One of the biggest misconceptions about Type 2 diabetes is that you have to stop eating regular food. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are worried you are going to be required to eat salads for the rest of your life, think again. While it is true you need to make a major overhaul to your eating plan, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy normal food just like the rest of the world. However, you might need to learn to be a great cook and make changes to your favorite recipes so they are low in sugar, salt, and saturated fats
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There is no doubt healthy eating is very important if you want to reverse Type 2 diabetes. This means you want to eat a wide variety of foods including:
- whole grains,
- low-fat or no fat dairy foods,
- healthy fats, and
- lean meats.
It's important you eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits in all different color combinations. Remember the more colors you see on your plate, bringing in more variety is not only more interesting for your taste buds, but it helps you cast a wider nutrient net so you take in more vitamins and minerals.
Diabetics should also take care not to eat too much food at one time. As a result of nerve damage many diabetics have a condition called gastroparesis. This is a condition where food sits in the stomach for too long and does not move through the digestive system quickly enough. It can cause a whole variety of problems with digestion, but it can also cause blood sugar fluctuations which can be dangerous for diabetics. With gastroparesis, release of food from the stomach is unpredictable, therefore it is not known when, or if, small or large amounts of sugar will be entering the bloodstream at a time.
You should also make sure that you space your meals evenly throughout the day. Many diabetics try to eat every three to four hours, meaning they eat three square meals with snacks in between. This will keep your metabolism and blood sugar levels balanced. You will also see your mood and energy levels improve as your blood sugar will not be swinging too far up or down throughout the day.
If you eat every three to four hours you won't get too hungry, making it easier to control your calorie and carbohydrate intake at your next meal. Skipping meals and letting your hunger build up can make you feel weak and irritable and sets you up for overdoing the calories, and often the carbohydrates.
For the time being, the best idea is to commit to eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a few snacks. Another suggestion is to monitor your blood sugar so you can start working out what types of meals give you the best blood sugar levels.
It's also important not to over indulge in any one kind of food. First of all, this could mean you have a sensitivity to that food, as we often crave what we shouldn't be eating. In addition, it's important for Type 2 diabetics to get a wide variety of nutrients... eating the same food over and over doesn't allow this to happen.
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