7 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Type 2 Diabetes Diet

A study finds that many type 2 diabetics don't follow nutrition guidelines. Here's how to do better.

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Be picky about where you eat. Select restaurants that specialize in healthy foods or that are willing to substitute high-fat foods for healthier ones.

Find advice online. There is a wealth of nutritional advice online for type 2 diabetics. Among McLaughlin's favorites: the ADA's My Food Advisor, a calorie and carbohydrate counting tool, the American Dietetic Association's Web site, MyPyramid.gov, and the National Diabetes Education Program.

Along with refining your dietary habits, it's important to take stock of your physical activity. You should "do something that requires you to move the large muscles in the body [arms and legs] for a goal of 30 minutes or more, five days a week or more," McLaughlin recommends. Research shows that restricting calories alone will result in loss of lean muscle mass and body fat, while a program of both exercise and calorie restriction should lead to a loss that is primarily body fat.