Baffled by the rules of your diabetic life? Don’t know what’s good or bad for your menu anymore? What you choose to eat or drink can raise or lower your blood sugar levels after every meal. So which foods are smart choices when you have diabetes? According to a recent study from the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, approximately 22% of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes were able to prevent it from progressing to type 2 diabetes by embracing a plant-based diet!
A diet for diabetes patients simply includes eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes. There are four things in food that can affect your blood sugar: carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and fiber. Carbohydrates tend to raise blood sugar faster than proteins or fats. Fiber, protein, and fat can curb the rise in blood sugar after a meal, so aiming for variety is a must! Here are some of the beneficial diet to prevent diabetes that were recommended by the American Diabetic Association (ADA):
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lowers blood pressure, risk of diabetes, and also helps in losing weight along with being easy to follow! It includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; lean meat and poultry; fish; and nuts.
Low-carb diets (LCD) prescribes 25–40% of daily calories from carbs, has proven to be beneficial compared to the old-fashioned ADA diabetes diet guidelines (consisting of about 50% carb). Low-carb diets stress on vegetables, such as salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, cabbage, and cooked greens and also includes plant fats, such as nuts, avocado, oils, and nut butter. The ADA 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes has also added low-carb nutrition to recommended patterns of eating for type 2 diabetes diet.
Vegetarian or vegan diets
A vegetarian diet requires the person to give up meat; veganism implies avoiding all animal products such as dairy and lard. The ADA has added vegetarian and vegan diets to its list of approved diabetes nutrition plans. Many studies have concluded that reduction or elimination of animal products from diet reduces the risk of diabetes, lower A1C, and Low-density lipoprotein (‘Bad’) cholesterol and promotes weight loss.
Similar to DASH, Mediterranean diets tend to be rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, and fish. A small amount of red wine is also a part of this diet plan. Mediterranean eating patterns reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular events, lower A1C, and triglyceride levels. The Mediterranean diet also ranks high for managing diabetes and heart disease in U.S. News & World Report annual rankings!
Aside from managing your diabetes, a diabetes food guide offers other benefits too, like reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. If you have diabetes, it’s important that you discuss with your doctor or dietician to create an eating plan that works best for you.