Having diabetes can obviously have negative effects on the rest of your health. But by adopting a type two diabetes diet plan, you can shift the health odds in your favor.
Heredity is something that we can’t yet do anything about, but diet is something that most of us can control.
If based on heredity, you are at risk for diabetes, a combination of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle can push you over the edge.
A type two diabetes diet has to achieve two main objectives:
1) Help to control your weight and
2) help to control your blood sugar levels.
The American Diabetes Association has developed a type two diabetes diet to help diabetics manage their disease.
The Diabetes Food Pyramid Diet
The foundation for this diet is the Diabetes Food Pyramid which is divided into 6 groups over 4 levels. This food pyramid differs from the USDA food pyramid in that it groups foods based on their carbohydrate and protein content, not on their food classification.
At level 4, the bottom level, we have the breads, grains, and other starches. This is the largest group which means that you should have more servings of food from this group than from the others. Carbohydrates make up the bulk of these foods. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn belong to this group as well.
At level 3, we have the fruits group and the vegetables group. The pyramid calls for you to eat 3-5 servings of vegetables, and 2-4 servings of fruit.
At level 2, we have the milk group (2-3 servings a day) and the proteins group (4-6 ounces a day).
And at level 1, the top level, we have the fats, alcohol, and sweets group i.e., all the things that you really like. Since, according to the pyramid, this is the smallest group, you should have less of the foods from this group than any other group.
Using The Pyramid for Menu Planning
Diabetics have difficulty processing sugar or glucose. Diet affects blood sugar. A diet based on the food pyramid is one that increases the blood sugar level the minimum amount possible. But, it’s important to realize that a type two diabetes diet using the pyramid is not set in stone, It’s simply a tool that you use to plan balanced meals for yourself.
The key as to whether diet alone can control diabetes depends largely on how soon you are diagnosed and begin to change your eating habits – the sooner the better. If caught early enough, it’s entirely possible that diet can be used to manage your diabetes. If not, your only choice may be diet in conjunction with medicines.
Meal planning is a viable diabetes treatment strategy. Many nutritionists will specialize in designing a diet for type two diabetes with the goals of decreasing their blood sugar through natural means. Most doctors are not well versed in nutrition, but some will be able to refer you to a diabetic nutritionist who can create a diabetic diet for you. If not, it’s worthwhile to begin the search to find one on your own.