September 1, 2021
7 Unknown Advantages of The Diabetes Diet
Managing diabetes means caring about your whole-body health. Following the Diabetes Diet will help lower blood sugar, but it also does so much more. From weight loss to cancer prevention this diet helps from head to toe!
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For people with diabetes, eating right isn’t just a lifestyle choice – it can make the difference between successfully managing this condition or dealing with significant health consequences. One of the primary reasons for this is that a diet designed with diabetes in mind contains limited carbohydrates and other foods that can help reduce blood sugar spikes. As a result, following the Diabetes Diet makes it easier for people to control their blood glucose levels.
Still, this is far from the only health benefit associated with diabetes-friendly diets. Read on for US MED’s list of lesser-known perks that can come with eating the Diabetes Diet.
What is the Diabetes Diet?
Though our discussion of the “Diabetes Diet” may imply that it’s a single, monolithic dietary regimen, that’s not the case. In reality, there are as many Diabetes Diets as there are people with diabetes.
The Diabetes Diet is a combination of a regular, healthy diet with intelligent portion control. That means it includes reasonable levels of healthy fats, proteins, and even carbohydrates. These are the fundamentals, but you’ll need to work with your healthcare provider to develop a diet that’s right for you.
A well-designed Diabetes Diet should benefit your health in ways that can go far beyond blood sugar control. We’ve highlighted a few of the main advantages of these diets below.
Lowers Cancer Risk
Taking steps to lower your cancer risk is essential for everyone, but doing so is indispensable for people with diabetes. This disease comes with an increased risk of developing many types of cancer. Researchers are still unsure why this is the case, but you’ll want to keep it in mind.
Fortunately, the Diabetes Diet can help you counteract this heightened risk. Obesity is also a risk factor for cancer, so losing weight and keeping it off can go a long way towards keeping you cancer-free!
Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
A lowered cancer risk isn’t the only way to lose weight, and sticking to a healthy weight can help you out. According to the CDC, losing just 5-10 percent of your overall body weight can have a noticeably positive impact on your overall health. Thanks to its focus on nutritious foods and portion control, the Diabetes Diet can play a crucial role in helping you lose weight!
Lowers Heart Disease Risk
Research suggests that people who have metabolic syndrome are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This syndrome includes symptoms like hypertension, insulin resistance, and low levels of “good cholesterol.” Along with diabetes, people with metabolic syndrome are considerably more likely to have heart disease.
However, some indications suggest that eating the Mediterranean diet can lower cholesterol while limiting other risk factors for metabolic syndrome. This diet – which combines a considerable amount of fresh fruits and vegetables with balanced amounts of carbs, fats, and proteins – is highly similar to the Diabetes Diet!
Lowers Risk of Stroke
Along with heart disease, diabetes comes with a heightened risk of stroke – up to four times the risk seen in people without diabetes. Heart disease and strokes combined are responsible for the deaths of at least 65 percent of people who have diabetes! Following the Diabetes Diet and getting regular exercise is a great way to reduce the chance that you’ll fall victim to these problems.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure
A whopping 85 percent of people with type 2 diabetes will need treatment for high blood pressure at some point in their lives. Medications can help, but some medications can have undesirable side effects – or even make it more difficult to control blood glucose levels.
Weight loss can help lower blood pressure by roughly one mmHg per kilogram you lose. In a study of overweight people with type 2 diabetes on a low-energy diet similar to the Diabetes Diet, 28 percent of test subjects could discontinue their blood pressure meds for at least two years.
Saves Money (By Reducing Insulin Purchases)
The lean proteins that are a cornerstone of the Diabetes Diet are low in fat and high in nutrition, but they come with other benefits. For instance, these proteins can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin production.
Decreases the Risk Of Diabetes Complications
It’s no surprise that diabetes can have all kinds of unpleasant complications. These can include anything from neuropathy to chronic kidney disease to eye problems. Controlling your diabetes can reduce your risk of developing complications like these, and the Diabetes Diet can help.
Elements of the Diabetes Diet
Though we’ve already given you a rough outline of the Diabetes Diet, you may want to know more about the fundamentals of building a diabetes-friendly diet that works for you. To get started, all you need to do is to create a healthy daily menu that features:
- Fresh produce (vegetables and fruits)
- Lean sources of protein, including plant-based protein
- Low-fat/fat-free dairy products
- Whole grains (especially those high in fiber)
- Unsaturated fats
- Strictly limited amounts of sugar, salt, and “unhealthy” fats
By keeping these elements in mind and taking care to control your portions, you should be well on your way to following the Diabetes Diet. Just one reminder before you get started, though: if you plan to make any significant dietary changes, talk to your healthcare team first!
You Can Diet If You Try It!
Starting a new diet can sound imposing, but the Diabetes Diet isn’t a rigid fad diet. Instead, this diet is highly flexible while offering a wide variety of health benefits.
This article should give you a decent understanding of the Diabetes Diet, but would you like to learn more? If so, US MED can help! Along with our dietary advice, we are proud to offer a selection of recipes written with diabetes in mind.