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Managing Diabetes with a Healthy Diet

Approximately 22 million Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean that all 22 million are suffering from the disease. Some have learned how to manage their diabetes with a healthy diet, and as a result have  lost weight, eliminated their reliance on insulin, and forged a path to healthier, happier living.

A diabetes diet is an easy tool to lose weight quickly and effectively, and can help diagnosed diabetics manage their insulin levels naturally – and assist America’s 57 million pre-diabetics to avoid ever developing the disease.

Diet can help control blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot adequately produce enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, sugar (glucose) accumulates in a person’s bloodstream, a condition known as hyperglycemia. High blood sugar can lead to infections, sores, heart disease, organ failure and other serious health problems. Diet and exercise are the first line of defense against this serious and chronic disease, and can help patients avoid or eliminate the use of insulin and other medications to treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

How to manage diabetes with a healthy diet

Managing diabetes with a healthy diet begins with a solid understanding of the glycemic index. This index measures a food’s influence on blood glucose levels, and therefore allows diabetics and pre-diabetics to choose foods that will help them maintain a steady blood sugar level – the goal is to avoid spikes and drops. For example, since carbohydrates (especially white carbs) can cause extreme fluctuations in blood sugar, foods like bread and pasta have a higher glycemic index rating.

There are a variety of diabetes diets, and many are based on modified version of today’s hottest weight loss plans, including the DASH diet, the Volumetrics Diet, and physician-assisted weight loss programs. Physician-directed diabetes diet programs, like those through The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL), the largest network of weight loss physicians in the United States, have been shown to be effective in the treatment of diabetes with a healthy diet and exercise plan.

According to Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer of The Center For Medical Weight Loss, “We see diabetic patients all the time who lose weight and no longer need insulin.”

Best diabetes diet

There is no silver bullet or quick secret to managing diabetes: the key is healthy food choices and regular exercise. For most patients, this means cutting their calorie intake by about 500 calories and maintaining a general calorie ratio of 15% protein, 30% fat, and 55% carbohydrates. Diabetics should also eat the “right” kind of carbs, namely complex carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables that help avoid sudden surges in blood glucose levels.

Patients who manage their diabetes with a healthy diet should be under the care of a physician. A doctor will help patients monitor their blood sugar levels, and will watch carefully to see how weight loss has affected a diabetic’s body chemistry.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss operates 450 clinics nationwide, all staffed by physicians who are skilled and experienced at helping patients achieve diabetes management through healthy diet and weight loss. They have produced thousands of diabetes and weight loss success stories.

To find out if there is a Center near you, simply plug your zip code into the box at the top right. Introductory offers are available to new patients at some locations.