Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetic Recipes - Diet and Meal Planning Tips

People who have type 2 diabetes have some special concerns when it comes to their diet and meal planning. More than ever, it is important to use healthy food choices and combine the appropriate amount of carbs, fats, and proteins at each meal. can be created by understanding the types of foods that are the healthier choices for people with diabetes - and frankly, healthier choices for everyone.

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Everyone is aware that fats and sugars should be consumed in limited quantities. Carbohydrates are the same; while they are an important part of healthy eating, they need to be consumed in moderation because they're converted by our bodies into sugar. When you have diabetes, the goal is to try to create meals that will help to maintain stable blood glucose throughout the day. Since most foods contain some amount of , you will need to count carbs or control them in some manner in order to manage your .

This can be done by managing the total intake of carbs in a day, but also by using the GI, or and the as planning tools. With careful diet planning, you can mix the right amounts of foods for proper nutrition.

The glycemic index (GI) is a comprehensive list of all foods that contain carbs. The GI "rates" foods with a number that tells you how that food affects blood glucose levels after consumption. Diabetics need to keep their blood sugar levels under control and avoid "spikes".

Some good low carb foods include lentils and other beans, non-starchy vegetables, many fresh fruits and whole grains. High GI foods can include sugary and refined flour products, but also watermelon, parsnips and many plain, crunchy cereals.

While many foods in the GI index are affected by fats and fiber, this does not always hold true. Generally, the more processed a food is, the less healthy it will be for you from a nutritional standpoint.

Although type 2 diabetics also need to limit the foods and at each meal, they can still enjoy tasty, nutritious choices through a healthy diet. The , which groups foods based on carbohydrate and protein content, allows for these daily amounts:

  • Grains and Starches: 6 to 11 servings per day.
       Examples: one serving = 1 slice of bread; 1/2 cup cooked cereal; or 1/3 cup pasta or rice.

  • Vegetables (3 to 5 servings). Great to include in meals and for snacking!
       1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked veggies or 1 cup raw.

  • Fruits (2 to 4 servings). Tasty and sweet, an ideal snack.
       1 serving = 1 small piece of fruit; 1 cup of melon; 2 tablespoons of dried fruit; or 1/2 cup of canned fruit.

  • Milk and Dairy products (2 to 3 servings, with an emphasis on low-fat products).
       1 serving = 1 cup of skim milk; or 1 cup of yogurt.

  • Meats and Meat Substitutes (4 to 6 ounces - emphasis on lean meats like chicken breast and fish). This group includes peanut butter, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, and tofu.
       1 ounce = 1 ounce of meat; 1 egg; 1 tablespoon of peanut butter; 1/2 cup of tofu; or 1/4 cup of cottage cheese.

  • Fats, sweets, and alcohol (consume sparingly). Includes treats like potato chips, cookies, candy, cakes, etc.
       Consume small servings: 2 small cookies; or 1/2 cup of ice cream.

Of course, you don't have to eat the maximum number of servings allowed per day. Calories still count - and too many calories still lead to weight gain.

Here's one video showing some easy & healthy meal ideas:

There are numerous resources available to help you create low-fat, quick and easy diabetic recipes that are also healthy, balanced, and delicious. Dessert recipes can even be created -- although sweets need to be eaten infrequently, of course -- so have fun creating tasty meals and snacks.


Additional Reading:


The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.