The Dangers of Dieting with Diabetes?
If you have Type 2 Diabetes and are overweight, losing 5-10% of your current weight will help improve your blood sugar levels. However, losing weight often requires you to assume a healthier life style and behavior change, not simply putting yourself on a diet. Many of the diets advertised today may be harmful and do not promote a holistic lifestyle change.
So what are some of the Problems with dieting?
• Reduced calories (units of energy that help the body function)
• Depending on medications, increased risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
• Too difficult to follow long term which often results in regaining weight
Low in fiber, vitamins and minerals:
Many fad diets eliminate certain food groups all together. Over time, these types of diets may cause vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies that can have a long-term harmful effect on the body. Diets that eliminate carbohydrates are often also very low in fiber. However, fiber is important for a healthy body, especially when managing Diabetes . Fiber makes you feel satiated so that you are less likely to overeat. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
Too few calories:
Most diets have too few calories. Believe it or not, you have to eat to lose weight! Following a very low calorie diet will eventually cause your metabolism to slow down. This will cause weight gain in the long run, not weight loss. Many people who follow low calorie diets end up with “yo-yo” weight loss and gain.
Increased Risk for Hypoglycemia:
Depending on your diabetes medicine , following a diet may increase your risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Skipping meals or eating too little at a meal could result in your blood sugar going too low. This can be especially dangerous if it happens at night or while operating heavy machinery such as a car or truck, as hypoglycemia often leads to fainting and light-headedness.
Too Difficult to Follow Long-Term:
Many diets are too restrictive or too difficult for anyone to follow for a long time. The result is usually weight gain, often more than you lost. Many people end up on a cycle of weight gain, loss, and gain. This is hard on the body and not good for the metabolism.
What Should You Do to Lose Weight?
If you wish to lose weight, you should choose a variety of foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Cut back on your portions, eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit saturated fats (fats from animal products and hydrogenated oils). Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love, but remember it is important to eat everything in moderation. Remember, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is!