How much should I change my diet? I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I work mostly between 8 and 10 hours a day and therefore have not much time to cook. So, in the morning, I usually drink a cup of fruit, some without sugar some with. At work, I eat mostly two sandwiches with salami, sometimes a slice of cheese, thinly smeard with margarine and some mustard for taste and crumbed meat with chips.
Much of the answer depends on the extent of your diabetes control, as reflected by your A1C and blood glucose levels. Goals are individualized, but in general, the A1C goal for most people with diabetes is less than 7%. Blood glucose goals are generally 70 to 130 mg/dl fasting and before meals, less than 180 mg/dl 2 hours after meals, and 90 to 150 mg/dl before bed. In addition, your other diabetes “numbers,” such as your blood pressure, your LDL (bad) cholesterol and your weight will be a guide as to whether your eating plan needs some tweaking. For most people with type 2 diabetes, it’s recommended to eat three meals a day, limit portions (if your goal is to lose weight), and eat a variety of foods that contain carbohydrate, protein and fat at each of your meals. Your “breakfast,” which consists of juice, is all carbohydrate. Consuming only carbohydrate at a meal may lead to higher than desired post-meal blood glucose levels 2 to 3 hours later. Ideally, your breakfast should contain some protein, such as an egg, and a little bit of fat, too, like a handful of nuts or perhaps some tub margarine on a slice of whole grain toast. Your lunch seems more balanced in terms of nutrients, but the salami and cheese are high in saturated fat, the type of fat that can raise LDL cholesterol. So, chances are that you may need to make some changes in your food choices to help with your diabetes control, and either lower or maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol. I’d advise you to meet with a dietitian who can give you more specific guidance about your eating plan, keeping in mind your work schedule. Your doctor can provide you with a referral to see a dietitian in your community.