Healthy Alternatives to Live Fad-Diet Free

Fad diets have romanticized the idea that following specific food rules can shed off unwanted pounds and vow that they’ll never return. At one point or another, we have all tried one. Maybe even succeeded? But the results were probably short-lived. In case you missed “Debunking Fad Diets for Folks with Diabetes,” it gives the rundown on how to spot and avoid falling into the fad diet trap. Instead, learn how to choose the right diet for you — such as with these diabetes-friendly lifestyle options!

Healthy diets that get a stamp of approval for type 2 diabetes

A key component of long-term success is sustainability. Reap the benefits of these fabulous lifestyles to help better manage your diabetes. Also choose a fab diet, over a fad!

Mediterranean diet

Let your lifestyle take you on a worldly and multicultural adventure. Embrace the eating habits of those who are surrounded by the Mediterranean to better your health. This particular diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. It sounds like Mother Nature at her best! It is high in hearty fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular complications that are common amongst people with diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is also high in omega-3s — a heart-healthy and brain-boosting nutrient that has been shown to lower the risk of depression in people with diabetes.1

In fact, it was found that people following the Mediterranean diet were 30% less likely to have depression.1 This lifestyle improves the health of the body AND the mind! Check out my fab-diet of an entire day of mouth-watering Mediterranean meals and get the low-down on omega 3s, diabetes, and depression.

DASH diet

Let food be thy medicine with the DASH diet! The “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension” is a lifestyle that promotes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, and vegetable oils. Much like the Mediterranean diet, it limits the consumption of added or refined sugars and foods high in saturated fats. It also emphasizes a 2300mg sodium limit, which aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.2

Consequently, as its name indicates, the DASH diet is a heart-healthy way to help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, common complications associated with diabetes. Research has shown that the DASH diet improved the blood lipid profile, hemoglobin A1C, and fasting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.3 Check out 3 simple ways to DASH to better health with my adjustable 1800-2000 calorie sample day of meals for diabetes.

ADA diabetes plate

This eating plan utilizes a plate visual that helps encourage a healthy and balanced diet. It enables food independence while equally promoting appropriate portion consumption. The ADA Diabetes Plate suggests that half of a 9-inch diameter plate should be composed of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber, greens, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and more. A quarter of the plate is filled with lean proteins with poultry, fish, seafood, soy, or legumes. Finally, the remaining quarter consists of hearty carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and more.4

Pair this tasty and nutritious meal with water or a low-calorie drink such as unsweetened tea or coffee, club soda, or fruit infusions.4 Combination meals such as sandwiches, casseroles, or chilis can still fit into the ADA Diabetes Plate method but require a little extra imagination to determine if the appropriate ingredient proportions are met. Give it a try! If you’re looking for a good cookbook on this method, I recommend The Create-Your-Plate Diabetes Cookbook: A Plate Method Approach to Simple, Complete Meals.

Healthy eating is an individualized process

There isn’t any “one size fits all” approach to health or diabetes management. Work with your dietitian or physician to find a lifestyle that helps you live your best life. Take steps to distinguish what’s credible nutrition science as you explore healthy options. While you experiment with different approaches, be sure to keep an extra close eye on your blood glucose levels to assess their appropriateness. With a little patience, you will find a suitable diet for your lifestyle, nutrient needs, and food preferences. Keep calm and experiment on!

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