Once you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and worked out your treatment options, the next step is learning how to live with it.
And effectively managing type 2 diabetes is crucial.
If you manage your type 2 diabetes well you can reduce the chance of complications, and maybe even reverse it. If you manage it badly, you can put yourself at much greater risk.
To understand how to control type 2 diabetes, it’s important to know:
If you want to control your type 2 diabetes effectively, you must have a good type 2 diabetes diet. That’s because:
By eating healthy foods and maintaining a good diet, you can help maintain stable blood glucose levels and an ideal body weight.
You should try to eat:
To build a great type 2 diabetes diet, you need to know what’s good to eat and what will help control your type 2 diabetes
Here are some of the foods you should aim to include:
As well as knowing what food is good for you, it’s just as important to know what type 2 diabetes diet foods to avoid.
As a general rule, you should avoid foods high in fat, sugar, cholesterol or carbohydrates. And you should limit foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat or added sugar.
Here’s an example type 2 diabetes food list you should avoid or limit:
There’s a common misconception that Indian meals generally aren’t good for type 2 diabetics – They’re seen as having a high amount of carbohydrates or sugar, both of which you should limit or avoid if you want to effectively control your type 2 diabetes.
However, the truth is there are lots of Indian foods you can eat which will still keep your blood glucose level in control.
To give you some ideas, here’s an example Indian diet plan for diabetes type 2:
These are just some of the meals available to you that you can include in your type 2 diabetes Indian diet plan. If you’d like more options, speak to a nutritionist – They can give you some great ideas!
The typical advice for drinking alcohol is to only ever drink in moderation. The same is generally true for type 2 diabetics.
You can still drink alcohol with diabetes type 2. However, you shouldn’t drink too much, and you should understand that alcohol will affect your blood sugar level.
Alcohol often has a lot of sugar in it, and that may raise your blood sugar level. But if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach or while taking certain diabetic medications, your blood sugar level could decrease.
So if you’re planning to drink alcohol, remember to drink only a moderate amount and check your blood sugar level.
It’s also a good idea to consult with your doctor – They’ll be able to review your personal medical history and provide tailored advice on alcohol.
As a type 2 diabetic, it’s important to exercise regularly. This is because exercise boosts insulin activity, reduces blood pressure and helps manage weight. It also helps prevent cardiac-related complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Most health organisations recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise every week. This may sound like a lot, but break it down and spread it across your week and it’s much easier to do.
Here are some tips to help you exercise with type 2 diabetes:
Practising yoga for diabetes type 2 is a great way to take on a broad range of exercise – Yoga can potentially provide all four types of workout (strength, aerobic, balance and flexibility).
Yoga can also help reduce stress and blood pressure and improve circulation and blood flow. This means that as well as helping you lose weight, yoga can potentially also help improve how your body responds to insulin.
So when planning out your exercise routine, you should definitely consider yoga.
Sleep can have a significant impact on your blood glucose level. And how well you control your blood glucose can have a big effect on the quality of your sleep.
If your blood glucose level is too high or low overnight, you may feel tired and sluggish the next day. And if you sleep poorly and are tired, studies have shown your body can’t break down and process sugar as efficiently and your blood glucose level will increase.
So, as a type 2 diabetic, you should do all you can to get a good night’s sleep.
Here are some tips to help you try and sleep better:
Travel can be fun and exciting – Even if you’re a type 2 diabetic.
Travelling with type 2 diabetes simply means you need to put in a little more time, planning and preparation before you hit the road. This will help you avoid delayed or missed meals, skipped or misplaced medications and unnecessary stress.
Here are some tips to ensure travelling with type 2 diabetes remains fun:
Living with type 2 diabetes is tough. But understanding your disease, learning to recognise your symptoms and knowing how to treat them can make things easier.
It will also help you reduce your risk and improve your chances of avoiding complications.
And it starts with:
Diabetes tech is also worth exploring, as you may find something that helps make your life easier – For example, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) allow diabetics to track their blood glucose levels regularly throughout the day, providing more data (and without the finger pricks).
And it’s a great idea to find and connect with other type 2 diabetics. When you’re part of a type 2 diabetes community, you have access to a group of people that can:
To take the first step and connect with other type 2 diabetics, check out our collection of Your Stories.
And when you’re ready, please Share Your Story with us as well!
Yes, it's possible to get pregnant with type 2 diabetes. However, you should talk to your doctor before trying to get pregnant. This is because it's important to have your diabetes under control before becoming pregnant, as uncontrolled diabetes can cause complications during pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and managed through lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help you manage your blood sugar levels.
For people with type 2 diabetes, it's recommended to check your blood sugar level regularly. How regularly will depend on you and your individual needs, and your doctor can advise you. How often you should check your blood sugar will depend on factors like whether or not you're on insulin therapy, if you're going through lifestyle changes, etc. Some type 2 diabetics only need to check their blood sugar level once a day, while others may need to check multiple times per day.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you should focus on eating complex carbohydrates, low glycemic index foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins. You should avoid processed and sugary foods. Whole grains, vegetables and eggs are good options. And eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help you better manage your blood sugar levels. However, you should also follow a balanced diet and get enough nutrients and vitamins. Your doctor and a nutritionist can help you make meal plans and manage a healthy diet.
Foods that are good for type 2 diabetes are generally foods that are low in sugar and saturated fat, and high in fibre. Complex carbohydrates, low glycemic index foods, and lean proteins are good food choices. Vegetables, whole grains, nuts, eggs, and seeds are all good to include in a type 2 diabetes diet.
To maintain a healthy diet, you should eat a variety of fruit. Some fruits are better than others for type 2 diabetics though, as they have a low glycemic index. Some of the best fruits for type 2 diabetics are apples, cherries, gooseberries, pears, pineapples, plums and prunes. High-fibre fruits like oranges, kiwis and melons are also good fruits for type 2 diabetics.
The best protein for type 2 diabetics is lean meat such as chicken and fish. Legumes and nuts are also healthy sources of protein for people with diabetes. When choosing protein, it's important to also consider the other nutrients that accompany it, such as fibre, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
No, milk isn't necessarily bad for people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, milk is a great source of calcium, energy and protein. However, it's important to choose low-fat varieties and to manage your portion sizes to ensure milk doesn't contribute to weight gain, which can make diabetes symptoms worse. It's been suggested that milk could increase the risk of autoimmune diseases (like type 1 diabetes). However, this hasn't been proven, and the research is inconclusive.
Yes, type 2 diabetics can eat honey. However, it's important to remember that honey is still a sugar and you should eat it in moderation. A healthy type 2 diabetes diet should be low in sugar and high in complex carbohydrates, low glycemic index foods, and protein.
Yes, apples can be a good part of a diabetes type 2 diet. Apples are low in calories and sugar and high in fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. Eating apples in moderation along with other low glycemic index fruits can help you eat a healthy variety of fruit as part of a good type 2 diabetes diet.
The general advice for alcohol is to only ever drink in moderation. This applies to type 2 diabetes and beer as well. You can drink alcohol, including beer, but don't drink too much and understand that alcohol often contains a lot of sugar (which can increase your blood sugar level). Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach or while taking certain medications can also decrease your blood sugar level. If you're planning to drink beer, only drink a moderate amount and check your blood sugar level. You should also consult with your doctor, who can review your medical history and provide advice specific to you.
Yes, type 2 diabetics can eat mayonnaise, in moderation. Mayonnaise is relatively low in carbohydrates but often high in fat. You should choose low-fat, low-sugar mayonnaise when possible. Remember, a healthy type 2 diabetes diet is low in sugar, saturated fats and trans fats, and high in complex carbohydrates, low glycemic index foods and lean proteins.
Yes, coffee is generally ok for people with type 2 diabetes. However, coffee can affect your blood sugar level. This is because caffeine can trigger a hormonal response, including the release of adrenaline. And adrenaline can cause the liver to release stored glucose, which your body breaks down into sugar, increasing your blood sugar level. If you're drinking coffee, you should check your blood sugar levels before and after and avoid adding sugar or cream.