The Diabetes Diet 

The American Diabetes Association recommends that the diabetes diet be "mediterranean" in style. Here I will review the mediterranean diet and some important points for diabetics to follow, make sure to read the entire article.

A globe with the mediterranean focusedThe Mediterranean Part of The World

The Mediterranean diet or diabetes diet (Med Diet)

The Med Diet/Diabetes Diet is a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean, but you don't need to travel any further than to your local supermarket to discover its delicious flavors and fresh fruits. 

It's easy to bring the remarkable health benefits and affordable Mediterranean style of eating to your kitchen cupboards, your refrigerator, your countertops, your stovetop, your oven, and your table every day. Following and embracing the Med Diet is all about making some simple but profound changes in the way you eat today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life. 

What to eat...how often...and how much. 2CreateABody can help you get started with the Med Diet, in just a few easy steps.

An assortment of mediterranean foods which includes a lot of olive oil, bread, olives and tomatoesMediterranean Foods

Why the mediterranean diet? Scientific evidence has shown that:

  • Achieve weight loss and weight management goals with the diabetes diet
  • Lower your risk of Heart Disease and high blood pressure
  • Fight certain cancers and chronic diseases
  • Reduce Asthma
  • Avoid diabetes altogether and subsequent consequences later down the road such as reduced kidney function
  • Resist depression
  • Nuture healthier babies 
  • Ward off Parkinson's disease

Evidence was apparent in a study that had a median follow-up of 4.0 years, the diabetes incidence was 10.1% with patients on the Med Diet with olive oil, 11.0% in patients on the Med Diet with nuts (30g/day) and 17.9% in the group that wasn't on a diet. The patients that weren't on the Med Diet were on a low-fat diet.

This proves that the Med Diet is more effective than a low-fat diet in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

There are 8 steps to follow with the Med diet and there is a food pyramid that sums it up.

Step 1. Eat lots of vegetables with the diabetes diet. From a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and topped with crumbled feta cheese to stunning salads, garlicky greens, fragrant soups and stews, healthy pizzas, or oven-roasted medleys and vegetables are vitally important to the fresh tastes and delicious flavors of the Med Diet.Try to fill half your plate with them at lunch and dinner.

Step 2. Change the way you think about meat. If you eat meat, have smaller amounts. For example, add small strips of sirloin to a vegetable saute, or garnish a dish of pasta with diced prosciutto. As a main course, have smaller portions (3 ounces or less) of chicken or lean meat. 

Step 3. Always eat breakfast. Start your day with fiber-rich foods such as fruit and whole grains that can keep you feeling pleassantly full for hours. Layer granola, yogurt, and fruit, or mash half an avocado with a fork and spread it on a slice of whole grain toast.

Step 4. Eat seafood twice a week. Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, and sardines are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish including mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health. 

Step 5. Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and heighten the flavor with fragrant herbs and spices. When one night feels comfortable, try two nights a week.

Step 6. Use good fats. Includes sources of healthy fats in daily meals, especially extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados. 

Step 7. Enjoy some dairy products. Eat Greek or plain yogurt, and try small amounts of a variety of cheeses. 

Step 8. For dessert, eat fresh fruit. Choose from a wide range of delicious fresh fruits--from fresh figs and oranges to pomegranates, grapes and apples. Instead of daily ice cream or cookies, save sweets for a special treat or celebration.

For mediterranean diet recipes see here 

The mediterranean food pyramid helps you remember what's important in case you forget...

A pyramid showing what portions of the right foods are needed in the mediterranean diet.The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

The Mediterranean Diet pyramid

Look for more ways to be active. Good food alone isn't enough to live a healthy life. 

Cooking and enjoying the pleasures of the table with family and friends contribute to good health.

Every day, eat mostly whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts and peanuts, and healthy fats such as those found in olive oil. These are the core Med Diet foods you will shop for, prepare, and eat most often. 

At least twice a week, eat fish and seafood, the best sources of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3s.

Yogurt, cheese, poultry, and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean diet, in reasonable portion sizes.

Red meat and sweets, at the top of the pyramid, are "sometimes" foods to eat less often. 

Wine and water are the typical beverages of the Med Diet. If you drink wine, enjoy moderate amounts: up to one glass per day for women, two for men. And drink water throughout the day. 

Click here for mediterranean diet recipes.

Supplementation for diabetes management

There isn't evidence that is clearly presented that suggests vitamin or mineral supplementation in diabetes (such as a multivitamin) should be used. 

There is concern related to safety and efficacy for the use of antioxidants such as vitamin E, C and carotene. It is advised that these not be taken. 

For the prevention of cardiovascular disease in diabetes, supplementation with EPA and DHA (found in fish oil) is not recommended. 

In addition there insufficient evidence for the use of micronutrients such as chromium, magnesium and vitamin D to improve glucose control in diabetes, do not use. 

You should strive to meet the daily allowance of all micronutrients in your daily food choices.

Other guideline based recommendations for diabetics from the American Diabetics Association.

Alcohol consumption should only be done in moderation. That means one drink per day or less for adult women and two drinks per day or less for adult men. 

The concern is that alcohol may place diabetics at an increased disk for delayed low blood glucose, especially if taking insulin or insulin secretagogues (glyburide, glipizide, glimepiride, repaglinide and nateglinide).

Appropriate for diabetics and the general population is a reduction of sodium in the diet to less than 2300 mg/day. If you currently have hypertension with diabetes, further reduction in sodium may be necessary. 

Adults with diabetes should engage in physical activity with a minimum amount of 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (50-70% of maximum heart rate), spread over at least 3 days/week with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise. If vigorous aerobic exercise is undertaken, get a minimum of 75 min/week. 

In addition, if you can, you should perform resistance training (weight lifting) at least twice per week.

Click Here for more information about this diet,  This is highly recommended!

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