A healthy diet is key to managing type 2 diabetes

For most people, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is a life-changing event. The condition plays a central role in the lives of the majority of those who have it. It needs to be a consideration in just about every decision a person makes. This is particularly true when it comes to diet.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes can no longer eat the way they used to in most cases. This means excessive fat, protein and carbohydrates need to be trimmed from the diet. However, in spite of these restrictions, experts say that it is still possible for individuals with type 2 diabetes to eat foods they enjoy.

The American Diabetes Association says that diabetics should think more about what they include in their diets than what they leave out. Instead of focusing on having to exclude fat and carbohydrates, individuals should focus on the tasty fruits and vegetables that must now play a larger role in their lives.

This may not sound like the most exciting diet, particularly because individuals must now largely give up on things like donuts and ice cream. However, these foods can be prepared in fun and engaging ways that may make them more palatable.

Additionally, the Association states that if people with type 2 diabetes eat an overall healthy diet, there will likely be room to indulge in sweets. It really all comes down to management. With appropriate attention to nutrition, a diabetic diet doesn’t have to be excessively restrictive.

Sharon Tilbe, who mentors diabetics at Lee Health Solutions in Lehigh Acres, Florida, told local news station NBC 2 that portion control is one of the most effective ways for individuals with type 2 diabetes to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.

"Dividing that plate in half, that's a start,” she told the news source. “Half of the plate should be vegetable, we're usually talking about the watery crispy vegetables that carry a lot of nutritional impact. With a smaller portion of starch and a small portion, maybe about the size of palm of hand of meat, fish or poultry."

According to Tilbe, filling up on the most nutritious foods possible is one of the most important parts of managing type 2 diabetes. This helps individuals avoid the temptation of less nutritious items like fats and carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and cause blood sugar to spike.

By eating a healthy diet that allows them to lose weight, individuals with type 2 diabetes may also be able to improve their condition. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that dropping excess fat helps the body respond better to insulin. This may contribute to improved blood sugar regulation and potentially even a resolution of diabetes.

For those who wish to attain these benefits, it all starts with diet. Eating right can make a major difference in the health of individuals with type 2 diabetes. With a little planning, healthy eating can even be enjoyable.