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What to Eat and Not Eat When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

What to Eat and Not Eat When You Have Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes affects people all over the world, but it’s most prevalent in Asia, especially in India and Pakistan. Rates of diabetes have been rising over the years, but certain factors increase risk, such as lifestyle and genetics.

Lifestyle changes are part of the treatment plan for diabetes, including diet changes. At A&U Family Medicine in Sugar Land, Texas, our family medicine physician Dr. Hammad Zaidi understands the frustration some people feel when told they need to follow a special diet for diabetes that includes foods they don’t normally eat.

Texas has the second largest population of Indians and Pakistani in the United States. Dedicated to providing personalized care, we’re using this month’s blog to address diabetes and what Indo-Pak foods are best for you.

About diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes higher than normal blood sugar levels. The sugar, also called glucose, comes from food and is the main source of energy for your cells.

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps move sugar from the blood into the cells for energy. If you have Type 2 diabetes, the insulin your pancreas makes isn’t working like it should; the cells resist the actions of the hormone, increasing levels of sugar in the blood. 

Having diabetes may make you feel tired, hungry, and thirsty. It also affects vision, kidney function, and heart health. Diabetes management focuses on keeping blood sugar levels within a normal range. And because food is a source of sugar, modifying your diet is one of the main treatment approaches for diabetes.

Eating with Type 2 diabetes

Yes, diet and nutrition are an important part of diabetes, but you don’t need to eat special food. You can eat the foods you enjoy, but you may need to make some modifications.

Carbohydrates are the main source of sugar in the diet and include foods like:

You can eat carbohydrate-containing foods, but may need to control portions so you eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal every day. Keeping carbohydrate intake consistent helps keep blood sugar levels steady.

Round out your meals with healthy sources of protein like tofu, chicken, and lean meat, and nonstarchy vegetables like cauliflower, eggplant, and bittermelon. 

Limit fried foods (fast food) and foods that are high in added sugar and salt (sweets and pastries). When you do indulge in treats, compensate by eliminating or reducing the amount of carbs you eat at your meal and keep portions small. For example, cut your rice portion in half and have a small portion of your sweet treat.

Tips for managing Type 2 diabetes

You don’t have to manage diabetes on your own. We provide the guidance, support, and tools you need to keep your blood sugar within a normal range. We can help you make changes to your diet that includes your cultural foods to improve your blood sugar numbers. 

We also recommend regular exercise to burn off excess sugar. Additionally, losing weight helps people with Type 2 diabetes improve blood sugar and health.

We may also prescribe diabetes medication and recommend checking your blood sugar levels at home with a blood glucose monitor. This helps us better understand what affects your blood sugar so we can create a more personalized treatment plan.

You can eat the foods you enjoy with Type 2 diabetes, but you need to create healthy, balanced meals that emphasize vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy carbs. 

You don’t have to turn your life upside down after a diabetes diagnosis. We can help you make small, manageable lifestyle changes that benefit your health without disrupting your life. Call A&U Family Medicine today at 281-895-7703 or book an appointment online.

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