Getting the right answer to this question can be tricky due to different factors that influence the choice of foods for diabetic patients. Aspects like age, diabetes type, weight, and other medical conditions play a significant role.
Overall, it is best to avoid carbohydrates, be extra careful about the portions and timing, and include plenty of legumes, fresh fruit, and vegetables. However, there’s more to these diets than meets the eye.
We’ve selected some of the best diets that can keep your glucose levels in order.
The secret to the longevity and health of Mediterranean people lies in the food they eat. In addition to the benefits for diabetes, this diet will boost your overall health.
You should know that the Mediterranean diet is not structured. However, there’s a pyramid that can help you determine the right foods to choose from.
Vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, and legumes can be eaten whenever you like, together with region-specific spices and herbs. Seafood and fish should be consumed at least a few times a week. It’s advisable to go easy on dairy, eggs, and poultry, but you can treat yourself to a glass of wine a day. Red meat and sweets are for special occasions only.
Mayo Clinic Diet
Like the Mediterranean diet, the Mayo Clinic diet puts emphasis on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The energy density of these foods is low, which means you’ll be taking in fewer calories even if you eat more.
This diet is also great for shedding off the excess pounds, allowing you to slow the progress of type 2 diabetes. The Mayo Clinic doesn’t put any food group strictly off limits, but TV-dinners, sugar, and snacks are not allowed.
You should be mindful of your full-fat dairy and meat intake. Avoid eating out unless the restaurant meals follow certain rules.
The DASH diet discourages you from consuming fatty meats and dairy, tropical oils, and saturated fat. The same goes for sweets and sugar-rich beverages, plus it sets the upper limit for sodium intake at 2,300 mg. Eventually, you should lower the amount of sodium to 1,500 mg a day.
While on this diet, each meal should feature a serving of fruits or vegetables. You are encouraged to use spices and herbs instead of salt. Pecans and almonds are allowed as snacks, and you should use whole-wheat flour rather than white.
The idea is to sort foods into four categories according to energy density. Non-starchy vegetables and fruits, broth soups, and non-fat milk belong to the very low-density category.
The second (low-density) category is dedicated to foods that contain more starch, like breakfast cereal, legumes, and grains. The medium density category includes people’s favorites like fries, pizza, meat, etc. And the final one is dedicated to indulgences like candies, chips, oil, cookies, and so on.
This diet has a straightforward logic. It’s all you can eat for the first two categories, be careful with the portions in category three, and category four should be kept to a minimum.
One for the Road
Regardless of the diet you choose, some general rules apply. As a diabetic patient, you need to steer clear from processed foods, sweets, and junk food in general. It’s best to have a lot of color on your plate and include as many fresh foods as possible.