Healthy Eating Tips
Last updated: March 2022
Now that you have type 2 diabetes, you may feel that healthy eating has taken on a whole new meaning. Hopefully, your diabetes care team has spent time teaching you about which foods affect your blood glucose levels and how to find balance in your daily meals.
Tips for healthy eating with type 2 diabetes
The American Diabetes Association has some great tips on how to eat healthfully when you have diabetes.
1. Eat a variety of foods
It is important to continue to eat from all of the food groups to obtain the nutrients needed to fuel your body. Whole grains, dairy, meats, as well as vegetables and even fruits should be part of your diet.1
2. Try not to eat too much food
Overeating is never a good idea but can be a more significant problem when trying to manage your blood sugars with diabetes. If you are prone to bingeing or overeating, look at what your triggers have been in the past. If you are skipping meals, eating while distracted, or ignoring hunger cues, you may want to try to reevaluate your choices to decrease the risk.
Consider packing breakfast, lunch, or snacks for when you are out and about, or at work. Keep tempting foods that you are likely to binge on such as potato chips, out of the house. Do not wait until you are ravenously hungry to eat, and be sure to check on the status of your fullness level frequently to make sure you don’t overdo it.1
3. Try not to eat too much of one type of food
Because there are so many foods that affect blood glucose levels, it is important to be aware of portion sizes. You may also notice that the same food may have a different effect on your body from day-to-day. Keeping a food diary can help you discern which foods work well. Often, the combination of foods at a meal is just as important as the items alone. Choosing protein such as meat or cheese, when having a carbohydrate such as crackers or fruit, can help slow the release of glucose into the blood and may make for a better glucose reading later on.1
4. Space your meals evenly throughout the day
Now, more than ever, having scheduled meal times are extremely important to your health and wellness. Waiting to eat, or skipping meals, can lead to hypoglycemia. On the opposite side, overeating can lead to hyperglycemia. If you have specific questions about the size and timing of your meals, be sure to discuss these with your physician, Certified Diabetes Educator, or Registered Dietitian.1
5. Do not skip meals
As previously mentioned, skipping meals can be a poor, even dangerous decision when you have diabetes. If this is something you often do, try to change this habit to better your health.1
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?