Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States. It is affecting all populations, both young and old, and stems from the body’s inability to process insulin correctly. Because of this epidemic, a national conversation has begun about type 2 diabetes and diet, and millions of people have had to drastically alter their eating habits in order to stay healthy and ward off the consequences of out-of-control diabetes.

The best type 2 diabetic diet will meet the body’s energy needs while not causing the blood glucose to become too elevated. In order to do this, diabetics should eat foods like whole grain bread and pasta, and stay away from food made with white flour, which is devoid of nutrients and causes too great a spike in blood sugar to be healthy. Other choices that are healthy are baked potatoes and whole grain corn tortillas. For diabetics, vegetables should be fresh or frozen and steamed, grilled, or roasted. They should not be eaten with a lot of cheese, butter, or other fattening sauces, and canned salted vegetables should also not be eaten. Unsweetened fresh fruits and jams can be eaten, and diabetics should stay away from anything with extra sugar. Fatty meats, regular pork bacon, and fried meats should be avoided. Instead, diabetics need to eat fish, tofu, lean meat, and beans cooked without lard. Low-fat or nonfat dairy should be eaten instead of the more fattening alternatives, and any snacks that are eaten, such as chips or popcorn, should be baked or air-popped.

Diabetics can benefit from following a type 2 diabetic diet because doing so will allow them to shed excess pounds, which may make it easier for them to keep their illness in check. It will also keep their blood sugar levels more stable, which will prevent damage to their circulation that can lead to kidney disease, blindness, or amputation if left untreated. In general, following this type of diet will allow the diabetic to live for a long time with their illness without the negative consequences.

However, there may be some disadvantages to following a type 2 diabetic diet. This diet may be difficult for diabetics to stick to, because of its restrictive nature. It is also important that diabetics, when seeking out healthy foods, not choose foods labeled as being safe for diabetics if they are loaded with chemicals and additives. Eating foods of this type is bad for the body overall and can contribute to ill health.