Being able to make healthy food choices goes a long way in helping a person with Type 2 diabetes maintain their healthy blood sugar levels and weight. Unfortunately, even though food plays a major role in their disease, not all diabetics are fully informed as to what would be considered healthy choices.
The same guidelines that follow non-diabetics are also important for diabetics: The only difference is that instead of the wrong foods just putting on additional weight, as is the case with a non-diabetic not eating properly, the diabetic also has to deal with high blood sugar issues…
- consuming the right mixture of fruits and vegetables is a good idea, but diabetics can’t just stop there. Some items in these categories affect diabetics so they also have to be monitored. The best rule of thumb is to go by the glycemic index.
- breads and grains are one of the easiest ways for a diabetic to become tripped up on their eating. Just going by the label and packaging is not enough. You have to look at the major ingredients. Breads are notorious for mixing white flour with whole grains. The bread might look dark, but that doesn’t automatically mean it is healthy.
- foods that are processed should be avoided whenever possible. Any statement about a food being processed means it has been stripped of its vital nutrients and vitamins. In the case of processed packaged foods, the good stuff has been replaced with preservatives and artificial this-and-that. None of this is good news for a diabetic.
- one of the most common areas where diabetics run into problems is sugar. Sugar is added to many foods that we are not aware of. Some foods advertise the presence of sugar and some are hidden in clever names such as fructose. Knowing all of the disguises for sugar is the only way to limit it from your diet. Avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Making good food choices doesn’t just apply to the food themselves, but also the quantity of them. For example, dark chocolate is good for you… in small amounts. However, consuming a large amount of it has the same effect as the more harmful milk chocolate.
Beverages are also an easy mistake. Fruit drinks, alcohol, and sweet tea should be eliminated. Other key drinks such as milk and fruit juice can be consumed as long as the individual monitors their intake. Thinking that you can switch to diet drinks is not a safe alternate as you are replacing one problem for another.