When you’re first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes your initial reaction may be –
What Can I Eat?
Regarding type 2 diabetes and diet, it is often thought that you need to go on a low-carb, high protein diet. Or rather completely eliminate all sweets and carbs and eat ‘cardboard’ tasting foods only.
This is far from the truth!
You must first understand that carbohydrates are a preferred energy source for our brain, muscles and other organs of the body. We NEED carbs for energy. So you don’t want to eliminate these out of the diet. From personal experience and from my healthcare practice, you really don’t want to eat less than 115-120 grams of carbs per day. However, it is recommended that we need minimum 130 grams carbs per day for general brain function – but it’s very individualized.
What Diet Changes Should I Make First?
- If you’re drinking soda or juice of any kind – STOP! Like, now! Sugar sweetened beverages, even from 100% all natural juice, is literally punching your pancreas in the face. Not to mention, that these beverages also increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels.
- Avoid skipping meals. I’ve heard it all before and trust me I used to have to SAME excuses:
“I’m busy and don’t have time to stop and eat.”
“I forget about eating lunch because I’m busy taking care of my kids needs.”
“I ate a late breakfast so I’m going to wait until dinner to eat.”
When we go long periods of time without eating, specifically when we are sleeping but also when we skip meals, out liver releases a little bit of sugar into our blood stream to ‘reassure’ our brain and other organs that you are not starving. Isn’t it amazing how our body works? Having said that, when you have consistent meals throughout the day the liver does not release extra sugar into the blood stream.
3. Cut out processed sweets and meats. This includes: packaged cookies, candies, cakes, sweet breads/rolls, salami, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, ham and bologna. These types of foods can contribute to weight gain which actually increases insulin resistance.
3 Foods to Start Eating NOW
- Fiber: whole grains, beans/legumes. Fiber is not digested in our intestines so it slows down the absorption from the sugar that is coming from carbs. Soluble fiber, more specifically, helps to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). You’ll mostly find soluble fiber from eating the edible peels of fruits and vegetables and also from whole grains and legumes.
- Non-starchy vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onion, salad greens, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini.
- Berries: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries. These fruits are richest in antioxidants which will help combat free radicals and start the healing process. When you have diabetes your body is stress and inflamed. Incorporating more antioxidants in your diet will improve your blood sugar and help you feel like pure awesomeness.
Type 2 Diabetes and your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask for help if you feel confused or stuck-in-a-rut! I would be happy to answer any questions for you. Comment below with any questions or feedback and share what you’ve done to help control your diabetes diet.