Is there a recommended diet for diabetes?
That depends entirely on the individual case. There are no longer any general consumption guidelines for the main nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins). (1) Even if they diabetic you are relatively free to arrange your diet according to your preferences. Some may avoid carbohydrates (low carb), others swear by low-fat foods (low fat). Short-term benefits for losing weight with diabetes are offered by a low-carb diet.(2) The Mediterranean diet with mostly plant-based foods, lots of vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and olive oil is also a good choice for diabetes. (3)
Diabetes diet: the main thing is reduced energy
The experts agree that weight reduction in the case of obesity and diabetes improves the metabolism considerably and thus prevents secondary diseases. (4) Ultimately, the calorie deficit (lower energy intake than consumption) is always decisive for weight loss success. This applies regardless of whether the calories saved come from carbohydrates such as pasta and cereals or fats such as cheese or sausage.
But there are dietary sins with both nutrients. The quality makes the difference. Gummy bears and fruit are both high in carbohydrates – but the fructose in berries and kiwi is of course a much better option. Vegetable fats such as rapeseed oil, olive oil or nuts are more valuable than the animal representatives from meat, sausage and cheese. Exceptions prove the rule: once a week, high-fat fish such as salmon is advisable and preferable to plant-based cocoa butter (chocolate!)!
Worthwhile: diabetic diet for weight loss
The goal of proper nutrition with diabetes is a well-adjusted blood sugar level and thus the avoidance of secondary diseases. If you are diabetic, losing weight is the be-all and end-all. As a result, insulin action and carbohydrate metabolism improve.
To alleviate the symptoms, obese patients are recommended to lose about 15 percent of their weight. (5) Diet and lifestyle changes can help normalize blood sugar levels. Starting the diabetes diet as early as possible is crucial for success. Researchers noticed the effect up to six years after diagnosis. (6)
Every kilo of weight loss brings positive health-promoting effects. (7) Doctors already see a weight loss of five percent as having a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and other associated diseases such as high blood pressure and fatty liver. (8)
Why losing weight with diabetes is so hard
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease. The pancreas secretes more insulin. The hormone regulates the absorption of sugar into the cells and ensures normal blood sugar levels in healthy people.
In type 2 diabetes, the body cells respond poorly to the hormone. As a result, the blood sugar level continues to rise and the organism produces even more insulin. Depending on the meal pattern, insulin circulates in the blood almost continuously. This inhibits fat loss and creates a vicious circle that makes it difficult to lose weight with diabetes.
Patients in particular who receive insulin therapy then often notice that the administration of insulin makes the challenge of losing weight even greater.
Diabetes diet – how to break through insulin resistance
If carbohydrates are not burned through physical activity, they accumulate as fat deposits in internal organs and impair the metabolism. You can easily burn sugar with exercise and sport. This is because carbohydrates are used to generate energy.
As a result, it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. Low levels of the hormone are necessary for a successful diabetic diet. Muscle activity also optimizes insulin action. Even going for a brisk walk after eating improves the blood sugar profile and thus helps on the way to the desired weight. Lace up your hiking boots and run away from diabetes!
Longer breaks between meals are recommended to boost fat burning. When planning your meals, you should take into account that insulin sensitivity differs depending on the time of day. The effect is greatest in the morning and weaker in the evening and at night. This explains why late dinner or midnight snacks are counterproductive in the diet in diabetes. Experts recommend regular meal patterns, evenly spaced throughout the day, including breakfast. (9)
Beneficial foods in the diet in diabetes
Eat a lot…