Six of the Best Diabetes Diets

It's difficult to talk about diabetes treatment without noting the importance of diet.

What you eat plays a crucial role in how well you can manage your blood sugar, avoid excess weight gain, and prevent other diabetes-related complications.

If you're confused about what you should be eating, check out these six diabetes diets, which are endorsed by top health agencies and experts as safe and effective.

The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is ranked as one of the top diabetes diets. The emphasis of the DASH Diet is whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean protein and low-fat dairy. Free plans are available for helping you determine how many calories you should eat for your age and activity level, as well as where those calories should come from. Another tenet of the DASH diet is to reduce salt intake.

The Biggest Loser Diet

Emphasizing both healthy eating and exercise, The Biggest Loser Diet is based on a simple six-week plan of eating right and incorporating more movement into your daily activities. The claim is that practicing simple techniques like portion control, using a food journal, or eating regular meals can help prevent or reverse diabetes, as well as other health problems. You can choose a Biggest Loser book to follow based on how long you want to be on the diet for, which will include meal plans and fitness tips.

Engine 2 Diet

According to U.S. News and World Report, the Engine 2 Diet comes in third place as one of the best diabetes diets. It's plant-based, following claims that animal products threaten your health by clogging your arteries and raising "bad" cholesterol. Plants, conversely, provide the nutrients needed to reverse diabetes symptoms. The plan cuts out vegetable oils entirely, however. Those who are ready for an immediate diet overhaul can follow the Engine 2 Diet, but there's also a 28-day challenge option that helps dieters gradually eliminate animal products.

The Flexitarian Diet

If you think you could eat "mostly" vegetarian, the Flexitarian Diet might be right for you. "Flexitarian" is the marriage of "flexible" and "vegetarian," suggesting that you don't have to completely eliminate meat to reap the health benefits of plant-based foods. Flexitarian eating involves adding food groups to your diet to replace meat, like tofu, beans, lentils, eggs or other sources of protein. There's a 3-4-5 regimen associated with the diet, where breakfast choices are around 300 calories, lunches are 400, and dinners are 500. Snacks can be about 150 calories each. Total caloric consumption on the Flexitarian Diet is ideally around 1,500 calories, depending on your age, weight, gender and activity level.

The Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic Diet revolves around coaching dieters to have lasting healthy habits that help you reverse and avoid diabetes. With a unique food pyramid, you can recalibrate your eating habits to break bad ones and implement new and healthier choices. The claim is that you'll lose about six to 10 pounds in two weeks, and you'll continue to lose one to two pounds every week until you hit your goal weight. The thing that sets this diet apart from others is that you don't count calories, and you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want. Also, no food groups are completely off limits.

The Ornish Diet

A meal plan that emphasizes less saturated fat and cholesterol, the Ornish Diet matches the guidelines set forth by the American Diabetes Association. The plan has been found to lower A1C levels in diabetics, which is a positive sign of better blood sugar control. Ornish eating emphasizes a "buy this, not that" methodology, helping dieters to understand that they can start somewhere and work their way up to better choices. For example, wheat bread is better than white bread, but sprouted grain bread is better than wheat bread. Stress-management techniques, exercise, and emotional support are also a part of this diet's foundation, which is a more holistic approach to disease management and weight loss.

Source: US News and World Report
Photo credit: phasinphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More Articles

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

More Articles

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

While most physicians will tell you that your blood glucose will not be impacted by a flu shot, anecdotally there are reports of increased...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Experts estimate that somewhere in the world a person with diabetes will lose a lower extremity every half minute due to a wound. One of the...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...