Nutrition Guidelines for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Here are some guidelines from the Defeating Diabetes… A story of hope from the Marshall Islands

What to limit:

  • Reduce your intake of saturated fats to not more than 7 percent of total calories (primary sources: meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and tropical oils).
  • Keep trans fatty acids below 1 percent of calories (primary sources: processed foods, containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats).
  • Limit your cholesterol intake to not more than 300 mg a day, and 200 mg a day for those with LDL cholesterol levels greater than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L) (primary sources: animal foods- meat, dairy products, and eggs)
  • Minimize your use of refined carbohydrates (simple sugars and starches in processed foods).
  • Keep sodium intake under 2,400 mg (6 grams or 1 teaspoon salt) per day (primary sources: processed foods, condiments, table salt).
  • If you use alcohol, limit intake to not more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men and do not drink every day.
What to do:
  • Drink at least six to eight cups of water each day.
  • Ensure sufficient, but not excessive, protein intake. Get most of your protein from plant foods.
  • Select organic foods when you have a choice.
  • Base your diet on a variety of colorful, whole plant foods.
  • Eat at least seven to ten servings of vegetables a fruits each day.
  • Eat at least five servings of whole grains each day.
  • Include at least one serving of legumes in your daily diet.
  • Eat small portions of nuts and seeds daily.


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