Best Diets For People With Diabetes in 2022

best diet for diabetes

Diabetes is a challenging condition to manage, and a bad diet just makes it worse. In fact, a balanced diet is required to keep blood glucose levels within an acceptable range, which is crucial for diabetics. However, what constitutes a healthy diet for those with diabetes may differ from what defines a healthy diet for those who just want to lose a few pounds.

Here are our best recommendations for diets for people with diabetes.

Best Diabetic Diet Options

The diets we considered the Best Diets for People With Diabetes received the best average rankings for diabetic health from a group of physicians and registered dietitians, which we described as “the diet’s ability to prevent type 2 diabetes or assist diabetics manage their diabetes.”

Before adopting a new diet or eating plan, always discuss it with your doctor.

Why We Chose It:

This diet, with its emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate quantities of fish and dairy, is not only excellent for controlling diabetes, but it may also help prevent it. Indeed, one research of 25,000 overweight female health care professionals discovered that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of getting diabetes 20 years later.

According to several studies, this diet may:

  • Improve fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
  • As a result, you have an 83 percent decreased chance of developing diabetes.
  • Help in the prevention of diabetes in people at high cardiovascular risk.
Foods EmphasizedFoods Limited
 Fresh fruits and vegetables
 Whole grains, nuts and legumes
 Extra virgin olive oil
 Red meats
 Processed meats

Why We Chose It:

The main purpose of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet’s low-sodium strategy is to promote heart health, making it an excellent choice for diabetics who are prone to cardiovascular issues. In fact, those with diabetes are more likely to acquire hypertension (two out of three diabetics have the condition). The DASH diet promotes blood pressure control and is high in magnesium, which can help with insulin resistance and blood sugar control.

According to some studies, this diet may:

  • Reduce insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).
  • Reduce your chances of having type 2 diabetes in the future.
  • Reduce overall blood glucose levels and avoid high blood glucose in type 1 diabetes adolescents.
Foods EmphasizedFoods Limited
 Lean meat, poultry and fish
 Fruits and vegetables
 Sweets and added sugars
 Foods high in saturated fats

Why We Chose It:

While this diet was designed by Mayo Clinic doctors for weight loss, it received top marks from reviewers for diabetic health. This is hardly surprising given that obesity is the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The two-pronged strategy of this diet will assist people with diabetes; the “Lose It!” phase is meant to promote weight loss, while the “Live It!” phase focuses on adopting long-term healthy behaviors, such as portion management and regular exercise.

It’s worth noting that the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that this diet might temporarily boost blood sugar or blood fat levels, so persons with diabetes should consult with their doctor first to customize the plan to their personal requirements (such as swapping fruit for vegetables).

According to some research, this diet may:

  • This diet includes at least 30 minutes of daily activity, and studies suggest that walking for at least 30 minutes a day decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%.
  • Furthermore, this diet emphasizes weight loss, and studies have shown that moderate weight loss and physical exercise can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 % in some populations.
Foods EmphasizedFoods Limited
 Whole grains
 Lean sources of protein
Saturated trans fats
 Added Sugars

Why We Chose It:

The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet is a mix of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, with a concentration on plant-based meals and limited animal products. The fact that it does not necessarily highlight fruit makes this diet a standout choice for diabetics—a crucial caveat for those with diabetes.

According to several studies, this diet may:

  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline–a problem that diabetics are especially vulnerable to.
  • Reduce the chance of death from any cause.
Foods EmphasizedFoods Limited
 Green leafy vegetables
 Whole grains
 Red meats
  Butter and margarine
 Sweets and pastries

Why We Chose It:

The Nordic diet is high in nutrients, based on traditional eating habits of northern European countries, and emphasizes fruits, root vegetables, berries, fish, and eggs—with animal items used sparingly as side dishes. This diet was rated our Best Diet for a Nutrient Boost, and its nutrient-rich eating plan meets several of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Management’s standards, which promote a balanced diet of healthy foods from all food categories.

According to several studies, this diet may:

  • Have a protective impact against type 2 diabetes risk factors such as obesity and low-grade inflammation.
  • Assist in lowering the incidence of obesity, LDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.
Foods EmphasizedFoods Limited
 Fish and eggs
 Meat products and poultry
 Sweets and desserts

How Does Diet Affect Diabetes?

Because what you eat has a direct influence on your glucose levels, nutrition is an extremely essential aspect of managing—or even preventing—diabetes. A balanced diet, which includes what you eat, how much you consume, and when you eat, can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

In fact, studies demonstrate that, while insulin or oral medicines are frequently used to treat diabetes, adequate blood glucose control is unlikely to occur without a nutritious diet.
While there are no “forbidden meals,” some sugary foods may definitely elevate blood sugar levels and should be avoided.

Limiting the amount of high-glycemic-index foods that quickly raise glucose levels, such as pasta, white rice, white potatoes, corn, and excessive amounts of bread, will help keep glucose levels under control.

What Constitutes a Good Diet for Diabetics?

Dr. Horowitz, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, praises the diets featured in this ranking for including complex carbohydrates (in the form of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk), lean proteins, healthy fats, and dietary fiber, as well as limiting sweetened drinks and simple carbohydrates.

Dr. Horowitz suggests higher fiber diets to keep blood sugar levels within a reasonable range—a fundamental to successful diabetes management—because they are slower to digest and take longer to influence glucose levels while also enhancing satiety.

“Balance is the key to keeping glucose levels from increasing,” she explains. “Having more complex carbs in the meal—as well as eating a constant amount of carbohydrates from meal to meal and avoiding meals that have too much at any one time—as well as incorporating lean protein in the meal can aid with fullness and prevent overeating.”

What Foods to Avoid With Diabetes

Not all diets are the same, and some of the most restricted diets (which are also becoming increasingly popular) should be followed with caution.

“Highly carbohydrate-restricted diets, such as severe keto diets, should be evaluated carefully,” Dr. Horowitz advises. “While many people benefit from low-carbohydrate diets, and modified keto diets are frequently effective, diets that remove whole food categories are unbalanced and may result in macronutrient deficits.” They are also challenging to keep up.”

In general, people who have diabetes should avoid the following foods and drinks:

  • Foods high in sodium
  • Sweets (like baked goods, candy and ice cream)
  • Fried foods
  • Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats
  • Beverages with added sugars (like juice, regular soda, regular energy drinks and regular sports drinks)

How to Start a Diabetic Diet

Starting a new diet may seem difficult if you have diabetes. However, it may be simpler than it appears. The trick is to prepare ahead of time to guarantee healthy meals that keep your blood sugar levels under control.

The CDC also recommends the following steps when developing an eating plan (though specific details will vary depending on your diet):

Keep track of your carbohydrate intake and set a carbohydrate limit for each meal. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can assist you in determining the appropriate quantity for you and your needs.
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies, one-quarter with lean protein, and one-quarter with carbohydrates.
Keep a close eye on portion sizes. and remember they often differ from the serving sizes listed on the label.

This was all for the best diets for people with diabetes. We hope this article was helpful. If you have any opinions or comments please share them in the box below.

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