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Type 2 Diabetes - Foods to Eat and Stay Away From

When first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, people immediately have questions regarding a list of foods for a diabetic to eat. They want to know which foods are safe to eat, and which foods they should stay away from.

With type 1 diabetes, the body produces no insulin at all. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either produces too little insulin, or the insulin that is produced is ignored by the body's cells. Either way, the body still requires insulin in order to use glucose to generate energy.

The body breaks down the sugars and starches to form glucose, which is what fuels the body for its energy. The insulin carries the blood sugar into the cells. If the glucose is allowed to accumulate in the blood rather than going into the cells, then that is when complications from diabetes come into the picture.

List of Foods for a Diabetic to Eat

The good news is, and this does surprise most newly diagnosed diabetics, you can pretty much eat anything, as long as you are sensible in your food choices. Just like any other diet targeting health and nutrition, things to avoid include:


* Excess sodium
* Excess sugar
* Excess fats (especially the bad fats)
* Excessive cholesterol

Foods you want to include in a diabetic diet include selections from the following groups:

* Fruits and vegetables
* Beans and nuts
* Non-fat dairy products
* Fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meats
* Whole grains
* Healthy fats (plant oils)

Expanding on the List of Foods for a Diabetic to Eat

Taking it a step further, if you want to super boost your diabetic diet, or any other diet for that matter, here are some other items to include on the list of foods for a diabetic to eat:

* Foods high in Omega-3; a favorite among many is salmon, but other fish contains Omega-3, too. Preparation is important; breaded and fried should be avoided. Wiser preparation methods include sautéing, baking, or broiling.

* Tomatoes - whether sliced, sauced, or in a vegetable smoothie, tomatoes provide iron and vitamins C and E.

* Berries - raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are excellent for providing antioxidants along with fiber and essential nutrients. Want a fast healthy dessert? Place non-fat vanilla yogurt in a parfait glass alternating from bottom to top with yogurt and your choice of berries; mix different types of berries for more color and variety. Sprinkle the top with wheat germ and/or crushed nuts.

* Sweet Potatoes - consider replacing white potatoes with sweet potatoes for a lower glycemic index value. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A and fiber, and they are easily to bake, or boil in water and mash for a delicious sweet potato casserole.

* Dark Leafy Greens - you can't go wrong with dark leafy greens such as kale, collards, and spinach, plus they are low in both carbohydrates and calories and provide you with fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins C, A, and K.

List of Foods for a Diabetic to Avoid

Some of the foods you will want to avoid on a diabetic diet include:

* Sodium, sugar, bad fats, cholesterol
* Fried foods and high fat choices
* White bread, pasta, and rice; opt for whole grain choices instead
* Red meat; opt for fish, eggs, or poultry instead
* Butter; choose healthier plant oils instead (olive, canola, peanut, sunflower)

While a dietician or nutritionist is your best source of advice for helping you with your diabetic diet, the basic information about what foods to eat and which ones to avoid is not so different from what anyone else should eat if they want to follow a healthy diet and prevent many diseases and health problems like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and high blood pressure.
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