Effectively managing type 2 diabetes means effectively managing blood glucose levels. Controlling blood sugar levels is a matter of regular, consistent monitoring of those levels as well as eating the right foods – and avoiding the wrong ones.
The good news is that a healthy type 2 diabetes diet doesn’t mean you have to forgo all of the foods you love; you’ll still be able to eat a wide variety of carbs, fats, and proteins. You simply need to be more mindful of how certain types of foods impact your body and choose foods that are naturally rich in nutrients to help keep your blood sugar level in your ideal range and avoid big swings in either direction that can cause type 2 diabetes symptoms and complications.
How Different Foods Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Four primary nutrients directly impact blood glucose levels:
Carbs have the most significant effect on blood sugar levels and elevate those levels faster than fats or proteins, while protein, fat, and fiber may slow or curb the rise of blood sugar levels after eating a meal.
Given these dueling impacts, a diet that provides a balanced mixture of all four nutrients is the best way to keep your blood sugar levels on the level. For people who have type 2 diabetes, the key to a healthy diet, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), includes:
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein.
- Foods with less added sugar
- Food that contains no trans fats
Best Foods For Type 2 Diabetes
Some of the best foods for a type 2 diabetes diet are:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fish like salmon and tuna
- Sweet potatoes
- Apple cider vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil
Worst Foods For Type 2 Diabetes
Conversely, some of the worst foods for keeping your blood sugar levels in check include:
- Processed or packaged food
- Foods with added sugars
- High-sodium foods
- Fruits with high a GI score, such as watermelons, dried dates, pineapples, and overly ripe bananas
- Other foods high on the GI scale, such as white bread, puffed rice, white rice, white pasta, and white potatoes
- Foods high in saturated fats or trans fats, such as fries, chips, or baked goods
- Refined sugar
One of the best things you can do when creating your type 2 diabetes diet is to meet with a registered dietitian who can assess your particular circumstances and needs and discuss how you can improve your eating habits to maximize their benefits and minimize diabetes complications.
Monitoring Glucose Levels As Part Of A Healthy Type 2 Diabetes Lifestyle
Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels is an essential complement to a healthy diet in managing type 2 diabetes.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels 24 hours a day without interrupting their day to obtain a blood sample.
CGM has easy-to-use features that can help each person proactively record and track glucose levels—as well as provide valuable insights on data that helps manage exercise, meals, and daily health status.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.