If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your head is probably swimming with information about the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make, including how to create and stay on a diabetic diet plan. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, and to successfully manage blood sugar levels requires significant modifications to the way you live and eat, including a diabetic diet.
Maintaining a proper diabetic diet plan is one of the trickiest areas, so to help keep you on the right track with your diabetic diet plan as you adjust your habits, follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts:
The "Do's" of a Diabetic Diet Plan
- Eat plenty of vegetables and legumes (beans)
- Eat adequate amounts of lean protein, such as fish, poultry, or tofu
- Eat healthful fats, which can be found in cold-water fish, raw nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil
- Eat modest amounts of fruit (one to two servings per day)
- Replace sugar with sugar alternatives like xylitol or stevia
Diabetic Diet Plan "Don’ts"
- Eat carbohydrate-dense, starchy foods such as pasta, cereals, and other grain-based foods
- Eat too many processed foods
- Eat a lot of red meat (limit to one serving per week)
- Eat desserts
- Use sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of food, or consume products that contain these ingredients
Exercise also plays a big role in blood sugar control. You’ll need to commit to at least 30-45 minutes of moderately intense physical activity four or more days a week. Additionally, I recommend taking a brisk 10-minute walk after meals as this helps clear glucose out of the bloodstream, and helps maintain blood sugar levels.