Diabetes & Weight Loss; Everything one needs to know

Trying to lose weight while managing diabetes? Weight loss can improve blood sugar levels, relieve high blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and reduce medication needs. For many people, losing as little as five per cent of their total body weight can dramatically boost their health.

When considering weight loss options for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, it’s essential to avoid the temptation of a quick fix. For lasting success, one should prioritize nutrition and only aim for changes one can commit to. When it comes to weight loss and diabetes, here’s what one needs to know:

How Diabetes Can Impact Weight Loss

Obesity can cause insulin resistance. People with insulin resistance have a greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. It’s also a significant barrier to long-term blood sugar control. Studies suggest that losing weight can be effective for diabetes management. If one has Type 1 diabetes, a worthy goal is maintaining a healthy weight.

Diabetes-friendly diets:

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet

It’s a nutrition plan that everyone can benefit from, not just those with diabetes. DASH includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also has low amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar.

For instance, if one wants to follow a 1,600-calorie a day DASH plan, this is what they’d eat:

Grains: Six servings.

Vegetables: Three to four servings.

Fruit: Four servings.

Dairy: Two or three servings.

Meat: No more than six servings, each serving being 1 ounce.

Nuts, seeds, beans, or lentils: Three portions every week.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet isn’t a fad or “diet” but rather a lifestyle based on how some people eat in Greece, Italy, and southern France. One should get most of their calories from plant-based foods to follow it successfully. Try and eat:

– Mostly whole grains.

– Vegetables and fruits (minimum 2 cups of each every day).

– Beans instead of animal protein a few times/week.

– Dairy a few times every day.

– Healthy fats every day, like those from seeds, olive oil, nuts, and avocados

– Seafood every week

– Poultry over red meats

– Sweets only a few times per week

Plant-Based Diets

A plant-based diet typically eliminates or dramatically reduces meat.

Vegan diet: Cuts dairy and meat.

Vegetarian diet: Allows eggs and cheese but avoids meat.

Flexitarian diet: Mostly plant-based, with some animal protein added.