Best diet for type 2 diabetes and weight loss

Type 2 Diabetes Diets That Work

Do you want to reduce weight and control your blood sugar? You have a lot of options when it comes to programming.

"The more weight you reduce, the better your levels will be. However, how you go about doing it is mainly up to you "Michael Dansinger, MD, head of Tufts Medical Center's Diabetes Reversal Program and nutrition doctor for NBC's The Biggest Loser, agrees.

However, some options are healthier and safer than others, so consult your doctor or a trained dietitian before beginning. Meanwhile, have a look at some of the most popular plans.

 DASH Diet                              

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is well-known for lowering blood pressure, but it's also a good option for diabetics.     

According to Sonya Angelone, RD, a consulting nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "it's a plant-focused diet that's high in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, as well as low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats." "It's simple to follow, good for the entire family, and effective for weight loss."

Toby Smithson, RD, a certified diabetes educator and founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com, adds that the fact that it has been proved to reduce blood pressure is a huge plus. "Hypertension affects nearly two-thirds of persons with diabetes," she explains.

"The more weight you reduce, the better your [blood sugar] will be, but how you go about doing it is mainly up to you." — Dr. Michael Dansinger

 Mediterranean Diet

According to Constance Brown-Riggs, RD, a certified diabetes educator and author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, the Mediterranean Diet is an enjoyable choice for people with diabetes because it includes plenty of fresh, seasonal food, plenty of produce, heart-healthy olive oil, and a little wine.

According to the American Diabetes Association, this eating approach can aid with blood sugar control and reduce the risk of heart disease.

According to Smithson, studies show that people are more likely to keep to this regimen, “so it may help you avoid yo-yo dieting.”

Smithson recommends consulting a dietician if you wish to follow the Mediterranean Diet. "The carbohydrate group accounts for half of the foods in this diet. Even if they're good carbs, they must be tracked throughout the day."

The VB6 Diet by Mark Bittman

The key to this plan's success is being a part-time vegan ("VB6" stands for "vegan before 6 p.m."). Jaclyn London, RD, senior dietitian at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, adds, "It's one of my favorites."

"Because you're eating more plant-based meals, you're consuming more fiber and less saturated and trans fat," she explains. "It's basically a healthy way of eating in general."

The VB6 Diet also stresses the need of knowing where your tiny portions of meat, fish, and dairy come from. "It's meant to limit you so you can make better decisions when you do indulge,” London explains. “You're putting money aside for that small piece of grass-fed, local beef."

 Volumetrics Diet        

You eat a lot of water-rich items on this diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and broth-based soups. Whole grains are also a must-have because they're high in fiber, which keeps your blood sugar levels in check.

"I believe in the Volumetrics Diet since it is healthy and filling," London explains.

Biggest Loser Diet

This plan, which is based on the successful TV show requires you to consume a set percentage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

The Biggest Loser Diet is good for diabetics and easy to keep to because no food groups are completely off-limits, according to Smithson.

According to Brown-Riggs, the strategy restricts refined carbs and other high-carb foods, which may be beneficial to persons with diabetes. "It appears to be a well-balanced meal that adheres to the basic diabetes rules," she explains.

 American Diabetes Association Carbohydrate Counting

In the classic sense, it isn't a "diet." The main goal isn't to lose weight.

Counting carbs is an excellent technique to keep track of your blood sugar levels. Many high-carb foods are also high in calories, so cutting back on them can help you lose weight.

If you go this route, find out how many carbs to eat at each meal from your doctor or a diabetes educator (45-60 grams per meal is an average, but your number could be different.) According to Smithson, "a unique meal plan must be established based on your nutritional requirements, caloric demands, medications, and exercise routine."

The Spectrum/Ornish Diet

People who followed the Ornish Diet (which is essentially a vegetarian diet) for a year dropped an average of 11 pounds and many of them were able to reduce their diabetes medication dosage or switch from insulin to oral medicine, according to research.

The caveat is that this diet maybe a little too limiting for some individuals, making it difficult to stick to if you're not used to exclusively consuming plant-based meals.

"The majority of people can't make a 180-degree turn," Brown-Riggs says. The Ornish Spectrum, a more flexible variation, might be easier to follow.

The Weight Watchers

You track "points" rather than calories, you have access to peer assistance, and nothing is off-limits. However, because you can spend your points on anything you choose, you can lose weight without making healthy choices (such as by eating too many processed foods).

"The primary focus of Weight Watchers is weight loss, and persons with diabetes must still be mindful of how many carbohydrates they consume in a given meal," Brown-Riggs explains. "You may totally follow it," says the author, "but if you have diabetes, you should be conscious that it isn't just about the points."

 


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