Healthy eating for type 2 diabetes

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Myths abound when it comes to diabetes and food - one of the most common being that there is a "diabetes diet" that prohibits sugar and other items.

A new report from Harvard Health Publications dispels this and other misconceptions, and explains what people with diabetes should eat to keep their blood sugar steady. The report includes 40 new recipes.

The advice for people with diabetes is similar to that for the general population, but with extra emphasis on controlling weight, blood sugar, and risk factors for heart disease, explains the report, Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes. The basics: Eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of healthy foods, while watching total calories and engaging in physical activity. What you choose to eat on a day-to-day basis is up to you, but the overall goals are as follows:

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet (but limit white potatoes).
  • Reduce saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with healthy vegetable oils.
  • Choose healthy complex carbohydrates over refined sugars and refined starches.
  • Increase the amount of fiber you eat.
  • Opt for healthier proteins, such as beans, nuts, fish, and poultry, instead of red meat.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Get enough calcium.
  • Take a multivitamin each day.

Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes is a 48-page report edited by Dr. David Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center and General Clinical Research Center at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. It also covers:

  • the elements of a healthy diet
  • meal planning basics
  • ways to lose weight
  • diabetes-friendly recipes.

Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes is available for $16 from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School. Order it online at or by calling 1-877-649-9457 (toll free).


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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