January 26, 2022
There is no "one" diet for diabetes or prediabetes. There are several eating plans that can help manage blood sugars or reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
The key is finding a plan that meets your needs and preferences. Will there be a cake and pizza plan? No, but you can absolutely learn to include and appreciate your favorite treats on a healthy eating plan.
A variety of eating patterns (combinations of different foods or food groups) are acceptable for the management of diabetes. What should be part of an eating plan for diabetes:
Side note: if you live in the St. Louis area, we have a local company who makes delicious meals like that, ready to eat. Check out Fit Flavors for healthy, fresh meals on the go. My current favorite is the Buffalo Turkey Burger. They also ship around the area!
Because every body is truly unique, an eating plan that makes you feel great and get results, might do the opposite for someone else. The biggest factor in reaching diabetes health and wellness goals is to be consistent. There are likely several eating plans that will help you get equal results. Consider excerpts from these reports below in narrowing down the best plan for you.
A 12-week study comparing 30% versus 15% energy from protein noted improvements in weight, fasting glucose, and insulin requirements in the group that consumed 30% energy from protein.
Reducing overall carbohydrate intake for individuals with diabetes has demonstrated the most evidence for improving glycemia (blood sugar) and may be applied in a variety of eating patterns that meet individual needs and preferences.
For select adults with type 2 diabetes not meeting blood sugar targets or where reducing diabetes medications is a priority, reducing overall carbohydrate intake with low- or very low carbohydrate eating plans is a viable approach.
—From Diabetes Care, 2019: Nutrition Therapy for Adults With Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report
“The benefits of all types of vegetarian diets in the prevention and treatment of diabetes have been well established. Clinicians and healthcare providers should feel confident in recommending a vegetarian diet to their patients who have pre-diabetes or T2DM. However, the type of foods that should be consumed while following this diet is critical to achieve the therapeutic effects. As Satija et al. demonstrated, a vegetarian diet that is high in unhealthy foods such as refined grains, saturated fats, and added sugars is positively associated with T2DM compared to a vegetarian diet with lower amounts of these nutrients.”
—From Current Diabetes Reports, 2018: Vegetarian Diets and the Risk of Diabetes. Melissa D. Olfert and Rachel A. Wattick
“…the Mediterranean diet has been shown to decrease HbA1c levels compared to a control group (such as low-fat diet and low-carbohydrate diet). On the other hand, vegan and low glycemic index diets also improve HbA1c levels.”
—From Nutrients: Mediterranean Diet Effects on Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, Disease Progression, and Related Mechanisms. A Review. Sandra Martín-Peláez, Montse Fito, and Olga Castaner
As you see in the reports, there are several “right” eating plans for diabetes. The key is finding the best one for you. Work with a dietitian, diabetes educator to learn how.
September 13, 2022