Type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common diseases in the world. The reason why a person becomes afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes is complex and is associated with some irreversible and some reversible risk factors.

Irreversible factors

  1. Age
  2. Genetic
  3. Race
  4. Ethnicity

Reversible factors

  1. Diet
  2. Physical activity
  3. Smoking

Diabetes prevalence has been rising at an alarming rate in middle- and low-income countries. Diabetes can be treated and its outcomes avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.

The most important reversible factor is diet. Planning a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes afflicted people is essential. Keep in mind that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting heart problems.

Here are a few tips about what to include and what to exclude in a diet for a person with diabetes.

Include

  1. Whole grains (Wheat, brown rice, oats, millets)
  2. Fiber-rich foods (Whole grains, whole legumes, vegetables, fruits)
  3. Legumes including soybeans and soy products
  4. Healthy oils (nuts, flax seeds, fish, oils that have more polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  5. Low-fat milk and milk products
  6. Whole grain bread and muesli
  7. Vegetables (Broccoli, beans, green leafy vegetables, capsicum)
  8. Fruits (Guava, apples, papaya, citrus fruits)
  9. If you feel like eating a sweet, take a small portion, cut down on some other carbohydrate source in that meal. And do little extra physical activity.
  10. Drink sufficient water.

Exclude

  1. Sugars as much as possible
  2. Desserts (Sweets, ice creams, candy, if at all you have a craving take a small portion as part of a balanced diet)
  3. Sugary beverages (Soft drinks, sodas, juices with added sugar)
  4. Refined foods
  5. Snacks high in fat (Deep fried snacks – namkeens, cakes, pastries)
  6. White bread
  7. Less saturated fat (Ghee, butter)
  8. No Trans fats
  9. Go easy on the starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
  10. Control salt intake cut down on processed foods because they usually contain more salt
  11. Low fat but with added sugar
  12. Read food labels carefully to see if there is sugar added, for example, ketchup has sugar and most people do not realize that.
  13. Stop smoking
  14. Avoid alcohol as much as possible (Take your doctor’s suggestion)

These are just a few tips to help you with planning a diet for a diabetic person. The other factor which is very important if you are diabetic is physical activity. Make sure you get adequate exercise and that your body weight is in the ideal range. Most diabetic people are overweight or obese.

A diabetic diet and a healthy diet are not very different. Both are planned on the same principles. A diabetic diet can be followed by everyone in the family. That way a diabetic person does not feel isolated.