Diabetes is a condition during which your body cannot process the food that you are consuming. This is followed by high blood sugar levels, which pose a severe threat to your health. In such cases, maintaining your body weight becomes very important. Excessive weight gain and obesity can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar levels, especially diabetes. In most cases, diabetic patients find it too difficult to lose weight as they cannot find the best diet for diabetes.
So you need to eat a healthy diet if you have diabetes and trying to bring your weight under control (1). Choosing the best diet for diabetics will help you keep your weight and blood sugar levels in check. Such a diet will give your body all the essential nutrients to not starve yourself or go for chemical weight loss treatments and pills.
To know precisely how to change your diet or choose the right foods, here is a list of things you need to know.
- DASH: What to eat and what not to
- Best Diets for Diabetic Patients:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Paleolithic Diet
- The Gluten-free Diet
- Vegetarian (Vegan) Diets
Let us begin!
DASH: What to eat and what not to
The dietary approach to stop hypertension is known as DASH. It was created to treat patients suffering from high blood pressure. But, the DASH plan is also useful in reducing the risk of other diseases like Diabetes (2). This plan will help you to lose weight fast and regulate your blood sugar levels. The DASH plan includes some of the best food for diabetes control. These foods focus on portioned meals and eating food items rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Let us look at a list of some of the essential food items included in a DASH plan:
- Nuts, leafy vegetables, fruits
- Low fat or fat-free dairy
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats like vegetable oil
- Protein-rich food like poultry, fish
To chart the best diet for diabetics, then there are certain food items that you need to strike out of your regular diet. Let us look more closely at the list of foods that you must avoid to stay healthy and keep your blood sugar level in check:
- Full-fat dairy
- Food items with a high glycemic load
- Processed grains like pasta or white rice
- Canned food, jams, and food items made with sweeteners
- Food rich in saturated fat and trans fat
- Food items made with flour (3)
Best Diets for Diabetic Patients:
Instead of following the DASH plan in unexpected ways, you can select a diet for yourself. Charting out your diet will help your body get all the nutrients in the best way possible. In the process, you can also enjoy a wide variety of food items in a systematic manner. Continue reading to know more about some of the best diet for diabetics under the DASH plan.
The Mediterranean diet
This type of diet is rich in oleic acid. Oleic acid is a fatty acid found in vegetables and animal-based oils and fats. A Mediterranean diet will help you improve various metabolic processes in your body. This is possible with a reduction of glucose levels in your body. Thus allowing you to lose weight with ease. Some of the best meals for diabetics, which is also rich in oleic acid, are:
- Vegetable oils like olive oil, coconut oil
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts
- Proteins like fatty fish, eggs
- Fruits and Vegetables like cucumbers, artichokes, and beans
The Paleolithic Diet
People who follow the paleo diet believe that modern agriculture is the cause of chronic diseases. This diet only includes food items that our ancestors could also have acquired. Either through hunting or gathering. Paleo diet consists of the best food for diabetes control that will help you lose weight in a steady manner. Apart from that, increasing your insulin sensitivity and improving your heart health (4). Some of the leading food items involved in this diet are:
- Proteins like poultry, fish, and meat
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Nuts like almonds, cashew, walnuts
- Oils like flaxseed oil, avocado oil, olive oil, etc
The Gluten-free diet
A gluten-free diet is the best diet for diabetes among people suffering from various celiac diseases. People following this diet avoid all types of glutinous food to prevent damage to their colon or body. Diabetic patients can also follow this diet to regulate their blood sugar levels (5). Since gluten is generally found in wheat and barley, striking out food grains from your regular diet will help you make it gluten-free. Yet, some processed gluten-free items might have high sugar content, so you must be careful while buying them.
Vegetarian (Vegan) diets
Vegetarian or vegan food items are one of the best foods for diabetes control. Many diabetic patients focus only on vegan diets to moderate their blood sugar levels. In this type of diet, all the nutrients are obtained from plant sources. All kinds of animal products are eliminated in this diet plan. Food items like soy, nuts, beans, dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes are essential components of this diet. Since animal products are not allowed in this diet-scheme, you might miss out on a few crucial nutrients found in fish, eggs, and milk. But, you can gain these nutrients faster through supplements.
Regular exercise and any of the diet plans mentioned above will help you stay healthy. These best meals for diabetes are curated, taking into various health conditions that might arise from diabetes. Adding any of these diets as your regular one will help you lose weight and prevent your sugar levels from rising.
Sophie is a health enthusiast and believes that natural cures are the best cures. She believes that mother nature has cures for almost all diseases and living life holistically is the way forward.
Along with being a writer, Kajal is a health and wellness coach. It is her life’s mission and passion to spread the message of natural and holistic health.