes is a chronic disease, it can be treated with the right diet as well as consistent physical activity and medication. It is not advisable to rely solely on medicines.
As you probably already know, diabetes is a disease in which the body attacks itself and thus the pancreas loses its ability to produce insulin. It can also develop as a result of a poor lifestyle that changes the way insulin is produced and used over time.
Diabetes can take many forms, but it is clear that type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It is associated with obesity, lack of exercise, and excessive accumulation of fat in the middle body.
Type 2 diabetes and diet: what to eat?
Keep in mind that the right kind of diet is one of the cornerstones of treatments for this disease. It aims not only to lose weight, but also to control the glycemic index and prevent future complications. Type 2 diabetes refers to a change in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
As a first step, the patient should reduce the number of calories received to normalize weight. In addition to this, it is important to dispense food properly. According to the Spanish Heart Association, a person should ideally eat five meals a day. So it means eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and adding two snacks between meals.
Create a schedule
You should create a meal schedule depending on your needs. This makes it possible to achieve the daily goals included in the diet. The goal is to prevent you from being without food for a long time, as this will help maintain normal blood sugar levels. It also helps prevent hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
For some people, the disorder caused by glucose is really complicated and adding a night snack to your diet can help.
Choose the right types of carbohydrates
The diabetic should monitor the carbohydrate foods he or she is eating, as carbohydrates are vital to controlling the glycemic index. They define up to 50% of the glycemic reaction.
Whole grains and tubers are considered to be the main sources of carbohydrates in the diet. They not only contain a lot of starch, but also vitamins, minerals and fiber. They should fill a quarter of the plate.
With regard to fruit, the current recommendation is only to increase their consumption, to choose fruit with a low glycemic index and to eat fruit with skins whenever possible, as the skins are specifically full of fiber.
Avoid collapsing glucose levels
As we mentioned earlier, a collapse in glucose levels can happen at any time, so we recommend always carrying some kind of food with you, such as fruit or sweets. They should be eaten when you notice a drop in glucose levels.
Calculating carbohydrates is an extremely effective way to prevent a collapse in glucose levels and should be done by a professional.
What should the diet include?
In addition to the above advice, a diabetic should eat:
- Vegetables: they should fill half the plate.
- Dairy products: low-fat alternatives sweetened without sugar or with a suitable sweetener.
- Lean meat, eggs and cheese.
- Seeds, nuts and oils.
- Canned food that does not contain added sugar.
- Jams and confectionery with sweeteners suitable for the patient.
It is also important to remember to take care of hydration. People with diabetes generally suffer from polyuria (increased urine output), so it is important for them to drink water throughout the day.
You can also enjoy sugar-free drinks, tea, tea or coffee. However, please make sure they are sweetened with sweeteners that are allowed for you. You can also occasionally drink fruit juice if you dilute it in water.
Type 2 diabetes and diet: what to avoid?
- Alcohol: It has a great hypoglycemic property, especially if ingested without food.
- Tobacco: It is harmful to everyone, but in diabetics, changes in the blood and blood vessels can have long-term consequences for the patient.
- Excessive salt: Like tobacco, excessive salt can raise blood pressure.
Scheduling meals is important
In summary, meal scheduling is one of the cornerstones of type 2 diabetes. Without it, it is difficult to control your metabolism, even if you are taking hypoglycaemic medicines. In many cases, scheduling meals is the only method of treatment combined with exercise.