Eating is fun, but sometimes it can be difficult. With diabetes comes questions like: Should I eat less carbohydrates or should I save fat? Do you prefer “eating half” or intermittent fasting when it comes to losing weight? Can I still eat fruit and what about sweeteners? The German Diabetes Society (DDG) has reviewed the practical nutrition recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes and is providing some new answers.
1. Low carb has benefits
Reduce carbohydrates: According to current studies, this concept works better. The traditional Mediterranean diet has the most favorable effects on fasting blood sugar and blood lipid levels. It is characterized by a large amount of vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grain products, vegetable oils, nuts, fish, salads and herbs and contains slightly less carbohydrates than the typical diet in this country. A low-carb diet that focuses even more on reducing carbohydrates achieves the best results when it comes to lowering long-term blood sugar HbA1c and body weight. However: after several months, the successes of a low-carb and low-fat diet are equal. The reasons for this are still debated.
2. Fruit is fine, vegetables are better
Overweight people lose weight more easily if they replace high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables. The following applies: one to two servings of fruit per day and three to four servings of vegetables. Large amounts of fruit are generally not recommended for people with diabetes who are of normal weight. Experts do not distinguish between good and less good varieties. It is only necessary to take into account the carbohydrates contained in the insulin treatment. Fruit juices, smoothies, and dried fruit are best avoided due to the high amount of sugar.
3. Fiber? Of course!
Fibers from vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and some fruits are healthy. Studies show benefits on body weight, blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, blood lipid levels, and inflammation levels. 30 grams per day is the goal. By the way: A plus in fiber in the form of psyllium, beta-glucans or konjac-glucomannan also has a short-term positive effect on blood sugar and insulin action. Regarding blood lipids, there are also long-term successes.
4. Lose weight for pleasure!
Experts agree: There is no one diet that is clearly superior to another. Although it is easier to lose weight initially with fewer carbohydrates, other measures also show success over time. If you want to lose weight, it is best to choose a form of nutrition that suits you individually, either with or without meat, with less carbohydrates or less fat, through “FDH” (eat half) or the use of shakes to lose weight Consistent intermittent fasting has also been shown to help with weight loss.
5. Weight Loss Powder Aid
According to studies, anyone who participates in a medically supervised weight loss program with formula diets can lose weight to the same extent as after a tummy tuck. About one in four people manage to reduce their weight by 15 percent. This gives you a good chance that the diabetes will go away again, at least if it hasn’t been around for more than six years. Experts speak of remission. According to one study, this success continued for a third of study participants even after two years.
6. Sweeteners are okay
It has long been debated whether sweeteners increase appetite. However, the DDG experts conclude in their practical guidelines that this is not the case. On the contrary: “The occasional use of sweeteners instead of sugar may even make sense as part of diabetes therapy.” Sweetener in coffee or a little instead of sugar in dessert are fine.