Bharathi I am a Medical Student with a passion for writing and a thirst for knowledge.

Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan

5 min read

Previously in my other article, we learned about type 1 diabetes and its meal plan. Now, some of you may wonder! So, how about the ones with type 2 diabetes? Can they also follow the same meal plan? Do they have a separate meal plan?
In order to discuss, regarding type 2 diabetic meal plan, first of all, let us learn what is type 2 diabetes?

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1. What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

It is a most common and a chronic condition. In this condition, the cells of the body become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone, that helps us to use our blood sugar. When our cells begin to resist insulin, it can lead to elevated blood glucose levels. Due to this insulin resistance, and excess blood glucose, the pancreas tends to produce more insulin in order to facilitate the glucose into the cells. Over time, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin and begins to fail.

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2. What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Some of the early symptoms are

  • lack of energy,
  • constant hunger,
  • excess thirst,
  • frequent urination,
  • fatigue,
  • cloudy or blurry vision,
  • weight loss due to muscle or tissue waste,
  • late healing wounds,
  • erectile dysfunction,
  • itchy skin,
  • fungal infections,
  • dark patches on your skin, a condition known as acanthosis nigricans,
  • foot pain,
  • numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy, etc.

The above symptoms may vary accordingly between hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic incase of type 2 diabetes.

Hypoglycemia in this case may occur when you skip a meal when under diabetic medications. Hyperglycemia is very common in type 2 diabetes.

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3. What is Their Cause?

The main cause of the surge in blood sugar in type 2 diabetes is the resistance of insulin by the body’s cells. This will certainly force your pancreas to work hard snd produce more insulin. Over time, it can damage the cells of your pancreas.

Eventually, your pancreas may dysfunction and not be able to produce any insulin.
In some cases, the liver may produce too much glucose. Genetic predisposition also plays a certain role in type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by genetics and unhealthy lifestyle patterns.

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4. The Difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas will not be able to produce sufficient amount of insulin. The people, in this case, have to depend on insulin injections in order to lower their blood sugar.
In type 2 diabetes, you can lower high blood sugar levels with proper diet, exercise, and oral drugs that make your body more sensitive to insulin. It can also help with the efficient functioning of the pancreas, by releasing more insulin.

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5. Suitable Diets for Type 2 Diabetes

In order to schedule proper meal plan, the first and foremost step is to select a balanced diet and nutritious meals.
When you see the diet, it’s almost the same as the type 1 diabetes meal.

Carbohydrates

While selecting carbohydrates, you must be very keen on choosing the complex ones. Brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils are some of the complex carbohydrates. The carbohydrates consumed should be of low glycemic load.
Foods that are of low glycemic load (index) raise blood sugar modestly. Thus, they are considered the best choice for people with diabetes.

The complex carbohydrates are rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and a few proteins and fats. They slow down the absorption of glucose and helps to regulate the blood sugar levels.

Avoid simple carbohydrates (white foods) like sugar, pasta, pastries, etc.that are also called as high glycemic index foods.

Vegetables

Starch-rich vegetables like potatoes, corn, squash and root vegetables are rich in vitamin C and contain more carbohydrates than other vegetables. They should be consumed less in order to balance and maintain the overall intake of carbohydrates.

Green leafy vegetables, carrots, celery, cucumber, onions, peppers, sprouts, and tomatoes are fewer carb vegetables that can be consumed even 5 times a day. Vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and kale are diabetic friendly and help to keep the blood sugar stable.

Fat and Oil

Oil can slow down carbohydrates absorption. But excess intake may cause other cardiovascular diseases, especially animal meat fat. However, fermented dairies like yogurt and curd are known to reduce such risks.

Plant-based fats such as peanut oil, olive oil, black cumin seed (karunjeeragam) oil, etc are recommended instead of animal fats.

Proteins

Healthiest proteins like beans, eggs, legumes, peanut, peanut butter, black cumin seed, peas, fish, tofu, and soy foods natural and healthier.

Lean animal proteins (like chicken), yogurt, and curd can also be taken now and then. Snaking on proteins can reduce our sugar cravings by making us feel full on the stomach. Avoid eating red meat and cheese.

Grains

Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal are low glycemic index foods and are rich in fibers. Barnyard millets (kuthiravali) is an ideal food for diabetes. Do not consume wholegrain bread or whole-grain pasta unless you are sure about the contents in it. In my opinion, don’t take the risk.

Overall, its almost the same diet plan for both type 1&2 diabetes.

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6. Is The Paleo Diet Ideal For Diabetes?

Research shows that the paleo diet is more suitable for the one with diabetes especially type 2. Considering the type of diabetes, this diet acts more neutral.

Since the Paleo Diet completely eliminates the typical foods like desserts, pizza, French fries, soft drinks, dairy products, sugar, candy, etc. people who precisely follow the plan often have more controlled blood glucose and cholesterol levels, reduced triglyceride, and other improvements.

The Paleolithic diet is primarily based on Lean meat, Fish, Fruit, Leafy vegetables, Root vegetables, Eggs, Nuts et al. Although this diet doesn’t specify macronutrient balance or caloric intake goals in specific.

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7. Meal Plan For Type 2 Diabetes

Early morning

  • Fenugreek (Ventayam) water
  • Overnight soaked almonds

Breakfast

  • 2 vegetable moong chillas with green chutney and 1 whole boiled egg.
  • 2-3 idlis with chutney and drumstick sambar (use less salt).
  • 2 dosas with chutney and vegetable sambar (use less salt).
  • 1 small cup of vegetable upma with chutney.
  • Cucumber salad, 1 whole wheat chapati, any vegetable sabzi, ½ cup boiled sprouts.
  • 1 cup vegetable oats up + 1 whole boiled egg or 2 boiled egg whites

Snacks

  • 1 cup cucumber, tomato, and carrot salad.
  • Add a dash of lime, and garnish with coriander leaves and a few mint leaves.
  • 1 apple or orange or 1 cup papaya or guava.
  • Tender coconut water.
  • A cup of peanuts.
  • 1 cup of unstrained vegetable juice/1 glass bitter gourd juice

Lunch

  • 2 medium-sized whole wheat chapatis, 1/2 cup vegetables, such as peas, cauliflower, capsicum, any gourd, green beans, etc., 1 cup of daal.
  • Cucumber and tomato salad, ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup sambar with lots of vegetables, any vegetable curry with less spice or ½ cup fish or chicken curry with less spice, 1 glass mint jeera buttermilk.
  • 1 cup vegetable daliya khichdi, 1 roasted homemade papad, 1 cup curd.
  • 2 medium-sized whole wheat chapatis with ½ cup rajma/chole, ½ cup thin dal, 1 cup okra curry/ any other vegetable curry, ½ cup curd/raita

Evening snack

  • Green tea without sugar.
  • Baked snacks, homemade snacks.
  • Roasted nuts like walnut, almonds, and pistachios.
  • Black coffee.
  • Filter coffee with less milk( no sugar). Half a cup of roasted chana.

Dinner

  • 2 medium-sized chapatis, any vegetable curry, 1 cup dal/paneer.
  • Two medium-sized chapatis, chicken stew, any vegetable curry, except for root vegetables.
  • 2 chapatis, ½ cup vegetable curry, ½ cup daal, ½ cup yogurt.Vegetable or chicken soup with 1 chappathi.
  • Mixed vegetable curry, 2 chapatis, curd.
  • Cucumber salad, 2 multigrain chapatis, ½ cup vegetable curry, Fish curry, or chicken curry.

Before bed

1 glass of warm low-fat milk with a pinch of cinnamon or raw ground turmeric powder.

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8. Superfoods For Type 2 Diabetes

Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a superfood because that helps in lowering the glycemic load of any meal. These seeds can increase your hunger satisfaction, and stabilize your blood sugar.

Wild salmon is a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Further, Wild salmon eat smaller fishes and live in cold water. This environment causes them to develop an increased ratio of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to saturated fats in their flesh. 

White balsamic Vinegar slows gastric emptying, which maintains numerous beneficial effects for people with type 2 diabetes. This also slows down the glucose release into the bloodstream, allowing for a small, reliable insulin response instead of a large insulin downpour. 

Cinnamon lowers both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels. Its high polyphenol content has expanded benefits in preventing additional health complications.

Lentils are a superfood for type 2 diabetes because they contain valuable vitamins including B complex and folate, iron, minerals, protein, and have lots of fiber.

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9. Foods To Avoid For Type 2 Diabetes

  • In order to avoid an increase in blood sugar, you need to restrict yourself from consuming processed food and junk food.
  • They are unhealthy at the same time can cause other diseases when consumed in large quantities.
  • Soda is high on sugar that can spike your blood sugar level.
  • Avoid processed or refined sugar. They are added a lot in white bread, pastries, chips, cookies, etc.
  • High-fat animal products and food containing trans fats have a high glycemic index.

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Points To Remember

In order to maintain your blood sugar levels

  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Try to have meals at a regular time and interval.
  • Pay attention to what you eat, its GI, and be calculative of the amount as well.
  • Physical fitness and regular exercise aids for a healthy lifestyle.

Reference links

Bharathi I am a Medical Student with a passion for writing and a thirst for knowledge.

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