An American Diabetic Association diet, or ADA diet, can have a variety of positive effects for those who follow it. One of the main benefits, which is critical for diabetics, is controlling blood glucose levels. This type of diet can also help those who are overweight to lose weight, and those who are at a healthy weight to maintain it. Following an ADA diet can also help reduce fat and cholesterol in the blood, promoting heart and cardiovascular health. A general overall increase in health and wellness can also be expected.
People with diabetes are encouraged to follow an ADA diet to help naturally manage their blood sugar levels. Eating complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, is encouraged, as well as healthy fats and lean protein. Sugar, processed foods, and saturated fats should be minimized or avoided. These plans are designed to minimize the effects of what the person eats on his or her glucose levels.
Another benefit of ADA diet plans is weight loss. Most diets of this kind involve a reduction in calories which can help practitioners shed pounds if they follow it consistently. Dieters are also typically encouraged to include exercise in their routines to contribute to their weight loss. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can lead to a wide range of physical benefits; for diabetics in particular, it has been shown to significantly decrease their chances of developing complications due to their disease.
Improvement of cardiovascular function is another potential benefit of an ADA diet. Eating healthy foods and limiting trans and saturated fats can help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, decreasing the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Dieters who include an exercise regimen will typically further improve their heart health as well.
An overall increase in health is often experienced when following an ADA diet plan. Eating foods that are healthy and cutting out junk foods typically leads to improvements in all areas of the body. Losing weight and shaping up with exercise can give a person more energy and an overall feeling of strength and well-being. Many of the physical complications of diabetes, such as kidney disease, may be minimized or avoided by better controlling one's blood sugar levels long term. Feeling better can also in turn lead to an improved mental state.