Diabetes is a very serious condition. And it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to find the best diet for diabetes.
This article is not a comprehensive overview of the diabetic diet. However as someone who has lived with diabetes for over 25 years, I’ll offer some diet tips for living well with diabetes.
(I’m assuming that we’re talking mainly about type 2 diabetes for this article however several of the points may also pertain to type 1 diabetics).
First of all, any food or diet that you choose should have 2 goals
#1 Control Your Blood Sugars
Keeping your blood sugars under control is vital to avoiding the long term complications that diabetes can bring.
Diabetes can be scary, especially when you start reading about all the awful complications that can happen to you.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – you are not a victim and you do have some control over the matter. Experts now think that long term diabetic complications are mainly caused by high sugars in the blood.
So if you want to avoid diabetic complications – keep your sugars are close to normal as possible.
A great way to do this is with what you eat. Many foods make your sugars go up. However some foods are worse than others. Sugars, simple carbohydrates and even high glycemic fruits can raise your blood sugar fast.
Lower carbohydrate foods like meat and vegetables, nuts or seeds on the other hand do not raise your sugars as much and can make it much easier for your body to keep sugars stable.
While it’s probably not the best idea to go on a zero carbohydrate diet, keeping your carbs down can help control your sugars. The carbs you do eat should be complex carbs that raise the sugars slowly like oatmeal, beans or brown rice.
#2 Lose Weight
The first thing most doctors will tell a type 2 diabetic to do is to lose weight. Why? Because losing weight will help lessen the strain on your pancreas. It will help your body work better in many things – including helping your insulin to work.
In fact, my father and an uncle of mine both avoided diabetic medication for years, just by losing weight when they were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
While this isn’t the case for everyone, losing weight can certainly help – plus it also will help you keep your sugars under control (see #1 above).
So what’s the best diet for diabetes?
Well, the best diet for a diabetic will keep these 2 goals above in mind. A good nutritionist can go a long way in helping you design a diet to meet these goals.
But the bottom line is you should educate yourself, test your blood sugar before and after you eat and learn what foods work best to help you lose weight and keep sugar readings in a normal range.
If you need some help with losing weight or eating lower carb foods, you can also try a specific diet for diabetes. You can find many formal weight loss programs online that cater specifically to diabetic or lower carb diet needs.
Remember also to consult your doctor before trying any new diet – especially since once you do cut your carbs or lose weight, your blood sugars may start to fall too low and you should adjust your medication accordingly.
Please Note: This article is for information purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat or give medical advice to patients. See your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Kate Fox writes for Diet Reviews offering the latest reviews and tips on popular diet plans.
If you need some help losing weight or eating lower carb foods, you can try a specific diet for diabetics found on the Diabetic Diet Plan page