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Best & Worst Foods to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Rahul Verma 3292 Views
Updated: 19 Jan 2024
Published: 27 Oct 2022
Best & Worst Foods to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common diseases for people living in India. However, most people in India have Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetic patients are usually found in western countries. Around 90 to 95% of all diabetic patients in the country have Type 2 diabetes. The number of diabetic patients in India is increasing, which is not a good sign. By being aware of the diseases, we can together prevent the wave of diabetes mellitus. Most people lack awareness when it comes to preventing Type 2 diabetes, especially Gen Z millennials. For example, most people don’t know about fruits to avoid in diabetes. Read on to know the best and worst food items for Type 2 diabetes.

Are Eating Choices Connected with Diabetes?

Eating choices are directly linked with Type 2 diabetes. When a person has Type 2 diabetes, the blood concentration in the body is above normal. The blood sugar level for people having Type 2 diabetes is usually more than 126 mg/dL. The sugar level will increase due to some foods, while some food items might reduce the blood sugar level. It happens because some food items contain more glucose and increase the blood sugar level. Some food items might also reduce the amount of insulin in the body. Insulin is an essential hormone that helps maintain sugar concentration.

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and eating habits play a significant role. With the rising consumption of processed food, more and more people will have Type 2 diabetes. A person already suffering from Type 2 diabetes cannot consume excessive fats and carbohydrates. On the other hand, some food items can help a patient reduce sugar concentrations. Let us discuss the best food for diabetic patients. We will discuss different nutrients and find the food items to eat or not eat.

Carbohydrates for Type 2 Diabetes

Carbohydrates usually have a bad reputation among people having Type 2 diabetes. Consuming more carbs might increase blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are eventually broken into glucose in the body. Since they are broken into glucose, the blood sugar levels might rise. However, not every type of carbohydrate is bad for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. There are two types of carbohydrates, one that contains mostly sugars and the other that contains mostly starch. You should be aware of the difference between good and bad carbs for diabetes.

Natural carbs are usually beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. This is because natural carbs tend to lower the sugar concentration in the body. Also, some natural carbs boost the body’s ability to produce insulin. Some carb-rich items to eat while suffering from Type 2 diabetes are as follows:

  • Fruits are an excellent source of good carbohydrates for diabetic patients. Except for dates, durian, and avocado, you can eat all other fruits to manage Type 2 diabetes. You don’t have to worry about portion size while consuming fruits that contain good carbohydrates.
  • You can try eating non-starchy and starchy vegetables to prevent Type 2 diabetes from getting severe. Vegetables like potatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes are not recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Beans, lentils, peas, and other legumes can be consumed while suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Except for soybeans, all legumes are beneficial to manage Type 2 diabetes.
  • Grains that aren’t processed are sources of good carbs. Brown rice and quinoa are the best whole grains to eat while suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

Now that you are familiar with good carbs, you should also know about bad carbs. Food items that contain simple carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners are red flags for diabetes. Patients should not consume processed food items that contain carbs. Some carbohydrate-rich food items that should not be consumed by Type 2 diabetic patients are as follows:

  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Processed food items
  • Fructose corn syrup
  • Refined sugar

Worst foods for Diabetes

Fats for Type 2 Diabetes

We all know that fat-rich food items might be dangerous for Type 2 diabetic patients. Due to consuming more fat, your body might become more resistant to insulin. The blood sugar level might increase when cells become more resistant to insulin. Fats also cause cardiovascular problems in the body and lead to Type 2 diabetes. Therefore, fat derived from meats is a big no for diabetic patients. Also, artificial fat is a red flag for people having Type 2 diabetes. It means you cannot have the following foods while suffering from Type 2 diabetes:

  • Trans fats
  • Ghee
  • Margarine
  • Saturated fats

Does the best food for diabetes control include any fat-rich items? People have associated all fat-rich food items with harmful foods for Type 2 diabetes. However, you can consume some items that consist of natural fats. Studies have shown that fat-rich items like avocados, coconut meat, durian, nuts, and seeds can be consumed by Type 2 diabetic patients. However, consuming such fat-rich items in excess will only have an adverse effect. Consult your dietician to know how much fat you can consume while suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

Proteins for Type 2 Diabetes

You should consume protein-rich food items while suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The overall conversion of proteins into glucose is very slow. It means that the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream will be slowed. People having Type 2 diabetes should increase their protein intake while reducing fat and carb intake. However, there is a condition for consuming protein while suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The condition is that you have to exercise regularly while consuming protein-rich foods. Without exercising, protein may not offer benefits to Type 2 diabetic patients. Not to forget, exercising will help you burn the excess glucose in the body.

All plant-based proteins can be consumed while suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Proteins derived from beans and legumes are the best food for diabetes control. On the other hand, protein derived from red/processed meat might not be helpful for Type 2 diabetes. Try to stick with plant-based protein to manage Type 2 diabetes. Even if you want to consume meat, try organ meat or certain fishes. Fish like tuna and scallops might not harm your body. Consult your dietitian to prepare a protein intake plan.

Vitamins and Minerals for Type 2 Diabetes

Vitamins and minerals are termed beneficial for Type 2 diabetes. Vitamin levels are often down in people suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Doctors usually treat diabetic patients with multivitamins and regulate their blood sugar levels. Food items rich in chromium, biotin, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vanadium, ALA, and GLA are the best food for diabetes control. Consult your doctor to know which vitamins and minerals to intake while suffering from Type 2 diabetes. You can try eating roasted chickpeas, tofu, edamame, turkey slices, soy nuts, and beans. These food items are rich in protein and do not cause havoc for people having Type 2 diabetes.


Since diabetes is a lifestyle disease, it can be managed by changing your eating habits. People having Type 2 diabetes should intake fewer fats and carbs. Besides changing eating habits, you must also take frequent lab tests and monitor your sugar levels. Take OGTT, HbA1C, or other blood sugar tests at periodic intervals! 

To book a Diabetes Test Packages, visit our website or you can even visit our nearest Pathology laboratory for more information.

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