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The Best Diabetes Diet – The DASH Diet

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Over time, many diabetes diet – that is, diets developed with a view to helping people with diabetes better manage their diabetes, have been developed, had their heyday and quietly passed away into sunny retirement. Many though remain strong and just as popular as when they were first introduced. But really, how effective though are these diets.

With the list appearing to grow longer by the year, it often leaves a befuddled public wondering where to begin. So I decided to do review of the most popular diets currently on the market and at the end of that review two diets came through as outstanding performers for helping people manage their diabetes. One of them being the DASH diet. What follows is a brief of what I learnt about that diet. But before we go into that, one may want to ask, what exactly makes up a good Diabetic diet? The following therefore are just some of those elements.

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  1. It will be low on carbohydrates or at least provide for a way of either balancing out the carbohydrate through the course of the day or “burning” off the excess, as for example, through exercise.
  2. It should be high in dietary fiber which has been proven to have multiple health benefits like having a low glycemic index and helping to lower the probabilities for diseases like heart disease etc.
  3. Low in salt. Salt can lead to hypertension-that is high blood pressure, so cutting it down is a must
  4. Low in fat. Since fat or foods easily converted to fat like sugars can lead to the individual becoming overweight- a risk factor for diabetes, it is often necessary for such food to have a low-fat content.
  5. A good diabetic diet should strive to meet the recommended daily allowance for potassium. Potassium is important because it can help to reverse the negative effects on the circulatory system that salt has.

The DASH diet evidently has all these characteristics and more. But what exactly is the DASH diet and how did it come about. Well in 1992, the DASH Diet, DASH meaning Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was formulated. Under the aegis of the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIS), The National Heart, Lung and Blood institute (NHLBI) worked with five of the most highly respected medical research centers in the United States to investigate the effects of diet on blood pressure. The result of that research was the formulation of the DASH diet, the best diet to take for a healthy blood pressure.

However that is not as far as its benefits go. The diet has also been found to be equally efficacious as a diabetes diet. In fact in a review of 35 diets carried out by US News and World report earlier this year it came out joint first with The Biggest Loser diet as the best diabetes diet. Mirroring much of the advice offered by the American Diabetes Association, it has been shown to display both diabetes prevention and control qualities.

On prevention, it has been shown to help individuals lose weight and also keep it off. Since being overweight is a major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, this quality shows it off as a great diabetes diet option.

In addition, the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome, a condition which increases the chances of developing diabetes is also reduced by a combination of the DASH diet and calorie restriction. As regards control, the results of a small study published in a 2011 edition of Diabetes Care disclosed that Type 2 diabetics following eight weeks on DASH had reduced their levels of A1C and their fasting blood sugar.

Moreover the diet has been found to be more flexible than most, a fact that would make it easier to follow and adjustable, to enable it comply with a doctors dietary advice to his diabetic patient.

Another advantage offered by this diet is the level of its conformity to dietary guidelines. Light as it may seem, this is actually very important because some diets place a restriction on certain foods, thereby leaving the individual potentially deficient in certain nutrients and minerals.

A breakdown of this conformity shows that where fat is concerned, the diet satisfactorily falls within the 20 to 35 percent of daily calories recommended by the government. It also meets the 10 percent maximum threshold allocated to saturated fat by falling well below that. It also meets the recommended amount of proteins and carbohydrates.

Where salt is concerned, it has guideline meal caps for this mineral. Both for the recommended daily maximum of 2,300 mg and if you’re African-American, are 51 years or older or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the 1,500 mg limit.

Other nutrients are adequately taken care of also by this diet. Thus the recommended daily intake of 22 to 34 grams fiber for adults is well provided for by this diet. So too is potassium, a nutrient that is marked for its ability to counter salts blood pressure raising qualities, reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and also decrease bone loss. Impressively so because of the difficulty in normally acquiring the recommended daily intake-4,700 mg or the equivalent of eating 11 bananas a day.

Recommended daily intake of Vitamin D for adults who don’t get enough sunlight is penciled down at 15 mg. Though, the diet falls just shy of this, it is suggested that this can be easily made up by say a vitamin D fortified cereal.

Calcium so necessary for strong bones and teeth, blood vessel production and muscle function is also adequately taken care of by the diet. The government’s recommendation of between 1,000 mg to 1300 mg is met here easily without any airs or graces. The same goes for Vitamin B-12. The government’s recommendation is 2.4 mg. The diets provision is 6.7.

From the foregoing it can thus be seen that when it comes to choosing a diet that will help you manage your diabetes, the DASH diet is an excellent choice. Though joint second with the Biggest loser diet for this, it nevertheless has the advantage that it was designed specifically to help with blood pressure reduction and has been found equally effective on that score. So if you have been looking for a great diabetes diet, the DASH diet is highly recommended.

To learn more about managing diabetes and the steps you can take to effectively start reversing your diabetes today, visit http://www.diabetesreversals.blogspot.com for more information.

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