Not only can you prevent or delay prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes, but Type 2 diabetes is reversible. As a RDN working with patients for over 30 years, I can provide you with dietary and behavioral strategies to sustain the lifestyle changes that induce remission.
The objective of the recent consensus report in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, is to assist clinicians in achieving remission of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in adults using diet as a primary intervention. Evidence-informed statements agreed upon by a multi-disciplinary panel of expert healthcare professionals were used. This expert consensus statement is endorsed by American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, is supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is co-sponsored by the Endocrine Society. The conclusion: “Expert consensus was achieved for 69 statements pertaining to diet and remission of T2D, dietary specifics and types of diets, adjuvant and alternative interventions, support, monitoring, adherence to therapy, and weight loss.”
This expert panel agreed that diet as a primary intervention for T2D can achieve remission in many adults with T2D, of both normal and elevated BMI, and that diet is the cornerstone for managing T2D, combined with medical therapy.
And reversing the process is key because type 2 diabetes can be a devastating disease. The condition usually begins with insulin resistance, in which the fat, liver, and muscle cells do not use insulin properly, so that eventually the body needs more insulin than it can produce, causing blood glucose to rise. And those elevated levels can lead to several serious health issues if they are not managed properly.
Today’s Dietitian reports that numerous studies show that weight loss ranging from 3% to 10% from the initial weight can result in remission. What you eat to attain weight loss or sustain your optimal weight is of equal importance. Patients need to focus on when to eat and what to eat rather than what not to eat. There is no one-size- fits-all diet, or even a diabetic diet. The goal is to eat foods with a variety of healthful nutrients.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some easy to implement tips to improve your wellness status and potentially reverse type 2 diabetes. These include increasing your fiber, fruits, and vegetables intake and decreasing added sugars and saturated fats. Read more here.
The evidence is clear that a whole food, plant forward, flexitarian plan can decrease insulin resistance, normalize blood sugars, and improve cardiometabolic health. Focus must be on developing an individual plan that is healthful, enjoyable, and sustainable, along with any needed lifestyle and behavioral changes.
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