Meal Plan For Type 2 Diabetes Male

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Meal planning with type 2 diabetes

Planning ahead can help you to make healthier choices for your meals and snacks.

Try these meal tips:

  • Make a list of meals for the week.
    • Make sure to include all the different food groups.
    • Have fruit for dessert instead of something with added sugars.
  • Make a grocery list based on these meals and what you already have.
  • Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
  • Shop the outside aisles of the store and limit what you buy in the inside aisles.
    • Look for canned vegetables with “no added salt.”
    • Look for canned fruit with “no sugar added” or “in their own juice.”
    • Do not buy chips, sweets, and sweetened drinks.
  • When you get home, clean and cut up fruits and vegetables for easy snacks.
  • Store healthy snacks at eye level in the pantry and fridge.

Healthy mealtime

Here are some tips for healthy and successful mealtime.

  • Eat dinner together as a family at the dinner table.
  • Turn off distractions, such as TV, cell phone, tablet.
  • Use 10 inch instead of 12 inch plates to help with portion control.
  • Do not eat “second helpings.”
  • Take a sip of your drink between every few bites to slow down your eating.
  • Limit meals to 30 minutes.

Sample meal plan

A healthy meal plan for a child with type 2 diabetes has 55 to 60 grams of carbs for meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 15 grams of carbs for afternoon snack.

Breakfast

  • Egg sandwich (whole wheat English muffin and 1 egg)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Lunch

  • Turkey sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 3 ounces of turkey, 1 tablespoon mustard)
  • 1 cup baby carrots with 1 tablespoon ranch
  • 10 small grapes
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Afternoon snack

  • 6 whole wheat crackers
  • 1 ounce string cheese

Dinner

  • 3 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 cup low fat milk

How to Follow a Diabetes-Friendly Diet

Diabetic diet

A diabetes diet can be a terrific strategy to control your health if you want to. However frightening the word “diet” may seem, licensed dietitian Tegan Bissell claims that sticking to one may be simpler than you think. According to her, a diabetes diet should consist of items you enjoy and be tailored to your lifestyle.

Megan Asterino-McGeean, PA-C, a registered nurse and diabetes educator, collaborates with Bissell to outline what you should know in order to follow a meal plan if you have diabetes.

What is a diabetes diet?

The best diet for those with diabetes, according to Asterino-McGeean, isn’t even a diet. Consider a diabetes diet as a way of life instead.

According to her, “this eating plan assists persons who have diabetes in leading a better lifestyle that enhances blood sugar control and lowers the risk of diabetes complications.” The optimum diabetes diet should emphasize meal planning and eating a variety of balanced, appropriately sized snacks and meals.

You should consider a diabetes diet if any of the following apply to you:

  • Blood sugar levels: You have high blood sugar levels or have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes (or told you have “borderline diabetes”).
  • Diagnosis of gestational diabetes: You’ve been diagnosed with a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. People diagnosed with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life — but you may be able to prevent it by following a diet plan for diabetes.
  • Weight: You have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome or obesity.

The best foods if you have diabetes— and why they’re beneficial

Bissell says the best foods to eat if you have diabetes are:

Lean proteins

Proteins help you feel full and satisfied. Examples of lean proteins include:

  • Chicken.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Low-fat dairy.
  • Turkey.

Try these diabetes-friendly recipes to get your fill of lean protein:

  • Colorful Veggie Stew with Turkey Tenders.
  • Crepes with Moroccan Vegetable Curry.
  • Sweet and Savory Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches.

Non-starchy vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals and fiber. “You can consider them ‘freebie’ foods, as they contain minimal calories and carbohydrates,” Bissell says.

They include:

  • Broccoli.
  • Cucumbers.
  • Green beans.
  • Onions.
  • Peppers.
  • Salad greens.

Check out these seven vegetable recipes that are anything but boring, plus other delicious recipes to help you get more non-starchy vegetables into your daily routine:

  • Roasted Winter Vegetable Ragout.
  • Sauteed Veggies with Avocado and Poached Eggs.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats help you feel full and are beneficial for heart health. They include:

  • Avocado.
  • Natural peanut butter.
  • Nuts.
  • Olive oil.
  • Seeds.

Try these recipes to get more healthy fats in your diet:

  • Avocado Tapenade Bruschetta.
  • Berry Chia Seed Jam.
  • A Cool Twist on Avocado Toast.
  • Strawberry-Almond-Coconut Smoothie.

Complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are necessary for energy, fiber and certain nutrients. Complex carbs tend to digest more slowly, which prevents erratic blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates include foods such as:

  • Beans.
  • Berries.
  • Brown rice.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Whole-wheat bread.

These recipes are good if you have diabetes, and they can help keep your engines running all day:

  • Pan-Roasted Smoky Chicken Over Rosemary-Garlic Cannellini Beans.
  • Rosemary Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
  • Spring Vegetable Stir-Fried Rice.

Avoid these foods if you have diabetes

In order to prevent sugar cravings, Bissell advises avoiding foods that have a tendency to increase blood sugar levels abruptly. Processed foods, such as cereal, sweets, and packaged snacks, as well as sugary drinks, such as juices and sodas, should be avoided if you have diabetes.

How to follow a diabetes diet

Diabetes diets are not “one size fits all,” according to Bissell.

According to her, “many individuals mistakenly think they need to eliminate all carbohydrates or ‘white foods,’ but you don’t have to – just limit carbohydrate servings to quantities that work for you. And make an effort to select more complex carbohydrates in the proper quantities.

Try the following advice as well to get the most out of your diabetes diet:

  • Eat fewer processed foods.
  • Cook at home more often than you dine out.
  • Drink more water.
  • Cut out sugary drinks.
  • Include vegetables at most meals.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes.

While you may have to do some trial and error, Bissell says these strategies can help increase your chance for success:

  1. Read food labels: Knowing what’s in your food can help you make better decisions about portion sizes and what to buy.
  2. Enlist help: Get a referral to your local outpatient diabetes clinic or a registered dietitian. These experts can help you get started with better eating habits and teach you how to manage diabetes in realistic ways.
  3. Follow the Diabetes Plate Method: The American Diabetes Association’s Plate Method involves filling your plate with these food ratios at each meal:
    • Half non-starchy veggies.
    • A quarter lean protein.
    • A quarter complex carbs.
    • Wash it down with water or a low-calorie beverage such as tea.
  4. Go tech: Use a phone app to make it easier and more convenient for you to count carbs.
  5. Try problem-solving: Bissell describes problem-solving as seeing how your food affects your blood sugars about one to two hours after eating. Then, adjust foods and portion sizes based on that.
  6. Plan ahead: “You can find many recipes online that are good if you have diabetes,” says Bissell. “We recommend making a meal plan each week, using healthy recipe websites or cookbooks.”
  7. Time meals: Because going too long without eating can cause a drop in blood sugar, Bissell recommends eating a balanced meal every four to five hours for more stable blood sugar levels. “The old advice to eat six small meals a day is not necessary and can elevate blood sugars,” she adds. “That’s another reason why planning the next day’s meals can be helpful — you can ensure you have nutritious foods on hand or packed and ready to eat on the go.”

Are there risks involved with eating this type of meal plan?

If you don’t go overboard, following a diabetes diet plan is safe, according to Bissell.

Some persons consume a diet that is excessively restricted or deficient in carbs. They become malnourished or experience frequent blood sugar lows as a result of this, she claims. Balance is important, as is being realistic about the behaviors you can sustain over time.

The Diabetes Diet

Healthy eating can help you prevent, control, and even reverse diabetes. And with these tips, you can still enjoy your food without feeling hungry or deprived.

Closeup of bell peppers on cutting board being sliced by man's hands, woman close behind him, other vegetables arrayed on table

What’s the best diet for diabetes?

Your nutritional requirements are essentially the same for everyone, regardless of whether you’re trying to avoid or control diabetes, so no specific diets are required. However, you do need to be mindful of certain of your dietary decisions, particularly the amount of carbohydrates you consume. While adopting a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, losing a little weight is the most crucial thing you can do.

You can help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol by losing just 5% to 10% of your overall body weight. Your attitude, energy, and sense of wellness can all be significantly improved by losing weight and making healthier food choices. Diabetes increases a person’s chance of mental health problems like depression and nearly doubles their risk of acquiring heart disease.

However, type 2 diabetes can generally be avoided, and in certain situations, it can even be treated. Even if you already have diabetes, it’s never too late to change for the better. You can lessen your symptoms by eating better, moving around more, and getting in shape. A pleasant, balanced diet that will also give you more energy and a better mood is what it takes to avoid or treat diabetes without having to deprive yourself. You don’t have to completely give up sweets or accept a life of bland cuisine.

The biggest risk for diabetes: belly fat

The main contributor to type 2 diabetes risk is being overweight or obese. However, if you typically carry your weight on your hips and thighs as opposed to your abdomen, your risk is increased. The liver and abdominal organs are encircled by a lot of belly fat, which is also intimately related to insulin resistance. The following conditions enhance your risk of getting diabetes:

  • A woman with a waist circumference of 35 inches or more
  • A man with a waist circumference of 40 inches or more

Fructose-derived calories, which are present in processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candies, and granola bars as well as sugary drinks like soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, are more likely to cause you to gain weight around your midsection. Reducing your consumption of sugary foods can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Planning a diabetes diet

You don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods or follow a strict diabetic diet. Distinguishing the realities about eating to avoid or control diabetes from the misconceptions is the first step to making more informed decisions.

Myths and facts about diabetes and diet
Myth: You must avoid sugar at all costs.Fact: You can enjoy your favorite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesn’t have to be off limits, as long as it’s a part of a healthy meal plan.
Myth: You have to cut way down on carbs.Fact: The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since they’re high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.
Myth: You’ll need special diabetic meals.Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the same—whether or not you’re diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.
Myth: A high-protein diet is best.Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.

A diabetic diet, like any healthy eating plan, is more about your general dietary pattern than it is about stressing over particular items. Eat less commercial and convenience food and more natural, unprocessed meals.

Eat more

  • Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados.
  • Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colorful the better; whole fruit rather than juices.
  • High-fiber cereals and breads made from whole grains.
  • Fish and shellfish, organic chicken or turkey.
  • High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yogurt.

Eat less

  • Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts.
  • White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice.
  • Processed meat and red meat.
  • Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt.

Choose high-fiber, slow-release carbs

You must choose your carbohydrates wisely because they have a greater impact on blood sugar levels than fats or proteins. Limit drink, candy, prepared meals, packaged snacks, and white bread, pasta, and rice as well as other processed carbohydrates. Focus on slow-releasing carbohydrates, commonly known as complex carbohydrates high in fiber. As a result of their slower digestion, your body doesn’t produce as much insulin.

What about the glycemic index?

Meals with a high glycemic index (GI) quickly raise your blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a low GI have the least impact. Despite the GI’s long-standing promotion as a tool for blood sugar management, there are some significant disadvantages.

  • The true health benefits of using the GI remain unclear.
  • Having to refer to GI tables makes eating unnecessarily complicated.
  • The GI is not a measure of a food’s healthfulness.
  • Research suggests that by simply following the guidelines of the Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diets, you’ll not only lower your glycemic load but also improve the quality of your diet.
Choosing carbs that are packed with fiber (and don’t spike your blood sugar)
Instead of…Try these high-fiber options…
White riceBrown or wild rice, riced cauliflower
White potatoes (including fries and mashed potatoes)Sweet potatoes, yams, cauliflower mash
Regular pastaWhole-wheat pasta, spaghetti squash
White breadWhole-wheat or whole-grain bread
Sugary breakfast cerealHigh-fiber, low-sugar cereal
Instant oatmealSteel-cut or rolled oats
CornflakesLow-sugar bran flakes
CornPeas or leafy greens

Be smart about sweets

Sugar is not completely banned from a diabetic diet, but if you’re like most of us, you probably consume more than is good. Even if you have diabetes, you can occasionally indulge in a small dish of your favorite dessert. Modesty is the key.

Reduce your cravings for sweets by slowly reducing the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust.

Hold the bread (or rice or pasta) if you want dessert. Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on the other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.

Add some healthy fat to your dessert. Fat slows down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly. That doesn’t mean you should reach for the donuts, though. Think healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts.

Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar won’t rise as rapidly.

When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake? Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. You’ll enjoy it more, plus you’re less likely to overeat.

Tricks for cutting down on sugar

Reduce soft drinks, soda, and juice. For each 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage you drink a day, your risk for diabetes increases by about 15%. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.

Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us replace saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs, thinking we’re making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesn’t mean healthy when the fat has been replaced by added sugar.

Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener (or fruit) yourself. You’ll likely add far less sugar than the manufacturer.

Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.

Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.

Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by ¼ to ⅓. You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract instead of sugar.

Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.

Start with half of the dessert you normally eat, and replace the other half with fruit.

Be careful about alcohol

It’s easy to underestimate the calories and carbs in alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. And cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Choose calorie-free mixers, drink only with food, and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin.

Spot hidden sugar

Being shrewd about sweets is only one aspect of the fight. Bread, cereals, canned goods, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, and ketchup are just a few examples of the grocery store essentials that include sugar. Finding hidden sugar on food labels is the first stage, which may need some detective work:

  • Manufacturers provide the total amount of sugar on their labels but do not have to differentiate between added sugar and sugar that is naturally in the food.
  • Added sugars are listed in the ingredients but aren’t always easily recognizable as such. While sugar, honey, or molasses are easy enough to spot, added sugar could also be listed as corn sweetener, high-fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, cane crystals, invert sugar, or any kind of fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, or syrup.
  • While you’d expect sugary foods to have sugar listed near the top of their list of ingredients, manufacturers often use different types of added sugars which then appear scattered down the list. But all these little doses of different sweeteners can add up to a lot of extra sugar and empty calories!

Choose fats wisely

Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits, so it’s important to choose fats wisely.

Unhealthy (saturated) fats. Found mainly in tropical oils, red meat, and dairy, there’s no need to completely eliminate saturated fat from your diet—but rather, enjoy in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming no more than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fat.

Healthy (unsaturated) fats. The healthiest fats are unsaturated fats, which come from fish and plant sources such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds.

Ways to reduce unhealthy fats and add healthy fats:

  1. Instead of chips or crackers, snack on nuts or seeds or add them to your morning cereal. Nut butters are also very satisfying.
  2. Instead of frying, choose to broil, bake, or stir-fry.
  3. Avoid saturated fat from processed meats, packaged meals, and takeout food.
  4. Instead of just red meat, vary your diet with skinless chicken, eggs, fish, and vegetarian sources of protein.
  5. Use extra-virgin olive oil to dress salads, cooked vegetables, or pasta dishes.
  6. Commercial salad dressings are often high in calories so create your own with olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.
  7. Add avocados to sandwiches and salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
  8. Enjoy dairy in moderation.

Eat regularly and keep a food diary

It’s encouraging to know that you only have to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half. And you don’t have to obsessively count calories or starve yourself to do it. Two of the most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat.

Eat at regularly set times

Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levels—and your weight—when you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal.

Start your day off with a good breakfast. It will provide energy as well as steady blood sugar levels.

Eat regular small meals—up to 6 per day. Eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.

Keep calorie intake the same. To regulate blood sugar levels, try to eat roughly the same amount every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal, and then skimping the next.

Keep a food diary

People who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t, according to a recent research. Why? A written record enables you to pinpoint places where you may be consuming more calories than you expected, such as your afternoon snack or morning espresso. Additionally, it makes you more conscious of what, why, and how much you’re eating, which encourages you to consume less mindless snacks. Use an app or keep a notebook nearby to record your meals.

Get more active

Exercise can aid in weight management and may increase insulin sensitivity. Walking for 30 minutes a day (or three 10-minute sessions, if that’s simpler) is a simple method to get started with exercise. Try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activity that causes you to breathe more forcefully and work up a light sweat.

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