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A Healthy Type 2 Diabetes Diet

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Fiber

Fiber comes from plant foods. It helps with digestion and blood sugar control. Fiber also makes you feel fuller, so you eat less, which is a plus if you need to lose weight.

High-fiber diets are linked to lower odds of getting high blood pressure and heart disease.

Most Americans don't eat enough fiber. The best way to get more fiber is to eat more of these fiber-rich foods:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Cooked dried beans and peas
  • Whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers
  • Brown rice
  • Bran products

Fat

Diabetes makes you more likely to get heart disease. So limiting fat, especially saturated fat and artificial trans fats, is key.

The main sources of saturated fats are cheese, beef, milk, and baked items.

Avoid artificial trans fats, which are bad for your heart. Check the ingredients list for "partially hydrogenated" oils. Also, know that if a product says "0 grams trans fat," it may actually have up to half a gram of trans fat per serving, which can add up.

Try these tips for choosing and cooking low-fat foods:

  • Choose lean cuts of meat.
  • Don't fry foods. Instead, you can bake, broil, grill, roast, or boil.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Include them in your daily carbohydrate count.
  • Use low-fat vegetable cooking spray, or consider using cholesterol-lowering margarine containing stanols or sterols.
  • Use liquid vegetable oils instead of solid fats.
  • Select lower-fat margarines, gravies, and salad dressings, and check the carbohydrate count on condiments and dressings.

A registered dietitian can give you more information on how to prepare and choose low-fat foods.

Salt

Diabetes makes you more likely to get high blood pressure. Too much salt can add to that risk. Your doctor or dietitian may ask you to limit or avoid:

  • Salt and seasoned salt (or salt seasonings)
  • Boxed mixes of potatoes, rice, and pasta
  • Canned meats
  • Canned soups and vegetables (with salt)
  • Cured or processed foods
  • Ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, other spreads, and canned sauces
  • Packaged soups, gravies, and sauces
  • Pickled foods
  • Processed meats: lunch meat, sausage, bacon, and ham
  • Olives
  • Salty snack foods
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Soy and steak sauces
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