The Best Diabetes Friendly Diets to Help You Lose Weight
- 26 Oct, 2020
Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease. They are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for everyone. Still, if you have diabetes, excess weight makes it harder to control your blood sugar levels and may increase your risk for some complications. Losing weight can be extra challenging for people with diabetes. Suppose you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In that case, the prospect of giving up the foods you love may seem daunting or even devastating. But you may be relieved to know that a good diet for type 2 diabetes isn’t as complicated or out of the ordinary as you might expect.
What Is a Good Diet for Type 2 Diabetes?
A diabetic diet doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to give up all your favourite foods. The first step to making smarter choices is to separate the myths from the facts about eating to prevent or control diabetes.
Always keep the following points in mind:
- You can enjoy your favourite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesn’t have to be off-limits, as long as it’s a part of a healthy meal plan.
- The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is vital. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since they’re high in fibre and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.
- The principles of healthy eating are the same—whether or not you have diabetes. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no particular benefit.
- Studies have shown that overeating protein, especially animal protein, may cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes.
- A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet. A person with diabetes must consider several factors when deciding on the best way to lose weight.
- Factors to take into account include their age, general health, and how much weight they have to lose. It is best to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new weight-loss plan.
The best weight-loss diet for someone with diabetes is one they will stick to long-term. The following diets involve making beneficial long-term changes to help a person lose weight safely:
Eat more of the following food items:
- Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados.
- Fruits and vegetables—ideally fresh, the more colourful, the better; whole fruit rather than juices.
- High-fibre cereals and loaves of bread made from whole grains.
- Fish and shellfish, organic chicken or turkey.
- High-quality protein such as eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, and unsweetened yoghurt.
Eat less or avoid the following food items
- Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts.
- White bread, sugary cereals, refined portions of pasta or rice.
- Processed meat and red meat.
- Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yoghurt.
Choose high-fibre, slow-release carbs
Carbohydrates have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels—more so than fats and proteins—so you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, packaged meals, and snack foods. Focus on high-fibre complex carbohydrates—also known as slow-release carbs. They are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin.
What is meant by the term “white foods”?
When nutritionists warn against white foods, they typically mean refined sugar, rice, flour, pasta, and other processed foods such as cereals, white bread, and crackers. The main problem with these foods is the degree of processing, which strips away most of its nutritional content and lacks fibre. They are usually full of empty calories and make you feel full but add close to zero nutritional content.
However, all-white foods are not necessarily bad for you.
- Quinoa, oats, and potatoes, for instance, are all excellent sources of fibre, as well as vital vitamins and minerals.
- Cauliflower is one of the richest sources of vitamin K. Garlic, another white consumable, contains organo-sulphur and flavonoids. These compounds boost immunity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and protect against cancer.
- Other healthy white-foods include radishes, pine nuts, white beans, onions, mushrooms, and turnips.
The Mediterranean diet
It involves food choices and cooking styles typical of some places in the Mediterranean region. The diet includes:
- plenty of vegetables
- whole grains
- fruits in moderation
- nuts and seeds
- herbs and spices
- olive oil
The Mediterranean diet is the most favourable for changes in insulin and fasting glucose levels. Those following the Mediterranean diet also lost an average of 1.5 kilograms (kg), or 3.3 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet.
Low-carb diets are a popular weight loss plan. Typically, low-carb diets limit a person's intake of carbohydrates and include higher amounts of protein and healthful fats. Examples of foods that to avoid on a low-carb diet include:
- white bread
People on a low-carb diet should eat plenty of vegetables and get lots of protein from fish, lean meats, and eggs. Some studies show that low-carb diets may be effective and safe for people who have diabetes. It is vital to realize that there are different versions of low-carb diets. Some diets restrict carbohydrates to as low as 20 grams (g) or less per day, which may not be suitable for everyone.
What is a keto diet?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It is a protein-based diet that powers the body to consume fats instead of starches to produce energy. When your body is devoid of sufficient carbs to burn for energy, it starts burning fat, which results in ketone formation and is used to draw power for all the activities; this process is known as Ketosis.
What can you eat while on Ketosis?
Whole foods, such as eggs, lean meat, oily fish, low-carb veggies, and low-carb naturally grown sustainable products, like low-carb flours (almond, chickpea, etc.). When on a ketogenic dietary regimen, you cannot eat any processed or refined foods items. A keto diet is quite impressive compared to other diets with regards to demonstrated weight reduction benefits. It has also appeared to decrease cancerous tumors' danger, treat cognitive impairments like Dementia, Depression, Alzheimer's disease, and control diabetes and insulin levels.
The gluten-free diet
Gluten-free diets have become trendy, but for people with celiac disease, eliminating gluten from the diet is necessary to avoid damage to the colon and body.
What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack your gut and nervous system. It also promotes body-wide inflammation, which could lead to chronic disease.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and all foods made from these grains. According to several types of research, 10 per cent of those with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease. While anyone with diabetes can take up a gluten-free diet, it may add unnecessary restrictions for those without celiac disease. It's also important to remember that gluten-free is not synonymous with low carb. There are plenty of processed, high-sugar, gluten-free foods. There is usually no need to complicate meal planning by eliminating gluten unless you need to.
Fruits and vegetables are an everyday staple of weight-loss diets. The Palaeolithic or "paleo" diet attempts to replicate the diet that people ate thousands of years ago when they had to hunt for food. Staples of a palaeolithic diet include fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and fish.
- Many of the foods included in the paleo diet are similar to those in a low-carb diet, as a paleo diet prohibits the consumption of most grains.
- The diabetic diet included evenly distributed meals that contained dietary fibre, whole grain bread, cereals, and vegetables.
- The researchers found that the paleo diet was more filling per calorie than the diabetic diet.
- Participants noticed more significant weight loss with the paleo diet but found it more challenging to sustain.
Vegetarian or vegan
Vegetarian and vegan diets eliminate meat and focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. People following a vegan diet eliminate all animal products, including dairy and eggs. A vegetarian or vegan diet may help people with diabetes achieve their weight loss goals.
Exercise is the key!
Exercise can help you manage your weight and may improve your insulin sensitivity. An easy way to start exercising is to walk for 30 minutes a day (or for three 10-minute sessions. You can also try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activity that has you working up a light sweat and breathing harder.
Your diet is one of the main pillars of reasonable diabetes control. What you eat can help or hinder insulin resistance. While it seems like there is a lot to remember, the basic tenets boil down to simple, nutritious eating. In the end, you can cut through the noise by considering a few things when you sit down to eat: Aim for a well-balanced diet limited in simple sugars and rich in whole plant-based foods, such as vegetables and fruit, along with lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy, plant-based fats.