A diet that focuses on the type 2 diabetic is one that is based on controlling the type and amount of carbohydrates consumed with every meal. It is important not to fully eliminate carbs as they serve as a source of energy, so the diabetes diet looks to find a good balance between having enough carbs and not having too many of them to avoid the effect it has on blood sugar levels.
At first, newly diagnosed diabetics may think the best course of action is to completely remove carbohydrates from the body. However, this is not wise as carbs serve as a source of fuel for every system in the body, the brain included. Not having enough carbohydrates may lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and a wide range of other uncomfortable ailments. The purpose of a type 2 diabetes diet is to ensure there is a good balance to avoid these problems while not having a major impact on blood sugar levels after a meal.
Not all carbs are equal, either; there are simple carbs and complex carbs. The latter are the better of the two as they provide energy over a longer period of time without spiking the blood. Often, it is best to focus more on complex carbs while avoiding simple ones whenever possible. For example, eliminating soda and bleached bread would be best, eating whole grains and vegetables instead. Though all of these have carbohydrates, the latter two have complex carbs with less of a spike on blood. A good rule of thumb to consider is that darker bread is more likely to have better carbs without a major spike in glucose.
It is also important to mention that those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are still capable of having a simple carb treat, such as a bowl of ice cream, a slice of cake, or even a slice of pizza. However, the portions need to be a single serving and no more, and it is not a treat that one may have all the time, every day — once a week is a fair goal. Nonetheless, a true diet tailored for type 2 diabetes does not need to be very limited or bland at all; one can still enjoy the wide range of foods available as long as one has a keen eye and pays attention to one’s intake of carbohydrates with each meal.