Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

6/9/03

Q:

In your opinion, what is the best diet for type 2 diabetics who need to lose weight? What do you think of the glycemic index approach?

A:

There is no one "best diet"; if so, everyone with diabetes would be on it! We have lots of diet discussions in our Archives section; I suggest you look. In general, staying off refined carbs is the first step, then decreasing the amount of carbs is another. Focus on increasing veggies and legumes. Stay well-hydrated. The glycemx Index is a good guide for ranking how quickly carbs turn into glucose, but it still boils down to the total number of carbs one is taking in. The craze now is high protein, but it is the type of protein that will make the difference. Legumes and other plant-based proteins tend to put the system into alkaline balance. Fish provides essential fatty acids. Lots of high fat animal proteins, although seeming to be effective in the short run, may still cause problems in the long run, such as impotent tendencies, as well as making one more acidic. The studies are now being ramped up in this area to get a beetter and fuller picture. Remember: BALANCE is something to strive for in all things; food is no exception.

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