Choosing Healthy Foods
The thought of a diet can feel overwhelming when you’re learning to manage your type 2 diabetes. However, diet is not only about eating less of the foods that you love or about losing weight—it’s also about making some simple lifestyle changes that you can enjoy and stay with. You may be surprised to find that you can eat right while still eating many of the foods that you like. When you have type 2 diabetes, eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts can help you manage your blood sugar levels.
There always seems to be a story in the media about a food that’s just been found to be good or bad for you. Some basic principles have weathered the fad diets and stood the test of time. Here are some healthful food choices that you and your family can depend on:
Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. To get good variety, choose from the rainbow of colors available. Eat low-starch or nonstarchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, broccoli, or green beans, with meals.
Choose whole-grain foods over processed-grain products. Try brown rice with your stir-fry or whole-wheat spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce.
Include dried beans, like kidney or pinto beans, and lentils in your meals.
Include fish in your meals 2 to 3 times a week.
Choose lean meats. For example, cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin," such as pork loin and sirloin, are good choices.
Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
Choose nonfat dairy, such as skim milk, nonfat yogurt, and nonfat cheese.
Choose water and calorie-free diet drinks instead of regular soda, fruit punch, sweet tea, and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
Cook with liquid oils instead of solid fats, which can be high in saturated and trans fats. Remember that all fats are high in calories. If you're trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes of added fats.
Cut back on high-calorie snacks and desserts, such as chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.
If you eat too much, you can gain weight, even if what you’re eating is healthful, so watch your portion sizes.