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Diabetic Weight Loss Diets

Diabetic weight loss diets are recommended for type 2 diabetics who need to focus on weight loss to improve the ability of the body to utilize insulin. These are usually 1600 to 2000 calorie diabetic diets and are important for good control of blood glucose.

Diabetic Diets

The key principle of a diabetic diet is to significantly reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, and more importantly, high glycemic load carbohydrates. Sugary and starchy foods, for example pastries, white bread, pasta, potatoes and rice cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels and cravings for more carbohydrates. By restricting these foods in your diet, you will lose weight and break the cycle of cravings. As a diabetic, you should eat limited quantities of low glycemic load carbohydrates such as berries, beans, lentils and whole grains, and low starch vegetables. While you do not have to restrict yourself to diabetic foods, replace carbohydrate rich foods with low carb substitutes.

Here, we provide some tips on diabetic diets that may serve as a starting point when planning your meals as a diabetic.

  • Eat regular meals, at the same time everyday, to avoid sudden drops in blood sugar levels.
  • Do not skip meals or snacks.
  • Eat more fibre as this helps slow down or reduce the absorption of glucose from the intestines.
  • Eat low fat foods as less insulin interacts with the cells of overweight people.
  • Eat non starchy vegetables.
  • Keep high glycemic load carbohydrates to a minimum.
  • Use sugar substitutes such as stevia in cooking.
  • Keep count of calories being consumed.
  • Exercise regularly.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes can present itself in one of two forms. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin, whereas in type 2 diabetes, the body produces insufficient insulin and the cells have become highly resistant to insulin, so the body cannot efficiently use the glucose in the blood. Each individual's diet will vary according to the type of diabetes they have and will need to be adjusted according to the drug therapy being used. The American Diabetes Association recommendations for blood sugar levels is 80-120m/dl, fasting level and 100-140 mg/dl after meals.

Type I diabetics need to adjust their intake according to the insulin they use. Different insulin preparations peak at different times and last for varying periods of time. Typically the diet of a type I diabetic is normally based on a 35 calorie per kg of body weight per day intake.

A type 2 diabetic diet needs to focus on weight loss to improve the body's ability to utilize the insulin present. Such people are normally on a 1600-1800 calorie per day diet for weight loss and then advised to maintain body weight once the goal is achieved.

Diabetic Food Selections

The table below has examples of foods that a diabetic should include in a diabetic weight loss diet:

Food Group Examples
Low GL Carbohydrates oats, barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils, whole grains, brown rice, whole meal pasta
Vegetables green leafy vegetables, artichoke, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, beetroot, cabbage, carrots
Low GL Fruits berries, melons, plums, apples, citrus fruits, grapefruit
Milk and Dairy Products low fat milk, yoghurt
Protein lean white meats, salmon, mackeral, sardines, soy protein. Avoid fatty meats.
Fats olive oil, canola oil, avocados. Avoid fried foods as these contain saturated fats.
Nuts and Seeds flaxseed, hemp, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds

A well regulated and monitored diet is very important for good control of blood glucose in diabetics. The aims of healthy diabetic weight loss diets are to reduce sudden changes in blood glucose levels, reduce hypercholesterolemia and maintain a healthy weight. Finally, when switching over to a diabetic weight loss diet, it is advisable to consult a dietitian before making any major changes.


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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for reference purposes only, and is not intended as medical or professional advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before commencing a diet or exercise program

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