7 Diet Rules to Follow if You Have Type II Diabetes
There is no drug treatment or cure available for Type II diabetes, however making healthy lifestyle changes can have remarkable effects on people suffering with this condition. Uncontrolled diet and weight can lead to serious complications including heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, damage to the eyes and kidney disease.
The healthy eating recommendations for an optimal diabetic diet are centred on maintaining a healthy weight and eating food that helps your body to control its internal glucose levels.
Basic rules to follow if you have diabetes:
1. Eat plenty of lean protein such as fish, chicken and eggs, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
2. Watch your weight. Uncontrolled weight can lead to serious complications for diabetics. You will need to minimise your intake of foods high in saturated fat and refined sugar, and watch your portion control.
3. Eat a diet low in processed foods which may have a higher GI score due to the processing procedure, and often contain high levels of sugar and salt. Avoid white pasta, white rice and white refined flour.
4. Never skip meals. Regular meals are very important for stabilising blood glucose levels and you should also have regular, small healthy snacks during the day.
5. Eat plenty of high fibre foods such as pulses, beans, broccoli, squash, celery, mushrooms and leafy greens (fibre slows down digestion and therefore helps to control the release of sugar into the blood stream).
6. Determine your personal response to starchy foods. The NHS guidelines to base every meal around a starchy carbohydrate with a low glycaemic index (GI) may not be suitable advice for all Type II diabetics. Every person is different, you will need to monitor your own body’s tolerance to eating low GI, starchy fruits and vegetables (e.g. bananas, white potatoes, sweet potatoes) and minimally processed foods such as coarsely milled whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice. Once you know how these products affect you, you can decide how often to include them in your diet.
7. Consider eating a low carbohydrate diet. A low carb diet may be a suitable choice for you if you find that your blood sugar levels increase significantly even after eating even low GI carbohydrates.
Please note, it is important that if you are going to make any significant changes to your diet, this should be done with the guidance and advice of your GP.
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