What you eat plays a crucial role in how well you manage your blood sugar, avoid excess weight gain and prevent other diabetes-related complications. According to U.S. News & World Report, below are six diets endorsed by top health agencies and experts as safe and effective.
The DASH Diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is ranked as one of the top diabetes diets. The DASH Diet emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean protein and low-fat dairy with a reduced salt intake.
The Biggest Loser Diet is based on a simple six-week plan of eating right and incorporating more movement into your daily activities. The claim is that practicing simple techniques like portion control, using a food journal, or eating regular meals can help prevent or reverse diabetes as well as other health problems.
The Engine 2 Diet is plant-based, following claims that animal products threaten your health by clogging your arteries and raising “bad” cholesterol. Plants, conversely, provide the nutrients needed to reverse diabetes symptoms, however, the plan does cut out vegetable oils entirely.
The Flexitarian Diet is the marriage of “flexible” and “vegetarian,” suggesting that you don’t have to completely eliminate meat to reap the health benefits of plant-based foods. Flexitarian eating involves adding food groups to your diet to replace meat, like tofu, beans, lentils, eggs or other sources of protein. There’s a 3-4-5 regimen associated with the diet, where breakfast choices are around 300 calories, lunches are 400, and dinners are 500. Snacks can be about 150 calories each. Total caloric consumption on the Flexitarian Diet is ideally around 1,500 calories, depending on your age, weight, gender and activity level.
The Mayo Clinic Diet revolves around coaching dieters to have lasting healthy habits that help you reverse and avoid diabetes. With a unique food pyramid, you can recalibrate your eating habits to break bad ones and implement new and healthier choices. The claim is that you’ll lose about six to 10 pounds in two weeks, and you’ll continue to lose one to two pounds every week until you hit your goal weight. The thing that sets this diet apart from others is that you don’t count calories, and you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want. Also, no food groups are completely off limits.
The Ornish Diet is a meal plan that emphasizes less saturated fat and cholesterol, which matches the guidelines set forth by the American Diabetes Association. The plan has been found to lower A1C levels in diabetics, which is a positive sign of better blood sugar control. Ornish eating emphasizes a “buy this, not that” methodology, helping dieters to understand that they can start somewhere and work their way up to better choices. Stress-management techniques, exercise, and emotional support are also a part of this diet’s foundation, which is a more holistic approach to disease management and weight loss.