Tell us about your symptoms and treatment experience. Take our survey here.

a cloche being removed, revealing a smaller cloche

My Diabetes Is Controlled, So Why Can't I Eat What I Want?

The first time I got a normal A1c reading, I was thrilled. Finally, my type 2 diabetes was under control. Then I wondered, "If my diabetes is now controlled, why can't I eat what I want?"

It's not the best way of thinking about things, but it's normal for people who are used to eating a particular way to wonder if they still can.

Type 2 diabetes and nutrition

Ask 10 people what one can eat when living with type 2 diabetes, and I bet you will get 10 different responses. Type 2 diabetes management through nutrition is personalized and could even be complicated.

Consume certain foods in moderation

But in general, many people agree that you can eat what you want in moderation. That means that if you go to a wedding, you can have a piece of cake. But it doesn't mean eating 3 or 4 pieces.

The same thing goes with eating starches, carbs, and other sweets. Sure, you can have a little bit once in a while, but consuming a balance of all nutrients is generally recommended.

This concept was really hard for me because I felt that since my numbers were normal, I should be able to eat whatever I wanted - and things just don't work that way. It was unhealthy thinking on my part.

The importance of controlling blood glucose and A1c levels

Find a personal management plan

Whether you manage diabetes primarily through medication, diet, exercise, or many methods, it is crucial to maintain your numbers in the normal range. Finding a treatment and management plan that best works for you will help you avoid diabetes complications and slow progression.

Notice how foods impact your body

Since you have type 2 diabetes, almost everything you consume will impact how you feel and your blood sugar levels. And once you get your numbers to the normal range, why would you want to mess that up and have to start over? I was elated to have a normal A1c and normal blood glucose levels. I certainly didn't want to have to fix something I'd messed up if I stopped caring for my diabetes through nutrition.

Controlling diabetes through nutrition can be difficult

I'm just like everyone else. I make mistakes and don't always do the right things. Having a lifelong way of eating is difficult; I certainly understand.

But I have been doing better. I don't eat sweets like I used to, and I don't eat the amount of food I used to before my diabetes diagnosis. Due to the medication I'm taking; I feel full faster.

I get it; if I weren't on that medication, I'd probably still overeat. But at least I get a head start on eating healthier, which is the most important thing. Anything that helps me is a win, in my opinion. So, not cleaning my plate and not gouging on snacks makes a difference in how I feel.

If my diabetes is controlled, can't I eat what I want?

Keep in mind that you can probably eat what you want in moderation. The thing is, it's easier to keep your numbers down and feel better if you indulge less frequently. If I want a bite of a candy bar or a sip of regular soda, it's okay! I try to avoid making it a habit, even if my diabetes is controlled.

This or That

Do you think that artificial intelligence (AI) will be more harmful or helpful for healthcare quality?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our In America Survey yet?