Type 2 diabetes develops when your body is no longer able to balance the way sugar is metabolized, leaving you unable to produce enough insulin to modulate blood glucose levels, or being able to resist the effects of insulin to regulate healthy levels. People often struggle with balanced and healthy blood sugar levels as their weight gradually increases with the onset of obesity combined with a decline in their activity levels.
At Cardio Metabolic Institute of New Jersey, we offer a myriad of nutrition counseling with our onsite registered dietitians to assist you with type two diabetes and offer nutrition solutions that support healthy blood sugar levels. Follow along with today’s post about how to approach nutrition when struggling with type 2 diabetes.
How to Approach Nutrition: The Worst Foods and The Best Foods
When you’re faced with type 2 diabetes, approaching nutrition is about changing a few of your habits and developing an eating plan that becomes a lifestyle choice — one that you can do anywhere at any time. The body wants to achieve homeostasis (balance) so when you take measures to support healthy glucose levels, in time and with consistency, you’ll begin to notice a difference. Below are the best and worst foods, and like most things in life, making ideal food choices when you have type 2 diabetes will involve compromise. Just imagine, when your glucose levels are stable and modulated, you’ll feel amazing as you step into wellness.
The Worst Foods
The worst foods for anyone, with or without type 2 diabetes, are processed and packaged foods. Oftentimes when foods are processed they contain an abundance of preservatives and are loaded with salt and sugar, so avoiding packaged and processed foods is advisable. Many times these foods are starchy carbs (which rapidly digest to sugar) which raise blood sugar levels quickly. Steer clear of breads, pastas, pastries, cereal, chips, and crackers.
While protein is wonderful for balancing blood sugar levels, anything processed can affect these levels. Bacon, deli meat, hot dogs, sausage and pepperoni, and beef jerky are all meats to eat sparingly.
The Best Foods
A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods is optimal for those dealing with type 2 diabetes. This means building your plate around a protein, carb, and plenty of vegetables. Choosing a protein option such as grilled or baked chicken, seafood, turkey, eggs, or sprouted tofu is a good place to begin. Carbs are best left in moderation, so choosing a small amount of sweet potato, delicata squash, or quinoa are great options. The rest of your plate should focus on vegetables such as greens (spinach, chard, kale, arugula), carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, beets, asparagus, broccoli, and cucumbers. Add a small amount of cheese for flavor and your meal is complete.
Fruit should be limited, and good options are berries, cherries, apples, and peaches. Eat them moderately as they are an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber.
Learning a new approach can be daunting and overwhelming in the beginning, but making a few small adjustments over time will help to create lasting change. Eating an unprocessed, whole-foods diet while avoiding one processed and packaged foods will help you better support type 2 diabetes and healthy blood glucose levels.