Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose at its most basic level. This is a medical condition that can affect a spectrum of different areas of your health, from your nutrition to your cardiovascular wellness, your vision and your risk of infection, among many other issues. Taking the right steps to prevent this condition if you are at risk can save you from a wealth of potential health problems in your future.
How to Use Nutrition for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Your nutrition is critical to type 2 diabetes prevention. The food you eat is one of the primary factors that can determine your risk of the disease if your blood sugar levels are already high. Consider the following tips to help you to make the right food choices.
The Food Groups
Vegetables are among the best foods for you to consume. That said, not all vegetables are created equal. While you can eat a huge bowl of dark greens, starchy vegetables aren’t as good for type 2 diabetes prevention. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat them, but that you should exercise proper portion control when you do. Vegetable portions should equal to about a cup, one ear of corn, or one medium-size potato. You should have a vegetable with each meal.
For cheese and dairy one and a half ounces of cheese, 1 cup of yogurt, half a cup of frozen yogurt, or a half cup of ice cream is the portion of dairy that should be had daily.
Eating whole grains is important for a diabetic and also for the prevention of diabetes. One bagel, one slice of bread, one biscuit, one waffle, or one pancake all made from whole grain is considered a serving and can be had three times a day. 1 cup of flakes cereal, 1 cup of cooked brown rice, or 1 cup of whole grain pasta is also considered to be a serving and can be had up to three times daily as well.
A Focus on Protein and Fiber
Protein and fiber are equally as important as whole grains especially for a diabetic diet. A golf ball size quarter cup of seeds and nuts is considered a serving.
- 3 ounces of cooked chicken or cooked fish is equal to the size of a deck of cards and can be consumed with each meal
- 1 ounce of lunchmeat is the size of a compact disk and is considered a serving
- 1 cup of strawberries is about the size of a baseball or equal to 12 berries
- Half a cup of blueberries is equal to the size of a lightbulb
- Half a cup of grapes is also equal to the size of a lightbulb
Those are all considered to be one serving and can be eaten with each meal.
Fats and Type 2 Diabetes
People who have type 2 diabetes or are at risk for getting diabetes should also have healthy fats in their diet.
- 1 tablespoon of butter margarine or salad dressing is about the size of a poker chip One serving is all you need with each meal.
- Other healthy fats can come from olives, 1 tablespoon of olives is also equal to the size of a poker chip.
- A poker chip size of mayonnaise is also considered a serving of healthy fats.
Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates and Type 2 Diabetes
People who want to prevent type 2 diabetes should cut back on refined carbs and sugary drinks. Avoid white bread white rice white pasta and white potatoes because it increases the blood sugar. Sugary soft drinks, fruit punch, and fruit juice also dangerously increase blood sugar.
The Importance of Exercise
When trying to prevent type 2 diabetes or improve type 2 diabetes it is imperative to exercise. Regular exercise will cut diabetes risk in half and will improve diabetes drastically. It is best to choose things that you enjoy doing and do them daily. Things such as walking, jogging, hiking, and playing sports. The recommended amount of exercise is 25 to 60 minutes 4 to 6 days a week. You must try to keep a healthy weight to lower your risk of diabetes and other health conditions as well!
To prevent type 2 diabetes or better manage your diabetes keep a healthy weight, be active, and eat a healthy diet. The rates of diabetes are skyrocketing as the population grows more obese and becomes less physically active. However, diabetes is highly preventable. It is best to check with your doctor before beginning any new diet or fitness routine.