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A Healthy Type 2 Diabetes Diet

(continued)

How Much Fiber Should I Eat?

Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods. It plays an important role in the digestive process as it helps move foods along the digestive tract, adding bulk to stool to help it pass through the bowel. In addition, diets high in fiber are associated with lower risks of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

Fiber also:

  • Delays sugar absorption, helping to better control blood sugar levels.
  • Binds with cholesterol and may reduce the level of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • Foods high in fiber are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Helps prevent constipation .
  • Promotes weight loss by helping to decrease caloric intake. (It adds bulk to the food we eat, making you feel fuller.)

The goal for all Americans is to consume about 30 grams of fiber per day. The best way to increase fiber intake as part of your type 2 diabetes diet 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 in a Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Since diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease, eating foods lower in fat -- especially saturated fat -- is particularly important to keep that risk as low as possible. In addition, limiting calories from fat can help you lose any extra weight, especially when combined with an exercise program.

The major contributors of saturated fats in our diet come from cheese, beef, milk, and baked items. Trans fats also contribute to the increase risk of heart disease. These fats are vegetables oils that are harder; we recognize these as solid oils. Many of these are used in baking and frying.

Here are some general guidelines for selecting and preparing low-fat foods for your type 2 diabetes diet:

  • Select lean meats including poultry, fish, lean red meats, and plant-based proteins. When preparing these foods, don't fry them. Instead, you can bake, broil, grill, roast, or boil.
  • Select low-fat or nonfat dairy products such as low-fat cheese, skim milk, and products made from skim milk such as nonfat yogurt, nonfat frozen yogurt, evaporated skim milk, and buttermilk. Remember to include dairy products in your daily carbohydrate count.
  • Use low-fat vegetable cooking spray when preparing foods or consider using cholesterol lowering margarine containing stanols or sterols. Examples include Benecol, Earth Balance, Smart Balance, and Take Control.
  • Use liquid vegetable oils that contain poly- or monounsaturated fats which can help lower your 'bad' LDL cholesterol.
  • Select lower fat margarines, gravies, and salad dressings and remember to watch the carbohydrate count on condiments and dressings.
  • All fruits and vegetables are good low-fat choices. Remember to include fruit and starchy vegetables in your daily carbohydrate count.

A registered dietitian can provide more information on how to prepare and select low-fat foods.

WebMD Medical Reference

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Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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70-130
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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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