Carbohydrates have the most immediate effect on blood glucose levels, and thus are the most important type of food for a diabetic to understand. Lean proteins and healthy fats make up the rest of the diet.
Carbohydrates come in two types: simple "carbs", such as refined sugar and fruits; and complex carbs such as nuts, legumes, non-starchy vegetables and whole grains. Complex carbs are preferable for diabetics because they digest more slowly and thus provide a steady stream of glucose to the body, rather than one big rush or "spike" in sugars.
Types of food choices that may benefit you include:
Types of foods that should be avoided or consumed sparingly include:
Every person has unique dietary needs. Your healthcare provider may be able to refer you to a dietitian who can assist you in making up a plan for your diabetic diet, including helping you choose foods that will work best for managing your condition and your overall health.
Follow the food guidelines that your doctor or dietitian set out for you. In some cases, a proper diet and regular exercise are all that's needed to control type 2 diabetes, without a need for medication or insulin. As a bonus, a healthy diet and exercise routine can help with weight loss. It can even lead to the prevention of diabetes for people who haven't yet developed the condition.
Diabetes doesn't mean you have to stick with bland, tasteless foods or a repetitive menu. There are many delicious diabetic-friendly recipes - even dessert recipes - that can help keep food an enjoyable part of your life.