What Is The Best Diet For People With Type 2 Diabetes?

Nearly 10% of Americans have type 2 diabetes, a disease that leads to high blood sugar and, left untreated, may contribute to other serious health conditions such as kidney and heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of 2017, diabetes was among the seven leading causes of death in the United States according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It was listed on more than 270,000 death certificates, and even that may be an underestimate.

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to manage diabetes so that it will not have such disastrous effects, says the CDC. Many people with diabetes are prescribed insulin and other medications that can help manage blood sugar. Healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise, relaxation, and diet can minimize the effects of diabetes even further. In fact, people who exercise and eat a healthy diet may even be capable of reversing their diabetes, according to Weill Cornell Medicine.

This is how to eat if you have diabetes

Medline Plus recommends that people with diabetes eat small portions spaced out throughout the day, and that they eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Alcohol, salt, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat should be limited. Mayo Clinic suggests sticking to healthy carbohydrates including peas, beans, and low-fat dairy products. It also recommends heart-healthy fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines to reduce the risk of heart disease.

The keto diet is often used by people with type 2 diabetes, but it is not something you should start without first talking to your doctor. The anti-inflammatory diet, which includes whole foods and minimizes processed foods, is well-established and has fewer side effects than keto (per Everyday Health). The ADA notes that there is no "one-size-fits-all" diet for people with diabetes. For this reason, the ADA recommends that people with diabetes see a registered dietitian for medical nutrition therapy to decide what sort of diet would be best for them personally.