- Adopting a wholesome, plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of diabetes and regulate it if already diagnosed.
- Transitions to a healthy diet can guard against diabetes, potentially even without weight loss.
- Nutritional quality of fats and carbs matters more than their quantity. Whole grains, fish and poultry, and plant-based fats are better choices for preventing diabetes and supporting heart health.
- The Mediterranean diet, low-glycemic index diet, moderately low carbohydrate diet, and vegetarian diet are some structured plans that can be tailored to individual preferences and needs.
- Even after a diabetes diagnosis, dietary changes can still be beneficial. The Joslin’s “Why WAIT” program shows that a low-carb diet and regular physical activity can reduce the amount of required diabetes medication.
Diabetes has surged to become an international health concern. Nevertheless, you can serve as your own defense by adopting and maintaining a more beneficial diet. Remarkably, this same diet can also help regulate diabetes if you are already living with it.
Plant-Based foods that decrease your risk
Health experts, including those from the distinguished Joslin Diabetes Center and the renowned Harvard School of Public Health, have pinpointed certain foods that are instrumental in reducing the risk factor for diabetes. These include green leafy vegetables, oat cereals, dairy products including yogurt, grapes, apples, blueberries, and walnuts. Unexpectedly making the list are also coffee and decaffeinated java.
Importance of Diet Shift over Weight Loss
While weight loss is frequently recommended for individuals with a higher body mass index, the researchers also observed that simply transitioning to a more beneficial diet can effectively guard against diabetes – and this can be achieved without necessarily losing weight.
Quality over Quantity
The researchers showed that the nutritional quality of your fats and carbs counts more than the quantity. This implies that opting for whole grain products instead of refined ones and limiting processed carbs in your diet will make a difference. Simultaneously, choosing poultry and fish over red and processed meats, and selecting plant-based fats over animal-based ones not only can shield against diabetes but can boost heart health as well.
In an effort to further enrich your diet, incorporate more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Conversely, it is wise to limit alcohol intake and to completely avoid sugary drinks and foods.
Dietary Plans that May Be Adaptable to You
Should you find it beneficial to follow a structured plan, there are several health-promoting diets that can be modified according to your personal preferences and caloric requirements. Some starting points are:
Low-glycemic index diet
Moderately low carbohydrate diet
Dietary Changes Are Never Too Late, Even Post-Diabetes Diagnosis
Even if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to remember that it’s not too late to use diet in your favor. Participants who enrolled in Joslin’s “Why WAIT” program, which promotes a low-carb diet complemented with regular physical activity, were not only successful in losing weight but also managed to maintain it. Additionally, they were able to significantly decrease the amount of diabetes medication required.
For additional details, click here to learn more about the Joslin’s “Why WAIT” program and other ways you can prevent or manage diabetes by making lifestyle modifications.