Best Diabetes Diets
Diet is a crucial tool for managing diabetes, and weight loss can help people who are overweight prevent type 2 diabetes. The experts who rated the 29 diets below evaluated each one on its ability to both prevent and manage diabetes. The Biggest Loser Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), an eating plan endorsed by the government, came out on top.
Nutrisystem’s small, company-funded diabetes study didn’t persuade the experts of its value in preventing or controlling the disease. They scored it between “minimally” and “moderately” effective. (Although experts didn’t specifically rate Nutrisystem D, the company’s diabetic track, it doesn’t differ markedly from the mainstream adult plans.)
Panelists weren’t too impressed with Medifast’s typical adult program as a regimen for preventing and controlling diabetes. (Although the company markets plans for diabetics, experts did not evaluate those specifically in rating its effectiveness on this measure.)
The diet received a below-average 2.6 out of 5 stars. It got much higher ratings in weight loss, however, and losing weight and keeping it off—no matter the diet—typically helps reduce the risk of developing the chronic disease.
Although some experts felt Atkins might help prevent or control diabetes by producing significant weight loss, the diet still scored low as one for diabetics and people at risk of the disease. One expert noted that diets like Atkins that are high in saturated fat can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
South Beach isn’t an effective way to prevent or control diabetes, the experts concluded. However, being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes; if South Beach helps you drop pounds, that could prevent the condition or reduce its impact.
The Dukan diet came in dead last in the diabetes category, receiving a “minimally effective” 2 out of 5 stars from the panel of experts. Research is lacking, so what kind of effect—if any—the plan would have on diabetes is largely unknown.