Maintaining a healthy weight is important, but for overweight individuals living with diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is critical. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that over one-third of the U.S. population is obese. In fact, being overweight is a primary risk factor for developing diabetes. According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and of those individuals, 8.1 million are undiagnosed. A startling 86 million Americans are prediabetic, and without losing weight and engaging in moderate physical activity, an estimated 15 to 30 percent of these individuals will develop type 2 diabetes in just five years.
It is clear that weight loss is extremely important in the fight against diabetes. If you are living with diabetes, the good news is that it may be easier than you think to lose weight and keep it off. Whether you are just deciding how to shed pounds or have been making steady progress, here are a few helpful diet and fitness tips to keep you going in the right direction.
Dieting with Diabetes
Deciding what to eat can be tricky while managing your diabetes. There’s actually no one specific diet just for diabetics because it essentially comes down to making healthy choices. When it comes to healthy meals, there are a wide variety of options available, albeit some foods provide better nutrients than others. The American Diabetes Association recommends the following foods as “diabetes superfoods,” which have a low glycemic index and are packed with important nutrients such as fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E:
While refined carbohydrates should be avoided, healthy carbohydrates can be consumed in moderation. When you consume foods that are high in carbohydrates, the sugars and starches contained within the foods are broken down by the digestive system into glucose. When glucose travels from the digestive tract and enters the bloodstream, blood glucose levels rise, which can cause complications for diabetics. Insulin plays a critical role in helping cells absorb glucose and put it to good use in the form of energy.
Medifast California’s Lean & Green™ diet takes the guesswork out of meal planning for individuals living with diabetes by aligning meals with dieting recommendations from the American Diabetes Association. Medifast Meals are designed to be low in carbohydrates so you don’t have to spend time counting carbs, thereby taking the concern out of figuring out how eating that particular food may affect your diabetes.
Staying active is an important part of managing your diabetes. Physical activity naturally complements your efforts to lower your blood glucose levels, thus helping to optimize your body’s use of insulin. Taking a brisk walk is a great way to get started. Consistency is key, so a little bit of effort each day can lead to noticeable results over time. Managing diabetes can be a challenge, but committing to a healthy lifestyle can make it much easier! Let Medifast California help you establish a roadmap to weight loss success for a healthier life.