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A Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Eating for Diabetes Type-2 management

By Medical Expert Team

Nov 14 , 2022 | 2 min read

Diabetes Mellitus is of two types- Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 Diabetes,  Mellitus partial insulin deficiency, is caused due to resistance to insulin, and that increases blood glucose levels. About 95% of patients suffering from diabetes belong to the type 2 diabetes category. It is a prevalent, chronic illness that can be managed effectively with medications, healthy eating, regular exercise, and blood sugar monitoring.

The leading cause of diabetes is linked to obesity and lack of physical activity. Let’s see how you can modify your diet to control your blood glucose levels and lead a quality life.

Meal planning for diabetes management

Eating a healthy meal is a prerequisite for diabetes management. You should follow a meal plan that includes food items with a low glycaemic index and avoid food items with a high glycaemic index.

What is the glycaemic index?

The glycaemic index indicates how quickly your blood glucose rises on the consumption of a particular food item. Food items that have a low glycaemic index increase the blood glucose slowly, thus providing enough time for insulin to act and, as a result, maintain blood glucose levels. Whereas food items that have a high glycaemic index increase blood glucose quickly. 

Quick Snapshot of Food Items with High, moderate, and low glycaemic index

High Glycaemic Index (>or=70)

Moderate Glycaemic Index (56-69)

Low Glycaemic Index (55 or less)

White bread

Potatoes

Honey

White rice

Processed cereals such as maida and instant oatmeal

Sugar

Snack foods

Carbonated drinks

Fruit juices

Pita bread

Brown rice

Raisins

Pineapple 

Banana

Grapes

Barley

Quinoa

Pasta

Oatmeal

Carrots

Oranges

Apples

Greens

Beans

Bean sprouts

Cabbage

Cucumber

Cauliflower

Nuts

Milk

Yoghurt

How much to eat if you have diabetes?

Eating the correct type of food in the right proportion is essential. If you are overweight, your dietician will suggest a weight-loss meal plan. If your weight is within the normal range, there are two meal-planning methods.

Plate method

Take a 9-inch plate, put non-starchy vegetables in half of the plate, put lean meat/source of protein in one-fourth part, and cover the remaining one-fourth part with starchy carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate counting

In this method, you count the number of grams of carbohydrates you take. It is difficult to tell the exact carbohydrate count in a plate, but you can refer to a food nutrition label to know the grams of carbohydrates in a particular food item. 

By now, you know what to eat, what to avoid, and how much to take, but there is one more critical factor, i.e. meal time.

  • Once you wake up, you should have breakfast within the first hour.

  • Take frequent small meals at an interval of four to five hours instead of eating all at once.

  • Choose healthy snacks for munching when you feel hungry in between.

It is essential to manage diabetes because uncontrolled diabetes can result in stroke, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, and foot ulcer resulting in lower limb amputation. Diabetes is a disease that can be managed effectively with the right approach. Consult an endocrinologist if you are suffering from diabetes; consulting a dietician can be highly helpful.


Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team