Types of Diabetes-friendly Diets to Help You Lose Weight

Diabetes diet

If you have tried a gazillion different ways of keeping your weight and blood sugar in control consistently and you blew it, there is a possibility you are doing it all wrong.

Diabetes diets aren’t short term plans based on losing weight and cutting out anything with the word sugar in it. They are sustainable long-term plans that focus on quality food for diabetes control and help you lose weight as an added benefit. Not every diabetes diet plan will work. So don’t lose heart every time you fall off the wagon. Coordinate with your diabetes doctor and your dietician to achieve weight loss and diabetes control.

Here are five diets types from around the world…

Low-Carb Diet

You have probably heard about this tons of times, it’s a classic. When you’re trying to keep your sugar under control, it makes sense to avoid the carbs altogether, at least in theory. The key though is to keep it low with those carbs. You don’t want your energy dwindling to nothing. This diet ensures you need lesser diabetes medication/insulin. Breads, rice, pasta, potatoes – they’ll have to go, at least more often. Broccoli, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds – let’s get more of those on your plate.

Benefits of Low-Carb Diet for people with diabetes:

  • Higher intake of protein satiates hunger better than a diet with refined carbohydrates and added sugars
  • Low-carb diets are proven to improve blood sugar control
  • They are known to assist in weight loss
  • They are also known to reduce dependence on diabetes medications
  • Reducing bad carbs and opting for healthy carbs helps in reducing blood pressure and promotes heart health
  • Low-carb diet may even reduce LDL cholesterol levels

Risks of Low-Carb Diet for people with diabetes:

  • Long term efficacy of low carb diets are still in question
  • Chance of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels increases
  • This diet is not suitable for people with kidney and heart conditions

Ketogenic Low-Carb Diet

Ketogenic diet is a low carb, minimal protein, and high-fat diet that relies on nutritional ketone production. It coaxes your body into sourcing its energy from burning fat and thereby producing the energy fuel that goes by the name of ketones. All you need is less than 30 gm. of carbs and additional fats through the day. It brings down the body’s ask for insulin, thereby helping with diabetes management. On the diet, plant and animal fats make up a large portion of your calories. While the Keto grazes the idea of the low-carb diet, it the protein and fat consumption numbers vary widely.

Benefits of Ketogenic Low-Carb Diet for people with diabetes:

  • This diet depends heavily on 4:1 ratio of consumption. With four parts of fats and one part of carbohydrates and protein combined, exclusion of high carbohydrates reduces blood sugar levels.
  • They are known to reduce HbA1c levels in some people.
  • As a result of blood sugar level reduction, the need for diabetes medication may also reduce in some people.
  • Since this diet mainly depends upon metabolizing fats (ketosis), it is known to reduce weight in some people.

Risks of Ketogenic Low-Carb Diet for people with diabetes:

Not all people are suitable for Ketogenic Low Carb diets. Possible side effects of this diet include short term and long term.

Short term side effects of Ketogenic Low-Carb Diet:
  • Leg cramps
  • Lethargy
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Possible hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Lack of concentration
Long term side effects of Ketogenic Low-Carb Diet:
  • Possible development of kidney stones
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Frequent fractures due to acidosis

Vegetarian Diet

If you’re teetering on the edge of going vegetarian to lose weight, we have got some backup motivation. This diet essentially eliminates the spike in protein and the insulin resistance that is a result of gluconeogenesis. It just opens a mighty big window of opportunities in terms of what variation you can choose when you’re on this diet. If you fancy dairy and eggs, you can go ovo-lacto. But if you have a never-ending love for seafood, you might want to consider the Pescatarian. If pasta, breads, and potatoes are your jam, then you’ll be happy to know that most people that have been on the diet, consume them. It helps with not hating on the D-word. On this diet, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes typically dominate your dishes.

Vegan Diet

Apparently, it’s not just good for the environment and your weight. A vegan a.k.a a plant-based diet, keeps everything remotely attached to an animal off your plate. That includes meat, dairy, and eggs. You get your protein from plant sources and it often translates to better insulin sensitivity. It works like this, when you eat vegan, your diet automatically weighs down on the saturated fats and cholesterol. But it performs a balancing act by including protein and fibre, thereby helping you get a hold of your blood glucose levels.

Mediterranean Diet

The nonchalant, salty air of the Mediterranean and its popular diet – Rich in fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and seafood, Mediterranean diet is known to have many heart-healthy properties. It is known to reduce your risk of heart diseases and improve insulin sensitivity. This diet is low in saturated fats, it’s full of flavors and aroma providing hunger satiation. It is known to assist blood sugar control, reduce risk of cancer and heart diseases. However, while following a Mediterranean diet, one might need calcium supplementation as it does not include many dairy products. One should also regulate the intake of the total fat consumption.

Meal Planning with Carbohydrate Counting

This is more of an insulin treatment plan if you ask us. You don’t have to nit-pick your nutrients for this one. You simply adjust insulin dosage by doing the math on the carbs you have consumed. Now while it is a little complicated, with some general knowledge and practice you’ll be good to go.

You might have to swing from diet to diet because each one of us respond differently to different diabetes diets. It’s about giving them a chance. Just have a chat with your diabetes doctor or even your folks who might be on some kind of diabetes diet to see how they’re doing and if it appeals to you. You could even try personalized meal plans. The options are endless. Should you have any qualms, drop in at one of our clinics and we’ll be glad to help. It’s ultimately about finding out what works for you and seeing yourself through like you know you can!