How To Use Food To Prevent and Manage Type 2 Diabetes

For diabetes, the food you eat is the number one preventive measure you can take to curb the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes may come in two forms: type 1 and type 2. Both forms of the disease vary in how they develop in the body. However, maintaining a proper diet is very important in both cases, and this article describes how food is used to prevent the development and management of type 2 diabetes.

Differentiating Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Although most people know that there are two forms of diabetes, not everyone is aware of the differences. Blood sugar levels can get excessively high in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes because the body does not create enough insulin (a hormone that controls blood sugar) or does not use it appropriately. The problem is essentially the same in both varieties, but the reasons and solutions are different.

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is how they develop. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented by eating healthy foods because is a genetic disease you get from birth.

The fundamental distinction between the two forms of diabetes is that type 1 is a hereditary problem that frequently manifests early in infancy, whereas type 2 is mostly a diet-related disease that develops. Your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas if you have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable if you eat healthy foods!

Numbness with tingling in the hands and feet are common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, regulating your glucose intake reduces the risk of developing numbness in people with type 1 diabetes.

While many signs of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are identical, they manifest in quite distinct ways. Many people with type 2 diabetes will not have symptoms for many years, and their symptoms will probably develop gradually. Some persons with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms and are unaware of their illness until problems emerge.

How Food Causes Type 2 diabetes

Food To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Every day, you make eating decisions. White or whole wheat bread? Fresh fruit or a plate of French fries? Should I eat now or later? What you eat, when you eat it, and how much you consume impact your blood sugar (glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol. The first step in treating diabetes is to comprehend how diet affects blood glucose. A diabetes meal plan might also help you stay on track with your blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes implies your body has trouble controlling blood glucose levels. Serious health concerns might arise when blood glucose levels remain too high for an extended period. It’s critical to keep your blood glucose under control with food, exercise, and medication. This can help to postpone or avoid kidney, eye, nerve, and heart damage, as well as other diabetic consequences.

Avoid Foods with High Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the foods with the greatest impact on blood glucose levels. Your blood glucose levels rise when you consume carbs. We can find carbohydrates in fruit, sweet meals and drinks, starchy foods (including bread, potatoes, and rice), and milk and milk products. Carbohydrates are crucial for good health.

When you consume too much at once, though, your blood glucose levels might become dangerously high. This is especially likely if you don’t have or aren’t taking enough insulin for that item.

Some carbs are more likely to boost blood glucose levels than others. Potatoes, sweets, and white bread are among them. Less processed meals with more fiber and minerals are better alternatives. 100% whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and non-starchy veggies are also good choices.

Why Food is Important for Type 2 Diabetes

You can consume the same meals as everyone else, but you must observe your food intake carefully. This is when a diabetic meal plan comes in handy. A customized meal plan outlines when and how much to consume meals and snacks, as well as what sorts of foods to eat.

Using measuring cups and spoons to ensure you’re eating the amount of food specified in your diet may be beneficial initially. On food labels, you may also utilize established portion sizes, such as a serving of meat the size of a deck of cards. You can learn how your meal choices influence your blood glucose by measuring your blood glucose 1 to 2 hours after eating.

Consult a nutritionist or diabetes educator to develop a diabetic meal plan or change one that isn’t working. If you have any new health issues or your medications have changed, let them know. Having a food plan you can stick to can help you maintain your health.

Food To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Does Food Cause Diabetes

The link between food and diabetes is carbohydrates or sugar. Most often Carbohydrates with pure or simple forms of sugars are the main culprits. Many people question if eating sugar might induce diabetes, which is defined by elevated blood sugar levels.

While it’s true that consuming a lot of added sugar raises your risk of diabetes, sugar consumption is only one factor. Many additional variables influence your risk, including your general diet, lifestyle, and heredity. But to how food causes type 2 diabetes, we need to know what happens in the blood. Why does food cause type 2 diabetes, and from there we can know how to prevent it?

How Food (sugar) raises our glucose levels

Most people think of sucrose, or table sugar, which is derived from sugar beets or sugarcane. Sucrose comprises one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule bound.

When you ingest sucrose, enzymes in your small intestine separate the glucose and fructose molecules before they are absorbed into your circulation. This causes your blood sugar to rise and your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin transports glucose from the circulation to your cells, where it may be converted into energy. While a tiny amount of fructose can be taken up by cells and utilized for energy, they transport the rest to your liver and converted it to glucose or fat (as storage).

Many studies have revealed that those who consume sugar-sweetened drinks regularly have a 25% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Consuming just one sugar-sweetened beverage every day raises your risk by 13%, regardless of any weight gain.

Nations with the highest sugar intake also have the highest incidence of type 2 diabetes, whereas those with the lowest consumption have the lowest rates. Even after accounting for overall calorie intake, body weight, alcohol consumption, and exercise, the association between sugar intake and diabetes remains.

Sugar, according to several studies, raises diabetes risk both directly and indirectly. Fructose’s influence on the liver, which includes increasing fatty liver, inflammation, and localized insulin resistance, may directly increase risk.

Knowing Your Family History

You are more likely to get diabetes if you have a diabetic mother, father, sister, or sibling. You’re also more prone to have diabetic complications. Discuss your family’s diabetes history with your doctor. Your doctor can assist you in preventing or delaying diabetes, as well as reversing prediabetes if you already have it.

You are more likely to get diabetes if you have a family history of diabetes. If you have had gestational diabetes, are overweight or obese, or are from one one of the following countries:

  • African American
  • American Indian Asian American
  • Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic

You are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Finding out if you have prediabetes and whether you are more likely to develop diabetes requires learning about your family’s diabetic health history.

Foods to prevent type 2 diabetes

Take inventory of your food consumption

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor will probably refer you to a nutritionist for help in developing a healthy eating plan. The strategy aids in the management of blood sugar (glucose), weight, and heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and blood fats.

Your body produces an unwanted spike in blood glucose when you consume too many calories and fat. If blood glucose levels aren’t controlled, major issues can develop, such as high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), which can lead to long-term concerns such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage.

Making smart food choices and keeping track of your eating habits will help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level.

How to know what to eat

A diabetic diet comprises three meals each day, at regular intervals. This allows you to make better use of the insulin your body generates or receives from a medicine.

A certified dietician can assist you in creating a diet that is tailored to your health objectives, preferences, and lifestyle. He or she can also counsel you on how to change your eating habits, such as selecting portion sizes that are appropriate for your size and level of exercise.

Make your calories count by eating these healthy dishes. Healthy carbs, fiber-rich meals, seafood, and “good” fats are all appropriate choices.

Carbohydrates that are good for you

Carbohydrate metabolism is crucial in the development of type 2 diabetes, which happens when the body cannot produce enough insulin or uses it efficiently.

Simple Carbs

Sugars (such as fructose and glucose) with simple molecular structures (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides) make up these carbohydrates (disaccharides). Because of their simple molecular composition, simple carbs are simply and quickly consumed for energy by the body, leading to a quicker rise in blood sugar and pancreatic insulin release – which might have severe health consequences.

Sugars (simple carbs) and starches (complex carbohydrates) are broken down into blood glucose during digestion. Concentrate on healthful carbs.

High-fiber foods

When three or more sugars are linked in the molecular structure of these carbohydrates (known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides). Many complex carbohydrate meals are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they take longer to digest, so they have a slower rise in blood sugar. White bread and white potatoes are primarily carbs with minimal fiber or other helpful elements.

All components of plant foods that your body cannot digest or absorb are considered a dietary fiber. Fiber helps manage blood sugar levels by regulating how your body digests. Fiber-rich foods include:

At least twice a week, eat heart-healthy fish. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines may help to avoid heart disease. Fish with high mercury levels, such as king mackerel, should be avoided.

How to count Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates have the biggest influence on blood glucose levels because they break down into glucose. You may need to learn to calculate the number of carbs you eat to alter your insulin dose correctly to assist regulate your blood sugar. It’s critical to keep track of how many carbs each meal or snack contains.

A nutritionist can teach you how to estimate meal quantities and read product labels with confidence. He or she can also tell you about serving size and carbohydrate content.

If you’re on insulin, a nutritionist may show you how to calculate the carbs in each meal or snack and change your insulin dosage accordingly. A nutritionist could suggest certain foods to help you plan meals and snacks. You may select foods from a variety of categories, including carbs, proteins, and fats.

An “option” is a serving within a category. A serving of one item contains nearly the same quantity of carbs, protein, fat, and calories as a serving of every other food in the same category, as well as the same effect on blood glucose. The starch, fruits, and milk list, for example, comprises items with 12 to 15 grams of carbs.

Foods to Avoid at all costs

Diabetes speeds up the formation of blocked and hardened arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. The foods listed below can work against your aim of eating a heart-healthy diet.

Saturated fatty

Acids High-fat dairy items, as well as animal proteins like butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon, are groups of foods that you should avoid. You should also avoid coconut and palm kernel oils.

Trans fatty acids

Trans fatty acids are a group of fatty acids usually found in processed foods, baked products, shortening, and stick kinds of margarine. You should avoid this group of foods because they may trigger secondary health problems quickly.


Rich-fat dairy products and animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats are all high in cholesterol. Limit your cholesterol intake to only 200 mg each day.


You should aim for a daily sodium intake of fewer than 2000 mg. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you to strive for even less. Table salt is a major source of sodium in our diets, it would be wise to take it off completely. You wouldn’t need the extra salt and don’t worry, you don’t need salt to make your meals delicious.

Foods that prevent type 2 diabetes

Foods and drinks that the body absorbs slowly are excellent for diabetics since they do not trigger blood sugar spikes and troughs.

The GI assesses how certain foods affect blood sugar levels. People who want to keep their blood sugar levels under control should choose foods with a low or medium GI score.

We can also combine foods with low and high GI ratings to create a balanced meal. Low GI eating behaviors, according to researchers, can enhance a person’s blood sugar response.

In a diabetes-related emergency, however, there is no evidence that consuming a specific type of food will decrease blood sugar levels.

1 Oatmeal

A one-cup portion of oatmeal has four grams of fiber, which will keep you full for a long time and may even prevent you from nibbling before lunch. According to a recent study, persons who ate the most fiber—over 26 grams per day—had an 18% reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least (less than 19 grams daily). Fiber helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, which may reduce your risk of diabetes.

Oats have a GI score of 55 or less, making them less prone to trigger blood sugar spikes and drops. Oats also contain -glucan, which has the following properties:

  • Minimize post-meal glucose and insulin responses
  • We improve glycemic management by improving insulin sensitivity
  • lowering blood lipids (fats)

In a study published in 2021, scientists conducted 103 experiments to see how -glucan impacts blood sugar levels after a meal. They discovered evidence that carbohydrate-based meals containing -glucan were associated with lower blood sugar levels than those that did not.

2. Fruits

Except for pineapples and melons, most fruits have a GI of 55 or less. This is because most fresh fruits include a lot of water and fiber to balance out their naturally occurring sugar, fructose.

Fruits’ GI ratings rise when they mature. Fruit juices have a high GI because we removed the fibrous skins and seeds during juicing. Fresh fruit is the finest option.

Seven-year research conducted by 2020Trusted Source showed that individuals who ate fresh fruit every day had reduced incidences of type 2 diabetes than those who did not.

A big 2013 study showed that persons who ate entire fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — had a decreased chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Drinking fruit drinks, according to the study, increased the likelihood of acquiring the disease.

3. Vegetable

Although all vegetables should be included in your diet, green and non-starchy vegetables are especially beneficial for diabetes prevention. Broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts are examples of cruciferous vegetables that supply vitamins and minerals to keep your body working smoothly (and also deliver fiber).

Apart from fiber, cruciferous vegetables include sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory chemical that may protect against diabetes-related blood vessel damage and aid blood sugar management. Spinach is also high in magnesium, which helps your body utilise insulin to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

4. Legumes

Beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, for example, have relatively low GI ratings. Even baked beans, which aren’t as healthy, have a GI of about an average GI score. Legumes are also high in nutrients that can help keep blood sugar levels in check. Among these nutrients are:

  • Simple carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fiber

In adults with type 2 diabetes, integrating legumes into their diet improved glycemic control and reduced the risk of coronary heart disease, according to a 2012 study. Diabetes patients should avoid legume products that have added sugars and simple carbohydrates, such as syrups, sauces, and marinades. These modifications can boost a product’s GI score dramatically.

5. Garlic

In a traditional setting, They often use Garlic in traditional treatments for diabetes and a range of other ailments. Garlic’s components may help lower blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity and secretion. Garlic supplements helped persons with type 2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar, cholesterol, and lipid levels, according to a study.

60 patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity were given metformin alone or a combination of metformin and garlic twice daily after meals for 12 weeks in a 2013 study. Fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels were significantly lower in those who took metformin and garlic.

6. Tubers

Sweet potatoes and yams have a low GI score and are extremely healthy. According to some studies, the flesh of the sweet potato has more fiber than the skin, implying that the entire vegetable may be helpful to diabetics.

The researchers also mention that sweet potato eating may reduce several diabetes indicators, based on the results of an animal study. Sweet potatoes are healthy food with a low GI score, but there is yet no solid proof they may help stabilize or reduce blood sugar levels in people.

Bottom line

Maintaining a healthy diet is the prerequisite to preventing type 2 diabetes from developing. Diabetes occurs when our bodies cannot utilize the sugar “floating” around in our bloodstream. This usually happens in two ways: The pituitary gland does not produce insulin which acts as the key to telling the body cells what to do with the excess sugar. Second, when our body cells can’t produce enough insulin or the insulin already present doesn’t know what to do. We call that type 1 diabetes while the second instance is called type 2 diabetes.

The trick here is to eat foods with low GI that would help regulate the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. The best candidates for this routine are proteins and very complex carbohydrates. Eating the right combination can help prevent or even lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.