Eating Tips for Type-II Diabetes
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Everyone who has diabetes needs to follow an eating plan approved by their physician.
And most should follow a physical activity plan, too. For some people, weight loss and
active living are enough to control Type-II diabetes. For others, pills and periodic
insulin injections also may be needed to keep blood sugar levels under control. Diabetes
may cause major damage to your nervous system and to the blood vessels in your eyes,
kidneys, heart and feet.
The following are some nutrition tips for those with diagnosed Type-II diabetes:
- First, space meals and snacks throughout the day. Eat about the same time each day to
help maintain a steady supply of glucose to the blood.
- Second, eat less fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol
and increases the risk for heart disease.
- Third, choose foods high in fiber. Fiber helps maintain normal bowel function, and may
reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
- Fourth, count all the sugar and starch in foods as part of your daily total
carbohydrates. All digestible carbohydrates - sugars and starches -- turn into blood
glucose sooner or later. Eat grains, vegetables and milk throughout the day to provide the
body with a steady supply of sugar for energy. Use sparingly table sugar, fructose, honey
and foods high in sugar. Try sugar substitutes to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Next, use alcoholic beverages sparingly or not at all. Alcohol use by persons taking
insulin or pills to control their diabetes can cause their blood sugar to fall too low.
- Finally, use nutrition labels to choose healthy foods. The nutrition facts panel on most
food packages shows the amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium,
carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars per serving. This makes it easier to compare
products and plan meals that help manage diabetes.
Actually a Type-II diabetic diet isnt too different from any healthy eating
pattern. Your doctor, along with a registered dietitian can help you plan whats
right for you -- portion sizes, types of food, and overall timing of meals and snacks.
Susan Mills-Gray, Mills-GrayS@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, Nutrition and Health Education
Cass County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension