Which Foods Are Best for Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

Living with type 2 diabetes is challenging. From taking daily medications to managing your A1C levels to following a healthy diet, keeping yourself as healthy as possible requires a lot of work.

Fortunately, one easy way to manage type 2 diabetes is through dietary changes. If you’re looking to take control of your type 2 diabetes for improved health, make sure to add the following foods to your diet.

Fatty Fish

Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Filled with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Packed with “good” fats that benefit heart health
  • Helps you feel full and increases metabolic rate

How to Add This Food to Your Diet: Replace your favorite proteins with any variety of fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, or mackerel. Eating fish over other proteins five to seven times per week can lead to significant changes.

Why It’s Healthy: Fatty fish is considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat – and for type 2 diabetics, this specific kind of fish offers plenty of protein and good fats. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish can lower the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke in those with type 2 diabetes. Those same fatty acids can protect blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and improve artery function.

Eggs

Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Can keep you feeling full for hours
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol

How to Add This Food to Your Diet: Incorporate whole eggs, not egg whites or yolks only, into your breakfasts throughout each week. Eggs can also be used in recipes for lunch and dinner.

Why It’s Healthy: Eggs are a filling food, which can help diabetics manage their weight by lessening the need to eat more. Regularly eating eggs can also reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and modifying LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). And research shows that those with type 2 diabetes who eat two eggs per day can improve their cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Greek Yogurt

Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Can improve blood sugar control
  • Probiotics reduce the risk of developing heart disease
  • High in calcium, which can help diabetics lose weight
  • Contains only 6 to 8 grams of carbs

How to Add This Food to Your Diet: Choose Greek yogurt instead of traditional yogurt for breakfast, or add it to your daily diet as a healthy, filling snack. With low sugar and high calcium, it can keep you full without ingredients that could negatively affect your blood sugar levels.

Why It’s Healthy: Dairy can be a problematic food for anyone with type 2 diabetes, but Greek yogurt is actually a perfectly healthy dairy choice. Research shows that diabetics can actually reap benefits from Greek yogurt, including better blood sugar control and a reduced risk of heart disease. With a lot of calcium and conjugated linolic acid (CLA), this unique yogurt can help you manage your weight and your overall health.

Nuts

Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Filled with fiber
  • Low in digestible carbs, no matter the variety
  • Can reduce inflammation and blood sugar
  • Some nuts can significantly lower insulin levels

How to Add This Food to Your Diet: Nuts are a fantastic snack – filling and highly nutritious, nuts can be eaten in small servings throughout the day. You can also add nuts to other dishes, like salads, baked goods, and even homemade spreads, sauces, and dressings. Nuts can be eaten every day.

Why It’s Healthy: Nuts pack powerful health benefits, especially for anyone living with type 2 diabetes. Every kind of nut contains a ton of fiber, and all nut varieties are low in digestible carbs, making them perfectly safe for diabetics. Additionally, research has found that regularly eating nuts can decrease inflammation, blood sugar levels, A1C levels, and LDL cholesterol. By lowering all of these important factors, those with type 2 diabetes can also prevent other serious conditions and diseases.

Whole Grains

Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Break down more slowly than simple carbohydrates, which makes whole grains less likely to cause blood sugar spikes
  • Help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contain more vitamins and minerals

How to Add This Food to Your Diet: Swap your favorite simple or processed carbs for whole grain versions. Replace pasta, bread, and rice with whole grain versions, like whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, quinoa, brown rice, barley, and oats.

Why It’s Healthy: Whole grains break down more slowly in the body, which means they’re less likely to send your blood sugar into a spike. Eating whole grains early in the day can also prevent blood sugar spikes throughout the day, giving type 2 diabetics more control over their health. The high fiber content found in whole grains can even slow the body’s glucose absorption speed.

Change Your Diet to Better Manage Your Type 2 Diabetes

If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you know that the disease brings plenty of challenges and complications. And while you have to make many changes to your lifestyle when you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you can also work to make things a little easier by adjusting your diet.

Choosing foods that are beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes can put you in control of your health and help you better manage your diabetes. Make sure to add the foods mentioned above into your meals throughout the week, and you’ll reap the positive benefits.

Of course, there are some foods you’ll also need to give up. Diabetics should make sure to avoid any foods that can increase the risk of developing heart disease or clogged, hardened arteries. It’s recommended that those with type 2 diabetes eliminate foods with saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol from their diets.

Keep your body and your plate focused on health, and you can manage type 2 diabetes. With the right foods, you can protect your body and make a difference in your blood sugar, insulin levels, and overall well being.

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