Diabetes type 2: Make these 11 simple diet changes to prevent and control the conditionAugust 6, 2018
Diabetes type 2 is a lifelong condition that can affect your everyday life. Left untreated it can cause a number of complications, such as eye problems, foot problems, heart attack and stroke.
To control your blood sugar level, and to prevent the condition from developing in the first place, it’s advised people with diabetes type 2 make changes to their diet – eating a healthy, balanced diet is key.
There are 11 simple diet changes you can make, according to Diabetes UK, the first being to make sure to eat regular meals.
Eat regular meals
You should space your meals evenly throughout the day, and make sure to eat breakfast.
Being mindful of overall portion sizes of your food is also advised. If you are trying to lose weight you may need to adjust them.
To do this, the research charity says try using smaller plates, for main meals, dish out vegetables first and let this fill up your plate, separate the different foods on the plate rather than piling them on each other, and resist the temptation for a second helping – have a glass of water first.
You should include carbohydrates in the food you eat each day. It says: “Healthier sources include wholegrain starchy foods, fruits and vegetables, pulses and some dairy foods. As all carbohydrates affects blood glucose levels, be conscious of the amounts you eat.”
While fat is part of a healthy diet, you should cut back on your intake of saturated fats. These are found in foods such as butter and cheese, red and processed meats, and cakes and pastries.
Remember your five a day
The research charity advises: “Aim for at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, so that you and your family get the range of vitamins, minerals and fibre you need to eat well. Choose season produce to cut costs.”
Too much salt is associated with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of diabetes complications.
Adults should have no more than one teaspoon (6g) of salt per day.
Oily fish, rich in omega-3, is recommended for a healthy diet. You should aim to eat two portions, such as mackerel, sardines or salmon, every week, but avoid fried fish.
The research charity says: “Even with diabetes, you can include some sugar in foods and baking. The trick is not to overdo it, by keeping sugary foods and drinks for an occasional treat, and finding alternatives where you can.
“Try using artificial sweeteners when sweetening food and drinks at home.
Remember to hydrate
Eight to 10 glasses of fluid per day is recommended. Water is best, but milk, tea and coffee, herbal teas, and some foods, can all contribute to this.
“Foods labelled as ‘diabetic’ offer no benefit to people with diabetes and may still affect blood glucose levels, says the research charity.
It adds: “They are expensive and contain as much fat and calories as ordinary versions, and they can also have a laxative effect.
Diabetes UK recommends everyone with diabetes see a registered dietitian at diagnoses, an then have regular reviews.
You should ask your GP to refer you to see a registered dietitian.