What Foods And Drinks Should I Limit If I Have Diabetes
Foods and drinks to limit include
- fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
- foods high in salt, also called sodium
- sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream
- beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Consider using a sugar substitute in your coffee or tea.
If you drink alcohol, drink moderatelyno more than one drink a day if youre a woman or two drinks a day if youre a man. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, alcohol can make your blood glucose level drop too low. This is especially true if you havent eaten in a while. Its best to eat some food when you drink alcohol.
Lifestyle Improvements To Help Manage Your Prediabetes
Emphasize Portion Control
Portion control is really important in managing and reversing prediabetes. Spikes in your blood sugar are directly related to the amount of food you eat during one meal, mainly carbohydrate-containing foods. The problem is, the portion sizes we are used to eating at restaurants are often much larger than the recommendation. But why is portion size so important? Well, portion control can assist weight loss, which we know is helpful in reversing prediabetes. In addition to reading food labels, use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale to ensure you’re eating an appropriate portion. If you couldn’t tell, a major part of your prediabetes diet is portion size.
Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For most people with type 2 diabetes, the general guideline for moderate alcohol consumption applies. Research shows that one drink per day for women and two a day for men reduces cardiovascular risk and doesn’t have a negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can lower blood sugar, and people with type 2 diabetes who are prone to hypoglycemia should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia.
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia include:
- Eat food with alcoholic drinks to help minimize the risk.
- Mixed drinks and cocktails often are made with sweeteners or juices, and contain a large amount of carbohydrates so they will increase blood sugar levels.
- Wear a diabetes alert bracelet so that people know to offer food if you demonstrate hypoglycemic symptoms.
It also is important to know that hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of intoxication.
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The Glycemic Index Helps You Pick Foods That Will Not Cause Dramatic Changes In Blood Sugar
The Glycemic Index is a number that tells you how fast or how slow your body converts carbohydrates into blood sugar. The scale ranges from 1 to 100 for a prediabetes diet, the lower the number, the better:
- 55 or less = Low
- 56 – 69 = Medium
- 70 or higher = High
Research suggests that focusing on foods with low-glycemic index carbohydrates and high fiber may protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, another study found that increased fiber may improve glucose control within the cardiovascular system. You can use food labels to estimate the Glycemic Index value of a particular food. There are also efforts to add a “low GI” symbol to packaged foods.
Glycemic Index labeling is also supported by various scholarly publications. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. The Glycemic Index value for a specific food can vary depending on:
- How you cook it
- For example, the longer you cook pasta, the lower the glycemic index.
- The glycemic index increases in fruits as they ripen.
As we have mentioned elsewhere, portion size is nearly as important as the specific food you eat. Within the GI framework, this is called Glycemic Load. Whereas the index indicates how quickly glucose enters the blood stream, Glycemic Load tells you how much glucose per serving could be introduced into your system.
How Can A Type 2 Diabetic Lose Weight
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor may have encouraged you to consider making lifestyle changes. For many, that may include losing weight and a better nutritional plan. When it comes to nutrition, finding the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein is crucial. In order to find the best weight loss strategy start with paying attention to:
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Talk To A Nutritionist
A consultation with a nutritionist can be of big significance for you. The nutritionist will help you formulate a healthy diet that meets your nutritional and hunger needs while keeping your sugar levels as balanced as possible. You will be advised on plating, timing, snacking and the possibility of adding nutritional supplements to your daily diabetes diet.
- Plating – Switch to a smaller plate, fill it halfway with non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter of the way with protein, and one-quarter with a complex carb.
- Timing – Follow a Mediterranean diet, where breakfast is fit for a king, lunch is bountiful, balanced, and filling, and supper is more modest.
- Snacking – Drink water in between meals to keep hunger at bay, and when you really need a small bite, choose healthier snack options like fresh fruit and vegetables over-processed foods.
- Supplementing – Natural diabetes nutrition supplements can help promote healthy blood sugar levels, while reducing cravings for sugars and carbs, so you can eat healthily and maintain a healthier weight. Make sure to ask your healthcare practitioner about appropriate supplements.
Why Is It Harder For People With Diabetes To Lose Weight
People with type 2 diabetes often have high levels of insulin, a fat-storing hormone. The higher your blood glucose levels are, the more insulin your body produces, in an attempt to better move the glucose out of your blood. But insulin also promotes fat storage, so diabetics are likely to gain weight or struggle to lose it. This is also true of artificially administered insulin and insulin-promoting medications prescribed by doctors.
Diabetes diets can have you eating small meals throughout the day to balance your sugar. This kind of regimen can leave you feeling hungry. And when you are really hungry, you might break and eat something carb-rich that causes a fast spike in sugar , and unwanted weight gain.
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How Can Weight Loss Improve Your Health And Help Balance Your Type 2 Diabetes
Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your type 2 diabetes management plan is not only great for losing weight. It is also ideal for improving your health, balancing your glucose levels, and others.
When you lose weight, particularly around your midsection, your risk for heart disease and other medical complications associated with diabetes decreases as well. These can include eye diseases, neuropathy or nerve damage, kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, and stroke. So, why arenât more people with diabetes shedding their extra pounds?
American Diabetes Association Carbohydrate Counting
It’s not a “diet” in the traditional sense. The main purpose isn’t weight loss.
Carb counting is a great way to manage your blood glucose levels. Many high-carb foods also tend to be high in calories, so cutting back on them often leads to shedding pounds.
If you choose this approach, ask your doctor or a diabetes educator how many carbs to eat at each meal “An individualized meal plan must be designed based on your nutritional requirements, caloric needs, medications, and exercise routine,” Smithson says.
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Do I Need To Count Calories When Managing Type 2 Diabetes
While it can be helpful, its not absolutely necessary to track how many calories youre taking in daily. Although tracking calories can be beneficial when it comes to weight reduction, you can lose weight and still have a poor nutritional quality to your diet, Palinski-Wade points out.
Therefore, if you do count calories, make sure youre also focused on healthy food choices. You can track your food intake, she says, which will let you monitor portions as well as how certain foods and mealtimes impact blood glucose levels, she says.
- About 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for small women who are physically active, small or medium-size women interested in weight loss, or medium-size women who are not physically active
- About 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day for large women interested in weight loss, small men at a healthy weight, medium-size men who aren’t physically active, or medium-size or large men interested in weight loss
- About 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day for medium-size or large men who are physically active, large men at a healthy weight, or medium-size or large women who are very physically active
Can You Reverse Diabetes By Losing Weight
According to the authors of a newstudy people with diabetes can potentially reverse their condition by losing around 33 pounds or 15 kilos. The analysis is based on the results of recent clinical trials.
In the study from 2011, people who had recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes lost weight on a calorie-restrictive diet. Their blood sugar levels returned to normal. People who had been diabetic for up to ten years were able to reverse their disease by losing around 15 kilos and maintaining that body weight over time. The analysis was confirmed with a 2016 follow-up report. Want to learn more about reversing your type 2 diabetes? Read this blog post.
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Calories Is Not Right For Everyone
First, we will begin with a word of warning: a 1200-calorie diabetes diet is not appropriate for every person with diabetes. For weight loss, this calorie level is low enough that it may cause a negative effect on the metabolism for many people. Also, this calorie level may not provide enough carbohydrates to complement medication regimens or prevent hypoglycemia.
However, 1200 calories will meet the energy needs of some people with diabetes. It’s probably best if you are small in weight and stature, older than 65, and/or less active. If you’ve received a 1200-calorie diabetes diet prescription, your healthcare providers will have taken all of these factors into account.
If your healthcare provider prescribed you a diet other than 1200 calories, we have sample meal plans for you as well.
It Starts With Finding A Way To Eat Fewer Calories Than You Need
A calorie is a unit of energy, which is in the food and drink we consume. Your body uses energy for everything we do from breathing and sleeping to exercising. When you eat, youre replacing the energy youve used, which helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
As a general guide, government recommendations are that men need around 2,500kcal a day to maintain a healthy weight, and women need around 2,000kcal a day. But most people need different amounts of calories based on how their bodies work, how active they are and any weight management goals.
Weve put together some 7-day meal plans to help you lose weight. They’re all clinically approved, nutritionally balanced, calorie and carb counted, and can help if you want to lose weight:
- Mediterranean diet plan
- Lower-calorie diet plans, like 1,200 or 1,500 calories a day
Evidence shows that the best approach is the one that youre likely to stick to. So the key is to find a plan that you enjoy and fits in with the rest of your life. Everyones different and what works for some may not for others.
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Medical Management Of Diabetes
One final note: Many diabetics rely on medications to keep their blood sugar in a normal range.
Because their bodies dont produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy to survive. Most people with LADA and some with type 2 diabetes also require insulin eventually.
If youre diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor may also prescribe oral medications to help your body use carbohydrates more effectively. The most common one is metformin, which slows glucose production in the liver and increases insulin sensitivity.
Other medications work by increasing insulin secretion, lowering blood sugar or increasing the rate at which sugars are excreted in the urine .
Regardless of your medication needs, a healthy diabetic diet is a very important part of treatment. In some cases, weight loss may even reduce the need for medications.
Summary: If youre diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you control your blood sugar. Those with type 1 diabetes require insulin therapy for life, and many people with LADA or type 2 diabetes may eventually need it. Oral medications like metformin are commonly used in type 2 diabetes. Diet is also an important part of diabetes treatment, and weight loss can often help lower the need for medications for those who are overweight or obese.
How To Find Your Daily Calorie Need
We all have different calorie needs. Your daily calorie need depends on your size, fitness level, daily activity, gender, etc.
When you are creating a healthy diabetes meal plan, your first step should therefore always be to calculate your calorie equilibrium, or how many calories you need each day to maintain your current weight.
You can learn exactly how to find your calorie equilibrium with 5 easy steps in this post: How to Find Your Daily Calorie Need.
Once you know your calorie equilibrium, you can adjust your daily calories up or down to meet your goals. If your goal is to lose weight, I recommend that you eat up to 500 calories less than your equilibrium each day . This should lead to a steady and healthy weight loss.
If you want to build more muscle mass , start by eating 300-500 calories more than your equilibrium each day and see what happens. If you find that you are putting on a little too much fat, decrease your calories slightly.
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A Menu Plan Youll Love
Take the guesswork out of diabetes meal planning with our easy-to-follow, reduced-calorie and carbohydrate-controlled Type 2 diabetes menu. Youll get the right balance of macronutrients to lose weight and maintain your blood glucose levels while enjoying a variety of delicious foods to help make weight loss and managing Type 2 diabetes easier.
Best Diet Plans For Managing Type 2 Diabetes
The two that are suggested for people with diabetes time and again are the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Unlike so-called diets , these eating approaches aim to set the foundation for building and maintaining lifelong habits.
DASH diet The DASH diet has been found to be beneficial at reducing blood pressure levels, a key risk factor for heart disease and kidney disease. Because both of these disease risks are elevated with diabetes, this style of eating may promote a reduction in the risk of comorbid conditions associated with diabetes, Palinski-Wade explains.
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Whether Youve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes Or Full
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A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or even prediabetes usually means the doctor has suggested that you make some changes to your diet or the diet of someone you care for. This is a good time to become wiser about how you are eating on a regular basis.
Fortunately, following a diabetes diet doesnt mean giving up the joy of eating or avoiding your favorite foods and special family meals. You can still enjoy pizza night, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and partake in holiday meals and vacation dining. This is more about your routine daily food choices and meal planning.
Use the four sections of a plate as a guide when planning healthy meals for someone with diabetes. Photo: 123RF
Eating to control and prevent diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.
A Small Investment In Yourself For Big Benefits
This interactive 4 week weight loss/kickstart program includes:
- 4 weeks of meals all planned so you know exactly what to eat to lose weight
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to satisfy your hunger
- Easy low carb recipes that are super delicious
- Average 1500-1700 calorie, 80g carb daily plans designed for a 2 person menu
- Printable shopping list for maximum convenience
- Dont like something in the menu, change with an alternative meal
- Food lists and resources to make things crystal clear
- Access to expert nutritionists in the members chat area
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Are There Foods I Should Avoid In My Prediabetes Diet
As part of your prediabetes diet, we recommend avoiding processed and refined foods as much as possible. These foods tend to be void of nutrients and have a high Glycemic Index, which can cause drastic spikes in your blood sugar. Try to eat these foods and ingredients sparingly:
- Highly Processed and Refined Foods Processed and refined foods are extremely low in fiber and nutrients, which tends to absorb more quickly in the GI tract. These are the types of foods that cause drastic spikes in blood sugar. Replacing these foods with more nutrient-dense options will help prolong the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Trans fats
Interested in more details? Read our full blog on foods to avoid for prediabetes