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The Fundamentals of a Healthy Diabetic Diet

Ava Lawson | October 4th, 2012

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A healthy diet is crucial in controlling both Type I and II diabetes, but many experts concur that occasional carbs and sweets are fine, as long as they’re consumed in moderation. Since the primary aim in a diabetic diet is to control blood glucose levels, the glycemic index plays an important part in planning meals, as carbohydrate-dense foods that convert into glucose during digestion are of primary concern when trying to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Physician-assisted diabetic diet plans, like those offered by The Center for Medical Weight Loss, have a proven track record for lasting success in treating both pre diabetes and diabetes with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise that is tailored to each patient’s needs.

“We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin,” reports Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center For Medical Weight Loss, which operates 450 locations across the country. “When patients lose 5% – 10% of their body weight, it is a given that they will reduce their blood sugar significantly; many no longer need medication.”

Diabetes Diet Plan

Diabetics should aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, and nutritional powerhouses like whole grains and vegetables should take center stage in lieu of refined grains such as white bread or white rice.

According to Amy Campbell of the Joslin Diabetes Center, one of the easiest ways to follow a diabetes diet plan with moderate carbs is to have 50 percent of your plate filled with non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, and the other half equally divided between lean protein and high-fiber foods like quinoa and beans.

Diabetic Diet Can Include Occasional Sweets

The good news is that diabetics don’t need to deprive themselves of all delicious sugary treats such as cake or ice cream. Experts agree that occasional sweets are okay, just as long as individuals stay within their healthy carb range, which may mean swapping out a slice of pie for a bowl of pasta in order to keep that in check. Studies have shown that cutting back on total calories in addition to moderating carbs can be just as effective in lowering blood glucose levels.

Reversing Diabetes Through Weight Loss

Totally reversing diabetes through a nutritionally balanced low carb diet is entirely possible in some patients, and those who consume fewer calories show a significant drop in blood sugar levels while enjoying the added benefit of weight loss.

It is estimated that some 57 million Americans suffer from pre diabetes, which also puts them at higher risk for heart disease as well as kidney failure and eye disease if left untreated. According the Diabetes Prevention Program, those who combine a pre diabetes diet with exercise can reduce their chances of developing full-blown diabetes by 58 percent.

Long-term Success with a Pre Diabetes Diet

The most important aspect of any successful diabetic diet plan is that of sustainability, since it’s more of a lifestyle commitment to both healthy eating and exercise.  Sticking to foods that are naturally nutrient rich and low in fats, with an emphasis on whole grains, vegetables and fruits are the fundamentals of a healthy diabetes diet for weight loss.

Doctors at The Center for Medical Weight Loss have produced thousands of successful weight loss stories by customizing a healthy program that can stop diabetes from developing, or help reverse more advanced stages. For more information on the best diabetes diet or to find a Center closest to you, please enter your zip code in the box at the top right. Introductory offers are available at select locations.