It’s challenging to design a diabetes Type II diet that is sensible and healthy and comes as close as possible to being a “normal” diet. By “normal” we mean something that is familiar and as appetizing as most people’s standard fare. If you’ve been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, the first thing your doctor will probably advise you to do is to change your diet.
If you have diabetes, everything you eat and drink should be part of your recommended meal plan. Otherwise, you risk developing complications or health risks due to a blood sugar count that is either too low or too high. When you have diabetes, it’s often a case of ensuring balance in your life – physical activity, weight range, blood sugar and yes, a well-balanced diet.
The Food Pyramid
The diabetes food pyramid is divided into 6 food groups. These food groups are outlined below, starting at the top, which makes up the smallest portion of the pyramid and ending with the bottom, which should contain the largest portions in a diet plan. The recommended servings per day are enclosed in parentheses:
- Sweets, fats and alcohol (small servings only, preferably reserved for very special occasions).
- Meat and meat substitutes including tofu (4 to 6 oz).
- Milk (2 to 3 servings).
- Fruit (2 to 4 servings).
- Vegetables (3 to 5 servings).
- Grains (6 to 11 servings) and starchy vegetables (3 to 5 servings).
The South Beach Diet
The South Beach diet has been popularized and promoted by many weight loss gurus because it is quite effective in helping people lose and maintain weight. For people with Type II diabetes, however, the South Beach diet may not always be effective. Experts cite its adverse effects on people who have problems with their kidney functions. If you’re considering using the South Beach diet and you have Type II diabetes, you may want to consult your doctor first. The South Beach diet may not be a good diet plan to follow especially if you have impaired kidney functions caused by diabetes.
The Caveman Diet
A rather extreme form of diet that some people are recommending is the caveman diet or the Stone Age diet. It is argued that diabetes didn’t seem to plague cavemen and that majority of the foods included in the caveman diet are similar to the foods recommended for diabetes.
Consider, for example, the fact that refined grains and sugars were nonexistent and that fat was not taken in large amounts. Other foods associated with obesity (and therefore contributory to Type II diabetes), such as salt, hydrogenated fats, vegetable oils and even milk were also not readily available. What was present was high fiber and fresh, all natural fruits, meats and vegetables.
While this diet may seem a little strange, it is not totally without sense. What it promotes is the use of fresh foods and natural fiber, along with minimal intake of refined or processed sugars carbohydrates and oils. In other words, use a simple but healthful diet plan to help combat the effects of Type II diabetes.
Looking for a Diabetes Diet Plan
The best way to ensure that you follow the recommended portion and that you eat only the recommended foods for Type II diabetes is to work with a dietitian or nutritionist. This is especially important if you are pregnant. Pregnancy may require special diets, especially if you’re diabetic.
However, there are certain sources for free diet plans you can use, perfect if you’re looking for a way to maintain a diet on a daily basis. The American Diabetes Association website has plenty of information about Type II diabetes diet along with a list of foods that may be included on a menu. Diabetes Educators also has a website where you’ll find plenty of free recipes, diet plans and recommended food portions.
Putting a Diet Plan into Practice
Just because you have this condition doesn’t mean you should stop living an active, healthy life. You will have to deal with certain restrictions, however, but with conscientious maintenance and a good diet, there is no reason why you should be limited by your condition.
Following a recommended and sensible diabetes Type II diet will take some effort on your part, especially if you’re used to a more lenient lifestyle. However, remember that maintaining a sensible diet is important to help you live a healthy and productive life. Use the resources and information that you already have and look for extra help if you need it. Controlling this health problem is possible and only you can make sure of that.