What is the Best Diet for Diabetes? | 7 Diets to Benefit Diabetes

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, one of the first things you need to do is to start eating healthy. Many times diabetes arises from poor eating habits. It’s all about diet and exercise. So, what is the best diet for diabetes?

7 – Diets to Choose for Your Diabetes

It’s important to choose a diet plan that fits you the best. With any diet, you must watch your calories, stay away from junk foods, sugary foods, fatty and salty foods, and fried foods.

Portion sizes are important as well, along with keeping track of what you eat. You can do well against diabetes if you know what to do. That’s what I am trying to do here, help you. So let me introduce you to what I feel are the 7 best diets for a diabetic.

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1) Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet

You can’t change the fact that foods that are bad for your health are available now. It seems that they are staring you in the face everywhere. But the change we can make is to avoid them and begin eating like the cave people did so long ago.

And knowing what eating the wrong foods can do to your health is incentive enough to change your eating lifestyle permanently.

Losing weight is a major factor with any health issues but especially with diabetes. Staying away from refined sugars and processed foods is a must for diabetics.

Experts in the field of nutrition declare that by eating a more natural diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and animal products will result in a much healthier body and lifestyle which is what the Paleo Diet offers.

Some of the Benefits of the Paleo Diet are:

  • Losing weight
  • Your energy levels improve
  • Building stronger muscles
  • Improving your digestion
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Better sleeping
  • Significantly improve the health of your brain
  • Help control cholesterol level
  • Building a stronger immune system
  • Lessens anxiety and depression

Foods to Eat:

  • Fruits in moderation, but mostly non starchy vegetables: cabbage, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, lettuce
  • Healthy fats
  • Fish and fresh lean meats
  • Seeds and nuts: pistachios, cashews, almonds, walnuts, but NOT peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Oils such as coconut oil and olive oil

Foods That Are Off Limits:

  • Salt
  • Refined sugars
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Wheat
  • Beans
  • Peanuts

2) DASH Diet

Dash Diet

DASH stands fоr “Diеtаrу Aррrоасhеѕ tо Stop Hypertension.” Itѕ рrimаrу аim is tо lower blооd pressure. Diаbеtеѕ аnd high blооd pressure tend tо gо hаnd-in-hаnd: Mоrе thаn hаlf of аll adults with diаbеtеѕ have hуреrtеnѕiоn.

Every diet is about healthy eating and the Dash Diet is no different. This diet is based on low-fat dairy, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits, and lean meats.

On the Dash Diet you have limitations when it comes to red meat, drinks and foods with sugar, and sodium. Salt is a big issue and must be cut back on the diet as well. If you’re a diabetic, you’ll be lowering your fat intake, but adding additional unsaturated fats including seeds, avocados, nuts, and oils. This will boost your energy and help to control your blood glucose levels.

Below is a Liѕt of Hеаlth Benefits оf The Dаѕh Diet:

  • Lowers уоur blood pressure
  • Have healthier сhоlеѕtеrоl lеvеlѕ
  • Enjоу healthy wеight mаintеnаnсе
  • Lowers уоur riѕk оf dеvеlорing оѕtеороrоѕiѕ
  • Hаvе hеаlthiеr kidnеуѕ
  • Mоrе рrоtесtion frоm сеrtаin саnсеrѕ
  • Ability tо рrеvеnt diabetes
  • Avoid fееling hungrу
  • Fееl and look уоungеr
  • Enjоу imрrоvеd mental hеаlth
  • Bеnеfit frоm ѕtrоngеr brаin funсtiоn
  • Reduce your risk оf dеvеlорing hеаrt diѕеаѕе
  • Hаvе a healthier lifestyle

3) Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Rеѕеаrсh ѕhоwѕ thе hеаrt-hеаlthу Mеditеrrаnеаn diеt iѕ аlѕо bеnеfiсiаl fоr реорlе with tуре 2 diаbеtеѕ. Find оut hоw thiѕ аррrоасh саn imрrоvе уоur blооd ѕugаr аnd hеlр уоu lоѕе wеight.

Fоllоwing a Mеditеrrаnеаn diеt саn hеlр реорlе with tуре 2 diаbеtеѕ imрrоvе blооd ѕugаr соntrоl аnd lоѕе wеight, аll thе whilе ѕаtiѕfуing thе tаѕtе budѕ with frеѕh, flаvоrful ingrеdiеntѕ.

Thе diеt whiсh gеtѕ itѕ nаmе frоm thе trаditiоnаl еаting аnd сооking раttеrnѕ оf реорlе in соuntriеѕ bоrdеring thе Mеditеrrаnеаn Sеа hаѕ lоng bееn ѕtudiеd fоr itѕ hеаrt hеаlth bеnеfitѕ, but rеѕеаrсh аlѕо ѕuggеѕtѕ thiѕ аррrоасh саn оffеr аdvаntаgеѕ fоr реорlе living with tуре 2 diаbеtеѕ.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

  • Fооd Iѕ Rеаllу Frеѕh
  • Nо Cаlоriе Cоunting
  • Yоu Cаn Hаvе Whole Grain Brеаd
  • Fаt Iѕn’t Fоrbiddеn
  • Thе Mеnu Iѕ Hugе
  • Thе Sрiсеѕ Arе Dеliсiоuѕ
  • It’ѕ Eаѕу tо Mаkе
  • Yоu Cаn Hаvе Winе
  • Yоu Wоn’t Bе Hungrу
  • Yоu Cаn Lоѕе Wеight
  • Yоur Hеаrt Will Thаnk Yоu
  • Yоu’ll Stау Shаrреr Lоngеr

4) Mayo Clinic Diet

Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet

According to the Mayo Clinic it is a diabetes diet creating a healthy eating plan to help control your blood sugar. In their terms they explain it as a diet that in very simple terms means eating the healthiest foods but only in moderate portions and keeping strictly to regular mealtimes. I think this makes perfect sense.

The diabetes diet entails having three meals daily at regular times. The reason for this is that it will help the body use insulin better either through a medication or through the body producing it.

Your doctor will recommend that you meet with a registered dietitian so together you can plan a diet based on your particular lifestyle and health goals.

Part of this plan can include how much exercise you should be doing and what your meal portions sizes should be. Most likely your portions will be less than what you’ve been used to.

The plan will be to manage your weight, and control your risks for heart disease including high blood fats and high blood pressure and of course to control your blood sugar. I just think that’s obvious that you accomplish this with keeping track on what you’re eating and making the correct healthy food choices.

Pros:

  • Eat only when you’re hungry
  • 3 easy to follow step by step sections
  • Based on doctors research and their recommendations on eating
  • Views of many doctors who are Mayo clinic experts
  • There is no need for a calculator or scale
  • Provides many examples and motivation
  • Sensible ways to stop habits that are self defeating
  • Breaks down diabetes and how important it is to change immediately

Cons:

  • May not work for everyone with diabetes

5) Intermittent Diet

Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes

Intermittent fasting may be a better choice for non-diabetics. It’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for you if you have diabetes, but if you choose it, you must consider two extremely important things.

First that your doctor approves and second which plan you choose. You should only be eating healthy foods and as much as you need to stay healthy and maintain your blood glucose levels.

I cannot stress enough how vital it is to start any intermittent fasting plan with professional supervision and something that makes sense.

You must control your blood sugars and check them at home frequently. Your medications should be looked at and if the doctor feels that they must be adjusted then he or she will do so.

If you are one who is taking insulin, it is vital to monitor your blood sugar and what you’re eating. You can become a greater risk of low blood sugar and confusion, seizures, dizziness, or even possibly death!

After many years of extensive research, intermittent fasting and the restriction of calories have proven results with:

Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting

12/12 Plan

Let’s start with the starter’s or beginner’s type. This is probably what most folks are doing right now without even thinking about it. You eat for 12 hours and fast for 12 hours. (Makes sense, right?) If you get up in the morning at 8 and stop eating at 8 at night then you’ve got a lot of experience with this plan!

16/8 Plan

With this particular method, you’re fasting for an entire 16 hours each day and have a time period of just 8 hours of eating. With only 8 hours of eating, you’re most likely having two or maybe three meals. There are many on this plan that don’t have breakfast but still do not eat too late in the evening.

20/4 Plan

This is in the serious zone now. It’s a whole 20 hours of not eating and you only have 4 hours to eat. You will have one meal, possibly two and that’s extremely difficult. (At least for me it is)

5:2 Plan

This type goes from day to day. You are doing alternate day fasting. For 5 days you can eat whatever you desire and the other 2 days you are restricted to 500 calories each day. Whoa!

Eat-stop-eat plan

This one is NOT one for me I admit. Similar to the above plan, but it’s your choice to fast for 24 hours for one or two days a week.


6) Low-Carb Diet

Low Carb Diet

Because you have diabetes, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of carbs for you. There have been studies done on this type of diet and the results were on the fence about it.

But there are experts in the field who agree that a low-carb type of eating is the first in line of defending against this horrible disease. The main reason for this is that this particular diet can lower blood sugars substantially.

Simple Carbohydrates:

You do not want these!

  • Sugar
  • Candy
  • Cereal bars
  • Pretzels
  • Chips
  • Soda
  • Sweetened iced tea or coffee
  • Juice
  • Ice cream
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Syrups
  • Brown or white sugar
  • White anything- breads, rolls, bagels, rice, pasta

Complex Carbohydrates:

They slow down the rate of absorption and digestion because of content of higher fiber and slows down the rate of raising that blood sugar level.

  • No carb drinks (You may add limes or lemons for flavor)
  • Tea or coffee unsweetened
  • Diet drinks with zero sugar
  • Soy or almond milk
  • Milk, but only low fat or non fat
  • Whole grain crackers or cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Squash
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grains

7) Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

This particular diet also aids in reducing risk factors for epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

With the ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis, which is a metabolic state, and the body then uses ketone “bodies” for energy in lieu of glucose.

These bodies are more of a constant source of energy than of glucose that gets its energy from carbohydrates.

Promoting consuming foods such as vegetables, fish, healthy fats and oils, and meats is what the keto diet is all about. This particular diet is one that you can support long term. And recent studies have shown that by eating a diet that consists of a high fat, low carb diet as opposed to a high carb, low fat diet resulted in:

  • Reduced insulin resistance and reduced blood sugar levels, which can reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Greatly reduced blood pressure which in turn also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Reducing your triglycerides which is the amount of fat in your blood.
  • Aids is losing more weight than if you were eating low fat.
  • Your appetite decreasing. This is always a good thing!
  • Improvement of good, HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Your levels of energy remaining consistent throughout the day.
  • You will feel full for a longer period of time and your constant level of energy is a result  of most of your calories coming from fat, which is really slower to digest.
  • If you’re eating low carbs, you’ll be eliminating blood sugar highs and lows and in turn you won’t feel disoriented and weak.

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In Conclusion

What is the best diet for diabetes? There may be no diet that ranks better than the others. But they all have one thing in common, helping your blood sugars and diabetes. You have 7 choices now. Pick one and get started.

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Rob Sciubba

Rob Sciubba - Founder of NaturalWaystoLowerBloodSugar.com

Rob is an blogger who has type 2 diabetes and wants to spread the word treating diabetes. For the past 3 years he has provided valuable information about diabetes and lowering blood sugars and continues to offer additional ways to treat diabetes.

If you’re serious about treating your diabetes and lowering your blood sugars the natural ways, then you will learn from his website.

18 thoughts on “What is the Best Diet for Diabetes? | 7 Diets to Benefit Diabetes”

  1. As diabetes is so prevalent within society today, I found this article extremely helpful as there are so many foods out there full of saturated fats, that even so called healthy options that look healthy at first glance can be unhealthy. Do you have any tips on how to follow the Mediterranean diet, as I am not sure that I am following it correctly

    Reply
    • I agree that there are many foods with saturated fats. It’s important to note that any one of these diets will work well for someone with diabetes.

      All of these diets are well known and not something that hasn’t been around and well established. They really are well planned and very beneficial for your health especially when you are a diabetic.

      I can’t really give you an answer as to the Mediterranean diet because I’m not sure exactly what you’re doing? But you just have to try and follow it as explained and if not, try another diet such as the Ketogenic.

      But let me just say this: Some of these diets may not be so easy to stick to. You just have to do the best that you can.

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hey, I enjoy while reading your article and find very useful things. Your 7 – Diets to Choose for Your Diabetes is an awesome guide for diabetes patients. My grand father is a diabetic patient. Now we are consulting with the doctor before doing any change in our diet. I think Mediterranean Diet and Low-Carb Diet. I hope it will reduce some diet.

    Reply
    • Hi Parveen,

      Thank you so much! It’s awesome to provide information that will help others. This is especially true when it comes to your health.

      7 diets is enough for anyone to choose from to follow to lose weight and follow to control their diabetes at the same time.

      But the things is that not every diet will be suitable for every person. These are all great diets and for me personally? I choose the ketogenic diet.

      The others are very healthy as well. Pick your diet and stick to it. 

      I appreciate your comments. Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  3. Really love this website and article about healthy eating and diabetes.

    I myself am doing intermittent fasting, and have done so for a couple of years now. It helps me massively for the workout and fitness program I do.

    It’s a way of life for me now and has huge benefits as you have explained in your article.

    It’s really nice to see that you want to help people with there health problems.

    Really appreciate your article so thanks for sharing I hope to see more, thanks again Darren

    Reply
    • Hey Darren 🙂
      Thank you so much! I’m glad that you enjoy my site. It truly is a passion of mine to be able to help people.
      I’ve always been that way. It’s a great feeling knowing some people can benefit from the articles on my site.
      Healthy eating is what it’s all about when you have diabetes.It’s nice to know that you are on the right track.
      More folks should be working out and on a fitness program as well.
      Thank you so much for your comments! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article. Nowadays Both boys and girls are suffering from Diabetes. I think all of us who suffer from diabetes should follow a healthy diet. To be honest, You will be surprised to know, I have no idea about these diets. But now I know everything about diets. My uncle is suffering from diabetes. I told him to follow these diets. Thanks for the information

    Reply
    • Hi!

      You’re welcome 🙂 With diabetes being out of control on this planet, it’s important to follow a healthy diet.

      These are the best diets to follow when you’re a diabetic. You can stay healthy and lower your blood sugars and A1c numbers and help control your diabetes.

      Sorry that your uncle has diabetes. If he does indeed follow a diet here, I would choose the ketogenic diet.

      For me, that’s my choice because it works best for me.

      I appreciate your feedback. Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  5. I think that the Mediterranean diet is a good diet for intermediates in the dieting world for those with diabetes. I have to disagree that it is the best for you however because a raw vegan diet on mostly vegetables starting on juices would be better for you. Vegan can reverse it.

    Reply
    • Hey Jon,

      Any one of these diets is good for diabetics. The Mediterranean is a good diet too.

      A raw vegan diet is excellent although for some it may be exceptionally difficult to follow. It’s not to say that these diets are going to be easy. But the bottom line is that they can help diabetics.

      My favorite diet is the ketogenic diet because it’s the best when it comes to being beneficial for diabetes in my opinion.

      Fruits and vegetables are the basis for any good diet. Carbs and sugars must be limited for diabetics.

      I appreciate your feedback. thank you 🙂

      Reply
  6. Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. i have only been familiar with the mayo clinic diet and the intermittent diet. i had little idea about the rest of them but i have been enlightened by your post. thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Hey Benny,

      Thank you for saying 🙂 I put everything into my site to help others with diabetes and high blood sugars.

      Diabetes is all about diet and exercise. If you eat healthy, the chances are less that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes.

      So I provided the 7 best diets for diabetics. They are all helpful for getting on the road to a healthier life.

      You can pick one of the diets to follow as I did. I chose the ketogenic diet because I feel it’s the best plan to help me with diabetes.

      I hope these diets enlighten you. Thank you for your comments 🙂

      Reply
  7. Wow! Thank you for this great article. I have been on the ketogenic diet for 3 months. And as a result, my body is much healthier than ever. However, in my opinion, it is very important to pay attention to those who have diabetes and go on a diet, especially the keto diet. Do not immediately do keto diet in full. Try to increase little by little. Because, if you do it in full, can cause a decrease a significant level in glucose levels . And this, can cause anaphylactic shock.
    However, it is true as written in the article, that diet can be very helpful for those who have diabetes.
    By the way, which diet you do personally?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Kylie 🙂

      You’re welcome! I have also started the ketogenic diet and that’s my choice out of the 7 diets. While I believe that all 7 diets help, I’ve always thought the Ketogenic is the best diet for diabetics.

      None of these are easy fr sure but I agree with you about starting a little at a time because your blood sugars can drop significantly in a short amount of time. This is why I check my blood sugars regularly.

      Eating healthy and exercise are the two biggest things you can follow as a diabetic. But I believe that you can benefit from any diet here. Some are harder than others.

      Appreciate your feedback. Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  8. I have been dealing with type 1 diabetes for the last 17 years and after I got into my 20s that’s when I first started seeing how important your healthy habits can be. Not just that, but eating healthy doesn’t necessary mean that your blood sugar won’t rise. A lot of fruits are very high on sugars so it’s necessary to know the portion that you’re supposed to eat beforehand. Calories are important but what we need to look out the most when dealing with diabetes are sugars and carbohydrates. Those alone can be a deadly weapon with someone with diabetes. I have personally tried the Mediterranean diet and it has really changed my life in so many good ways. 

    Reply
    • Het Stephanie 🙂

      Sorry to hear that you’re battling type 1 diabetes. It’s especially rough at such a young age. It’s so important to follow a proper diet.

      As you know, it’s important to check your blood sugars regularly even when you are on a healthy diet.

      Carbs and sugars are the biggest factors with diabetes. That’s why it’s vital to choose a diet that is geared for diabetics.

      You can choose from any of these diets because they will all help you fight diabetes. the best thing to do is to make up your mind that you want to live healthy and control your diabetes. Then just do it!

      I appreciate your comments. Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  9. I’ve often wondered about the paleo diet. It seems so great except for the no salt part. Salt is necessary for us to be healthy. It’s a part of our physical makeup. Don’t get me wrong. I know we shouldn’t overindulge. I just don’t understand where salt-free living gets its natural salt for the body. I hope that makes sense.

    My brother is grossly obese, but he’s actually lost 60 pounds on the Meditteranean diet. We’re all really proud of him. It seems like the tastiest diet. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy 🙂

      I’ll admit that these diets are not easy to follow. The Paleo diet is one of them. I agree with the no salt part too but it’s not the diet I would pick for me anyway.

      Too much salt is no good but we do need salt just as well as sugar in our diets.

      Congratulations to your brother. That’s awesome! The Mediterranean diet would be a choice for me too. It could be the tastiest diet, but my choice is the Ketogenic diet.

      It takes some getting used to, but it works for me!

      Appreciate your comments! Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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