Diet is an effective tool for managing diabetes, and weight loss can help people who are overweight, to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The diets rated here were each evaluated on their ability to both prevent and manage diabetes. The Dash Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet came out on top as the two Best Diets for People with Diabetes.
The Mediterranean Diet
With its emphasis on fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet has been called “the world’s most sensible diet”.
Research suggests that the benefits of following a Mediterranean-style diet plan can be abundant; including improved weight loss, better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression, to name just a few. Eating “Mediterranean style” has also been suggested to lower levels of inflammation, a primary risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
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The Dash Diet
Tied for the top spot with the Mediterranean Diet for Best Diets for People with Diabetes, is the Dash Diet.
The word “DASH” in the name ‘Dash Diet’ stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or reducing your intake of salt (sodium). Doing so will lower blood pressure, but combining both will provide the biggest benefit.
The DASH Diet can easily be part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes. It emphasizes whole grains, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and is low in saturated and trans fats. The DASH diet holds the #1 (ties with the Mediterranean diet) in Best Diets Overall.
The DASH Diet plan used in studies calls for a certain number of daily servings from various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on your own personal caloric needs.
The Flexitarian Diet
Flexitarian is a marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian. The term was coined more than a decade ago, and in her book, “The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life,” registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner says you don’t have to completely eliminate meat to get health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian for the most part, but still have a burger or steak when the craving hits you.