The Best Diet for Diabetes

Each year for the past seven years US News consults with a panel of nationally recognized experts in diet and nutrition to rank popular eating plans (diets). For 2017 a total of 38 different eating plans were included in the evaluation, and each diet ranked not only in an “overall” category, but also in several subcategories such as best “diabetes diet”, best “heart healthy diet”, best “weight loss diet”, etc. You can review explanations and the entire set of rankings at this link to US News.

DASH and Mediterranean diet

I always encourage people with diabetes to look carefully at this information because it confirms something very important about the infamous “diabetes diet” – that is, there isn’t one. In fact, for as long as I can remember (maybe since the first year) the US News experts have selected as the “best diabetes diet” an eating plan that was developed by the National Institutes of Health and proven effective in clinical trials – to reduce blood pressure. Yes, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was selected AGAIN as the best diet for diabetes (and the “best overall diet” and the “best heart healthy diet” and the “best diet for healthy eating”). On a similar note, the Mediterranean Diet was selected #2 for diabetes, #2 for best overall, #2 for healthy eating, #4 for heart healthy and #1 for easiest diet to follow.

Both the DASH and Mediterranean eating plans are “generic.” That is, both are simply plans to help you select the best regular foods from your favorite regular grocery – no memberships, no mail order, no celebrity advocates. And in that regard, both eating plans highlight one important aspect of diabetes self-management – it’s all about the choices you make. There is no magic key to success, but I encourage you to spend a little time reviewing the key elements of these two eating plans.

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