Monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-2019) Outbreak Here

The Best Diet for Diabetic Weight Loss

Although diabetics do need to be careful about how many carbs they eat, a diabetic weight-loss meal plan includes a variety of healthy, carb-containing foods. The American Diabetes Association says diabetic meal plans often contain three meals and two snacks daily 1. The best diet for diabetic weight loss consists of a regular meal plan, reduced calorie intake and a controlled carbohydrate intake.

Calorie and Carb Recommendations

The number of calories diabetics should eat daily for weight loss depends on their usual calorie intake. However, eating 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 calories per day for men is a good place to start. The American Diabetes Association suggests diabetic diets provide about 45 percent of the calories from carbohydrates 1.

Blood Sugar Control

Since carbs are your body’s preferred energy source, diabetics do need to keep carbs in their diet during weight loss. However, limiting carbs to about 60 grams during meals and no more than 25 grams of carbs for snacks helps diabetics control their blood sugar levels, notes the American Diabetes Association 1. Choosing foods that contain healthy carbs helps keep blood sugar in check. High-fiber carbs or foods containing carbs combined with protein -- such as:

  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nonstarchy vegetables
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • fruit
  • nuts
  • seeds -- have lower glycemic indexes
  • which is beneficial for blood sugar control

Low-Carb Options

While diabetics don’t have to follow low-carb diets to be healthy and lose weight, choosing plenty of foods rich in protein or healthy fats is another excellent way to help control blood sugar during weight loss. Examples of healthy low-carb options that are rich in protein -- a satiety booster -- include:

  • seafood
  • unbreaded poultry
  • seafood
  • egg whites
  • reduced-fat cheese
  • low-fat cottage cheese
  • plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • nut butters

Though lacking in protein, plant-based oils contain heart-healthy fats and are carb-free.

Sample 1,500-Calorie Menu

For a midmorning snack, try 1.5 cups of fruit-flavored Greek yogurt. A healthy lunch might include 2 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 cup of asparagus and 1 cup of cooked quinoa. For an afternoon snack, try 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 1 ounce of almonds and 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese. A nutritious dinner includes a lean turkey burger on a whole-grain bun, 2 cups of leafy greens, 1 tablespoon of Italian salad dressing and five whole-grain crackers.

The Wrap Up

Although diabetics do need to be careful about how many carbs they eat, a diabetic weight-loss meal plan includes a variety of healthy, carb-containing foods. The American Diabetes Association suggests diabetic diets provide about 45 percent of the calories from carbohydrates. High-fiber carbs or foods containing carbs combined with protein -- such as: whole grains, legumes, nonstarchy vegetables, milk, yogurt, fruit, nuts, seeds -- have lower glycemic indexes, which is beneficial for blood sugar control. A healthy lunch might include 2 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 cup of asparagus and 1 cup of cooked quinoa.

×