Wasim H. Raja, MD

How to Change Your Diet if You Have Diabetes

misc image
The right diet can help you lose weight and feel better, especially if you have diabetes. Optimizing your energy supply and usable insulin amounts with food and drink is important. Read more here about how to change your diet if you have diabetes.

You can change your diet to improve your health if you have diabetes. A diabetic diet should be tailored to the type of diabetes that you have. You can maximize your energy, boost your mood, and improve your overall well-being by consuming appropriate food and drinks.  

At Orange County Healthcare Center in Fountain Valley, California, Dr. Wasim H. Raja provides top-quality diabetes care. Some people with diabetes need supplemental insulin to help their bodies properly convert food into energy. A meaningful lifestyle change may be the most effective way to treat type 2 diabetes. 

Changing your diet and exercising regularly can improve your body's ability to convert food into energy and prevent or treat diabetes. 

What should you eat if you have diabetes?

For those living with diabetes, the body lacks the insulin hormone, or its effect is reduced. This means there’s a risk that the blood sugar level in the blood can rise too high. To prevent this, diet plays a vital role in people with diabetes. Your diet also changes based on the type of diabetes you have.

Type 1 diabetes

This form of diabetes occurs when your pancreas fails to produce insulin so you must take insulin and use mealtime insulin doses to balance the carbs in your diet. To do this, you need to know the precise number of grams of carbohydrates in your meal..

Experts believe that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction without a cure or preventive measures.   

Type 2 diabetes

When your body is unable to use insulin to control blood sugar levels, you develop type 2 diabetes. You should be careful about your carb intake because people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin and are resistant to it. 

Eating a consistent amount of carbohydrates at meals throughout the day rather than all at once can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Lifestyle changes can both prevent and treat this type of diabetes.

Proper nutrition for type 1 diabetes

First, patients with type 1 diabetes need to learn to assess the carbohydrate content of a planned meal correctly. This is the only way to inject the right amount of insulin and maintain blood sugar (glucose) control.

Not enough insulin, and there’s a risk of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Too much insulin and your blood sugar drops too much (hypoglycemia). Both high and low sugar are potentially dangerous.

The carbohydrate content of your meals and snacks should remain consistent every day if you have type 1 diabetes and take a fixed dose of insulin.

Proper nutrition for type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance supports obesity. That means the best diabetic diet for people with type 2 diabetes aims at weight loss. Regular physical activity helps to achieve this goal. 

Foods to include in your diet

You can fulfill your body's nutritional requirements by eating a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods contain many nutrients compared to their size or caloric value, such as vitamins and minerals.

Nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes (beans and lentils)
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean protein
  • Fish
  • Eggs

Dr. Raja may advise you to limit some of these foods based on your specific health needs. For instance, a low-carbohydrate diet that restricts fruits, starchy vegetables, dried legumes, and grains may be beneficial for some people with type 2 diabetes.

If that applies to you, stick to foods high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates, like lean proteins, nuts, and seeds. Some vegetables, like broccoli and leafy greens, are high in nutrients but low in carbohydrates. No matter your specific eating regimen, it’s best to eat nutrient-dense foods at each meal.

Request an appointment online or over the phone today when you’re ready to learn more about diabetes care or explore a new treatment path.