As an African American living with type 2 diabetes, you may wonder where your favorite foods fit into a healthy meal plan. Don't worry—having type 2 diabetes
doesn't mean your favorite foods are off the table. For example, one way people can still enjoy the foods they love is to substitute certain ingredients with
healthier alternatives. A healthcare provider or dietitian can work with you to create a list of meal choices that fits your current lifestyle while meeting your goals
for managing your type 2 diabetes. This meal plan is designed to help you manage your type 2 diabetes and meet your blood sugar goals.
It might take time for healthier foods to become part of your routine, and that's okay. The goal is for you to make small changes over time. By experimenting with
new foods and cooking methods, you can make a big difference in managing your type 2 diabetes.
- Keep it colorful. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. When selecting vegetables, it is best to choose from non-starchy ones such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans
- Keep it whole grain. Choose whole grain foods instead of processed grain products. Start including brown rice instead of white rice, or serve whole wheat spaghetti with pasta sauce
- Swap out the soda. Choose water and calorie-free diet drinks instead of regular soda, fruit punch, sweet tea and other sugar-sweetened drinks
- Switch to non-fat dairy products. Replace full-fat milk, yogurt and cheese with non-fat dairy like skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese
- Use liquid oils only. When cooking, use liquid fats instead of solid fats. Any fat that is solid at room temperature is higher in saturated and trans fats than liquid alternatives. Remember: fats are high in calories, so be mindful when cooking
- Trim the fat. Choose leaner cuts of meat and try to remove visible fat. Remove skin from poultry. If you roast food, use a rack to let the fat drip off. If you make soup, prepare it a day in advance and place in the refrigerator overnight so the solid fat on top can be removed before serving. Avoid meats that are high in fat, like bacon. Reserve ribs and pork-flavored meals for special occasions
- Cut back on dessert. Cut back on high-calorie snack foods and desserts. Cookies, cakes and full-fat ice cream are loaded with calories and fat
- Watch your portions. Portion control is a very important part of a healthy meal plan. Eating too much food, even if it is healthy, can lead to weight gain. One great way to learn about portions is to measure how much you serve with measuring cups. You may be surprised how much rice, pasta, meat or desserts you put on your plate