Diabetic Weight Loss Diet is the diet specially designed to help persons with diabetes maintain proper control on their blood glucose levels and also achieve some amount of weight loss while supplying adequate nutrition to meet daily needs. Weight loss among diabetics is linked with numerous benefits, most importantly reducing risk factors associated with complications of this disease. Thus the Diabetic Weight Loss Diet aims at reducing both an individual’s blood sugar levels as well as body weight in order to prevent further damage to the body’s vulnerable tissues.
Features of Diabetic Weight Loss Diet
- The Diabetic Weight Loss Diet Plan needs to be highly personalized considering an individual’s weight, height, current blood sugar status, physical activity, lifestyle, treatment modality and the ability to retain proper blood sugar control.
- Clearly, simple sugars need to be totally avoided as they bring about uninhibited peaking of blood glucose. Triglyceride levels tend to be raised which eventually get stored as fat in the body. Only complex carbohydrates can form part of the Diabetic Weight Loss Diet as they provide essential fibre that produces the feeling of satiety. Green leafy vegetables, certain fruits, whole grain cereals, whole wheat flours etc. are good sources of complex carbohydrates and do not cause unnecessary rise in blood sugar levels.
- Saturated fat and cholesterol intake must be avoided as these could cause atherosclerosis that increases the risk of cardiovascular concerns. Unsaturated fats that help improve the lipid profile such as essential fatty acids like the omega-3 fatty acids need to be supplied through this diet.
- Proteins from a high quality source such as egg whites, lean meat, fish such as salmon, skinless poultry and soy products for vegetarians makes an essential part of the diabetic diet.
- Certain nuts and seeds like walnuts and almonds may be included to provide not only proteins but also vitamins, minerals and certain healthy fats.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements may be added to the diet as advised by medical practitioner.
- Smaller and frequent meals may be able to assist in the weight loss process and also ensure that blood sugar levels are not unduly elevated by consuming larger quantities at a single meal. This keeps the person from feeling hungry and also improves metabolism.
Benefits of the Diabetic Weight Loss Diet
- It is common knowledge that getting rid of excess body fat will only help lower blood glucose levels.
- If the diet is able to bring down blood glucose levels suitably, the dependence on drugs and medications may be reduced to some extent.
- Weight loss by way of such a diet can help improve not only blood sugar levels but also blood pressure and lipid profile as studies have reported improvement in these and other parameters with even slight weight loss. BMI- Body Mass Index can be used as a tool to measure the ideal weight an individual must target.
- Limiting carbohydrate intake and including mainly complex carbohydrates, essential proteins and limited fats in the diet can result in slow and steady weight loss keeping realistic targets which are achievable.
- An individual would experience increase in energy levels with an initial weight loss which could improve his/her activity levels and that would translate into burning more calories, presenting further scope for weight loss.
Finally, the ultimate goal of the Diabetic Weight Loss Diet is to enable diabetics to maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range, providing all essential nutrients and adequate calories, while engaging in suitable exercises that aid in weight loss.
A good practice for diabetics would be to regularly monitor blood glucose levels using a glucometer at home. Monitoring the post meal blood glucose levels would help to determine risk for diabetic complications. Other than fasting and post prandial blood sugar levels, glycosylated haemoglobin- HbA1C levels can provide an indication of the level of blood sugar control over the past 3 months.