Limit dietary fat, because it is high in calories and consuming too many calories can lead to obesity. Obesity not only complicates diabetes but is also one of the greatest risk factors for developing heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis. Decrease dietary fat by choosing low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can also cut fat and calories by cooking with little or no oil or butter; making smart choices when eating out; monitoring portion size; and limiting high-calorie snacks and desserts. The ADA especially emphasizes the need to avoid saturated and trans fats which increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke and raise cholesterol. A 2010 article from “Diabetes Educator,” a publication of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, reported that a plant-based, low-fat diet helped control blood sugars in type 2 diabetes.
Vegetables offer many essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but you should limit starchy vegetables in a type 2 diabetes diet because they function more like a carbohydrate and raise blood sugars. Starchy vegetables include peas, corn, potato, winter squash, pumpkin and sweet potato.
The ADA recommends drinking alcohol only if blood sugar is well controlled and advises women to limit their intake to one drink per day and men to two drinks per day. Moderate alcohol intake benefited people with T2DM by reducing the risk of heart disease, however too much alcohol negatively affected blood sugar and nullified any benefits to the heart.