Diabetes and high blood sugar go hand in hand. The type you have — type 2, type 1, or prediabetes — dictates how your body reacts to sugar in the blood. Since the reaction is often dependent on what you eat, diet is one of the best ways to help regulate fluctuating blood sugar levels.
The American Diabetes Association agrees that medical nutrition therapy is important at all levels of diabetes prevention and management.
When it comes to diabetes and dietary needs, Alison Evert, a registered dietitian (RD) and certified diabetes educator (CDE) at University of Washington Medicine, says to think of it less like a “diet” and more like an “eating plan.”
“Diet has a negative connotation and is usually a short-term thing that’s used to lose 10 pounds,” she says. Instead, a meal plan is something that should be constructed to fit your ongoing individual needs.
This means that people with diabetes — especially those who have T2 or have been diagnosed with prediabetes — can follow just about any trendy meal plan (like keto or paleo) they choose… with one caveat. “Carbohydrate component of the meal/snack is the main determinant of the post-meal blood glucose level,” Evert says.