The best diet for diabetes is a healthier version of the various low carb diets out there for you to choose. The reason is that people with diabetes cannot utilize glucose from carbohydrates in a normal way. Type 2 diabetics in specific have a dysfunction in their cells’ ability to respond to insulin. As a result, if you load up the system with fast-absorbed carbs, they hit your bloodstream too fast for the body to handle them. The glucose gets stuck outside the cells in your blood, raising your blood sugar levels, which in turn can age and damage many cells in the body.
It makes sense that you can give your body a break by controlling the amount and the types of carbohydrate-containing foods you eat (or drink). If you load the system less heavily, you have less to process. So, choosing a diet low in carbs is a good way to start.
But then you have to decide among many choices – Atkins style eating? The diet-of-the-month low carb program? Which one? Your best strategy is to make informed choices – literally pick and choose from different menu plans to create the personalized program that works for you.
When you do eat a food containing carbohydrates, you still want to pick one that is lower on the glycemic index (GI) food list and lower in its ability to send a glycemic load into your bloodstream. For instance, foods higher in fiber can help slow absorption, making whole grains or multigrain with seeds and/or nuts a better choice over refined white flour foods. Use stevia as a natural sweetener instead of sugar.
For proteins, some low carb diets tell you it is OK to eat red meats, butter and eggs. Well, perhaps sometimes, in moderation. But to go for healthier proteins, you would want to include a serving of fattier fish like wild salmon once or twice a week. Sardines and mackerel are also good options. You are wanting foods higher in omega-3 fatty acids promote health instead of tearing it down.
For fats, look for butter substitutes that contain better fats such as olive oil. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet, which includes an emphasis on olive oil as a primary fat is an excellent strategy. Other “good” fats that you still don’t want to overdo would include walnut oil. If you are allergic to a specific food, find an alternative. It is a big world of food options out there. Don’t use food allergies as an excuse to eat in a less healthy way.
Eating salads and certain lower glycemic fruits like berries is good for your health. They bring in essential nutrients and antioxidants to protect your cells and your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from doing damage to blood vessels in your heart and brain. People with diabetes type 2 often have elevated cholesterol to manage as well as high blood sugar levels.