What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include
Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:
- Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
- Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
- No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
- No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
- Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
A Short History Of Types
Described and treated since ancient times, diabetes has specific characteristics that were recognized long ago. Before the discovery of insulin, people found to have sugar in their urine under the age of 20 usually died in their youth. In contrast, those diagnosed when over the age of 40 could live for many years with this condition.
Beginning in the mid-1920s, those who got diabetes when young started on insulin, and those who got it when older often were not. However, the mechanisms that led to this difference in treatment were unknown. The only marker that differentiated the two types at that time was the presence in the urine of moderate or large levels of ketones when blood sugars were high. When significant ketones were present because the person could no longer make enough insulin, injected insulin was needed to control the glucose, and they were called insulin-dependent.
|Differences In The Three Major Types Of Diabetes|
|insulin is vital, diet & exercise changes helpful||pills or insulin vital, diet & exercise changes helpful||pills helpful, diet & increased activity essential|
|Late treatment||insulin, diet, exercise||insulin, pills, diet, exercise||insulin, pills, diet, exercise|
|* may occur at any age if all antibody-positive cases are included, i.e. Type 1 and Type 1.5|
Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented for some people. While unchangeable things like genetics, age, and family history can affect your risk for developing diabetes, there are a few things you can do to help keep your risk as low as possible:
Eat healthy. Eating a lot of red meats, processed meats , and sugar is linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to help reduce your risk.
Be active. Consistently remaining inactive is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The ADA recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to help lower your risk of developing diabetes. Discuss exercising with your doctor before starting any new routines.
Lose weight if youre overweight. Being overweight is also linked with a higher risk of diabetes. The more you weigh, the higher your risk. Talk to your doctor about how to safely lose weight before starting any diets.
If youre worried about your risk of developing diabetes, make an appointment to see your doctor and talk to them about making some of these healthy changes. Taking charge of your health now will only benefit you in the long run.
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Are You At Risk
More than 30 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, nearly 24% of people with the condition are undiagnosed,so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms, especially if you:
- Are over 45
- Have been diagnosed with prediabetes
- Are overweight and/or inactive
- Are African American, an Alaska native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander American and are experiencing symptoms
Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes but some factors can put you at greater risk. They include:
- being age 40 or over
- being overweight
- having a family member who has diabetes
- having had gestational diabetes
- having given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg at birth
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol or other fats in the blood or
- member of a high-risk ethnic group.
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About Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is usually a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood glucose level to become too high.
The hormone insulin produced by the pancreas is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood
There are two main types of diabetes:
- type 1 where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin
- type 2 where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin
This topic is about type 2 diabetes.
Read more about type 1 diabetes
Another type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, occurs in some pregnant women and tends to disappear after birth.
Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Symptoms, treatment, and complications from type 2 diabetes may vary from person to person. The following information will help you learn more about this disease and provide you with helpful tools, assessments and resources.
If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can lead to a variety of life-threatening complications.
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Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
The classic symptoms of diabetes are the following:
- unusual thirst and
- unexplained weight loss.
In type 1 diabetes, the symptoms usually progress quickly and are often dramatic. In type 2 diabetes, symptoms are slower to progress. However, it is important to note that many people who have type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. These people may find out they have type 2 diabetes when they go to the doctor for another, unrelated problem.
Which Diets Are Recommended For Diabetes
Nutritional management is an important part of life for people with diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, work with your doctor to identify how much insulin you may need to inject after eating certain types of food.
For example, carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to quickly increase in people with type 1 diabetes. Youll need to counteract this by taking insulin, but youll need to know how much insulin to take. Learn more about type 1 diabetes and diet.
People with type 2 diabetes need to focus on healthy eating. Weight loss is often a part of type 2 diabetes treatment plans, so your doctor may recommend a low-calorie meal plan. This could mean reducing your consumption of animal fats and junk food.
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What Are Key Differences Between Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes
When comparing type 1 vs type 2 diabetes, there are a few major differences:
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. You cant reverse type 1 diabetes, you can only manage it. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with effective intervention and lifestyle changes.
- In type 1 diabetes, your pancreas is unable to produce insulin, whereas in type 2 diabetes, your insulin production is limited, and the response of your body to that insulin is decreased.
- A person with type 1 diabetes could die without their insulin medication. A person with type 2 diabetes should avoid treatment with insulin, unless their pancreas is completely failing.
Type 2 Diabetes Complications
Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:
- Heart and blood vessels. Youâre up to five times more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke. Youâre also at high risk of blocked blood vessels and chest pain .
- Kidneys. If your kidneys are damaged or you have kidney failure, you could need dialysis or a kidney replacement.
- Eyes. High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes . If this isnât treated, it can cause blindness.
- Nerves. This can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response.
- Skin. Your blood doesnât circulate as well, so wounds heal slower and can become infected.
- Pregnancy. Women with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or a baby with a birth defect.
- Sleep. You might develop sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
- Hearing. Youâre more likely to have hearing problems, but itâs not clear why.
- Brain. High blood sugar can damage your brain and might put you at higher risk of Alzheimerâs disease.
- Depression. People with the disease are twice as likely to get depressed as people who donât have it.
The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your type 2 diabetes well.
- Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
- Eat right, and don’t skip meals.
- See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.
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Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes
To diagnose type 1 diabetes youll need to get blood tests done, one of which is called an A1C screening. A1C screenings measure your blood sugar levels from the past two to three months and can be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Life Line Screening also offers an A1C screening from the privacy of you own home through our home tests. You can learn more here.
Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems. It’s the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people of working age.
Everyone with diabetes aged 12 or over should be invited to have their eyes screened once a year for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes is also responsible for most cases of kidney failure and lower limb amputation, other than accidents.
Read more about the complications of type 2 diabetes
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Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed
Yes! The good news is that several studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. You are considered in remission from type 2 diabetes when you have had normal blood sugar levels for a year without medication.
One of the most important components in reversing type 2 diabetes is early detection. Dr. Bergquist explains, The pancreas produces insulin. The longer you have diabetes, the more damage your insulin resistance causes to your pancreas, and the less likely your pancreas is to recover. Hence, the possibility for remission decreases the longer you have diabetes. But theres a wide window during which you can be successful.
Faq: Frequently Asked Questions
Is type 2 diabetes genetic?
Over 75% of kids with type 2 diabetes also have a relative with the condition. But this could be due to similar lifestyles in the family rather than genetic factors. Like any condition, some people have a genetic predisposition towards both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes, but the primary factor governing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle.
How often do I need to monitor my blood sugar if I have type 2 diabetes?
You and your healthcare provider should decide when and how often you need to check your blood sugar. You can keep a record in a smart phone app or on paper so you can easily chart your variations. Doctors recommend that diabetes patients get an A1C test at least two times a year.
How has type 2 diabetes changed over time?
Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes because it was diagnosed mainly in adults who did not require insulin to manage their condition. However, because more children are starting to be diagnosed with T2D, and insulin is used more frequently to help manage type 2 diabetes, referring to the condition as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent is no longer accurate or used.
Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
Yes! Your greatest opportunity to reverse type 2 diabetes is early detection and intervention.
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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells dont respond normally to insulin this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas cant keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
Does Your Diabetes Type Ever Change
Even ignoring the high numbers of people with Type 1.5 who are initially misdiagnosed as Type 2, the lines between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes often get blurred over time. Due to aging and weight gain in those with Type 1, the progressive nature of beta-cell failure in Type 2, and the mixture of obesity and antibodies in young people, those with one type of diabetes often tend to take on characteristics of the other.
With less exercise and more weight around the middle, some Type 1s become not only insulin-deficient but also insulin resistant. They can develop the cardiac risks associated with Metabolic Syndrome and benefit from medications that lower cholesterol and blood pressure. More insulin is required to control glucose levels, while certain Type 2 medications, like Glucophage and GLP-1 agonists, may benefit their control.
On the other hand, as Type 2 diabetes progresses, insulin production may diminish to a point where it can no longer maintain normal glucose levels. Insulin will be required to keep glucose levels under control. Some people with Type 2 eventually become dependent on insulin and can go into ketoacidosis in stressful situations. In fact, ketoacidosis is about twice as common in Type 2 diabetes as it is in Type 1.
Lab Tests Used for DiagnosisA variety of lab tests and clinical signs help to provide the information needed to determine which type of diabetes a person has correctly.
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How Can I Help My Child
Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention. You’ll be your child’s most important partner in learning to live with it.
Kids or teens with type 2 diabetes may need to:
- Get to and maintain a normal body weight.
- Monitor blood sugar levels regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team.
- Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively.
- Take insulin or other medicines that help the body respond to insulin more effectively.
- Work closely with their doctors and diabetes health care team to get the best possible diabetes control.
- Be watched for signs of complications and other diabetes-related health problems.
Living with diabetes is a challenge for anyone, but kids and teens often have special issues to deal with. Young kids might not understand why they need blood tests and medicines. They might be scared, angry, and uncooperative.
Teens may feel different from their peers and want a more carefree lifestyle than their diabetes allows. Even when they faithfully follow their treatment schedule, they might feel frustrated if the natural body changes of puberty make their diabetes somewhat harder to control.
Having a child with diabetes may seem overwhelming at times, but you’re not alone. If you have questions or problems, reach out to the diabetes health care team they can help with medical issues, and are there to support and help you and your child.
Medicines For Type 2 Diabetes
There are many types of diabetes medications and they work in different ways to control blood glucose. If you have diabetes, over time it can change, meaning your medications may need to change too. For example, you may need more than one medication to control your blood glucose levels. Some people with type 2 diabetes may eventually need insulin to manage their condition.
If you are living with type 2 diabetes, you can join the National Diabetes Services Scheme to access support services, including free or subsidised products. Visit Diabetes Australia for information and resources.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
Its important to monitor diabetes very closely if youre sick. Even a common cold can be dangerous if it interferes with your insulin and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.
Contact your provider right away if you experience:
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Nausea and vomiting for more than four hours.
- Problems with balance or coordination.
- Severe pain anywhere in your body.
- Trouble moving your arms or legs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt make enough insulin and cant use sugar the way it should. Sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. But Type 2 diabetes is manageable. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar. You may also need medication or insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.