The Best Diets for Diabetics

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerAug. 08, 2019
Diabetic healthy diets
While most of us could probably appreciate losing a few pounds and living a healthier lifestyle, eating properly is of utmost importance to people with diabetes. In fact, carrying around extra poundage can make it more difficult for a diabetic to maintain normal blood sugar levels and will certainly increase the likelihood of weight-related complications.

For anyone with diabetes, choosing the “right” diet plan that will help you lose weight and avoid life-threatening complications is a big decision. 

Here are 5 professional diet plans that can not only help you lose weight but will also ensure that you live and maintain a healthy lifestyle that keeps your specific diabetic needs in mind.

Top Diabetic Diets
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1. Nutrisystem

Pros:

  • Sign up for a specific diabetes-friendly plan

  • With more than 145 meals and snacks, it’s easy to find diabetes-friendly food 

  • Dietitians and diabetes consultants available

Cons:

  • Meals come frozen

  • Can’t get same- or next-day delivery

Plan
Price per day
Shipping

Basic Plan

$9.96

Free

Core Plan

$10.68

Free

Uniquely Yours

$12.29

Free


Nutrisystem is ideal for diabetics because it encourages constant caloric intake in small amounts. This helps maintain your blood sugar level throughout the day. The Nutrisystem diet plan suggests eating 6 small meals throughout the day. This keeps you from getting hungry and reaching for unhealthy snack alternatives to curb your cravings.

Nutrisystem meal choices
 Nutrisystem meal choices

Reasonably priced, the Nutrisystem diet offers ready-made food with a tremendous variety to choose from. In addition to having loads of options including snacks, treats, and measured out meals (great for portion control), all Nutrisystem food contains no artificial flavoring, colors, or sweeteners.

Nutrisystem Nutrisystem View Plan

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2. Jenny Craig

Pros:

  • Specific plan for type 2 diabetes 

  • Weekly, personal consultations can help you track your diet and your diabetes

  • Jenny Craig customers were able to reduce or eliminate use of insulin, according to company trials 

Cons:

  • Can be expensive if you’re on the plan for an extended period of time 

Plan
Price per month

Trial plan

$16 per month plus the cost of food

Premium 

$49 enrollment charge plus $19 per month plus the cost of food


Jenny Craig has become an institution of sorts by focusing not on crash diets and rapid weight loss, rather, on a 3-pronged methodology of food, body, and mind. 

The program is meant to help empower you to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet. When you sign up you are given a personal consultant to help guide you through the plan, as well as the ability to choose from 100+ food options. 

Jenny Craig meal choices
 Jenny Craig meal choices

For diabetics, Jenny Craig has a special type 2 diabetes plan that the company says has proven its effectiveness in clinical trials. 72% of participants tested were able to reduce or eliminate their use of insulin, and lost 3 times as much weight as those receiving usual care. 

Jenny Craig Jenny Craig View Plan

Read full Jenny Craig review

3. South Beach Diet

Pros:

  • Special diabetes-friendly plan available 

  • Tons of high protein, low carb/sugar meals available

  • Responsive customer service if you have any questions about meals

Cons:

  • Have to pay for membership in addition to meals

Plan

Price per month

Auto-delivery

Basic Plan (for 4 weeks)

$461.52

$299.99+$1.99

Snacks

$40

$40+$1.99


Famous for outshining its popular cousin Atkins, the South Beach Diet is a low-carb weight loss program that cuts back on carbs and encourages beefing up on proteins and the right fats. 

South Beach Diet meal choices
 South Beach Diet meal choices

What is particularly encouraging for diabetics is that the meal plans are designed by a cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston. In addition to helping you lose weight and stay within a healthy eating cycle, the South Beach Diet also lowers your cholesterol.

The diet limits your fruit intake—in fact, it completely eradicates it for the first stage of the program—perfect for a diabetic diet. What’s more, the diet plan is flexible enough to incorporate all types of dietary restrictions, so even the most particular diabetic will be able to find the right combination of food on the South Beach Diet.

South Beach Diet South Beach Diet View Plan

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4. Mayo Clinic Diet

Pros:

  • Personalized diet profile helps you keep a diabetic diet

  • Diet steers clear of refined sugars, white flour, and sweets in general  

  • Includes exercise and fitness plan

Cons:

  • Doesn’t exclude foods that are specifically bad for diabetics

Plan 
Price

Weekly Plan

$5 per week

Quarterly Plan

$65 per quarter


The Mayo Clinic Diet is based on healthy choices, building healthy eating habits, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle all around. For those who are overweight, the diet promises a consistent way of losing and keeping off weight. For diabetics, the Mayo Clinic Diet ensures that you will be able to stick to a healthier lifestyle that will keep you healthy and functioning properly.

Mayo Clinic Diet exercise
 Live a healthy lifestyle with the Mayo Clinic Diet

One of the diet’s highlights is its flexibility—it doesn’t actually restrict you in very many ways. Of course, if you are a diabetic, you’ll need to stay away from certain foods that aren’t healthy for you in general like processed grains, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, and anything else with a high glycemic level. Since the Mayo Clinic Diet encourages limiting or eliminating these foods as well, it’s an ideal choice for someone with diabetes.

Mayo Clinic Diet Mayo Clinic Diet View Plan

Read full Mayo Clinic Diet review

5. Bistro MD

Pros:

  • Special diabetic meal plan available

  • You can consult with a physician about your plan 

  • Lots of meal options to choose from

Cons:

  • No a la carte meals

  • Relatively expensive

Plan
5 days a week
7 days a week

2 meals a day

$119.95

$149.95

3 meals a day

$149.95

$179.95


BistroMD combines health and taste, making it an ideal option if you are a diabetic who loves good cuisine. The company offers a specific diabetic-friendly plan, full of ready-made meals crafted by professional chefs, so you know they’re going to be delicious. 

Bistro MD meal choices
 Bistro MD meal choices

Alongside chefs, BistroMD uses the expertise of doctors and nutritionists who know what a healthy diet needs—including for diabetics.  

BistroMD offers personalized menus that you can help you maintain your health goals every day, including keeping an eye on your diabetes. There’s also dietician support to analyze your progress and health, so you are constantly getting the nutrition you need.

Bistro MD Bistro MD View Plan

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Live Your Life

Being a diabetic comes with many challenges, but eating right doesn't have to be one of them. With today’s weight loss programs, you can easily craft your own weight loss and wellness plan that takes your diabetes into account, and doesn’t have you feeling like you’re missing out on any of the fun.

The information on this site is based on research, but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new diet plan, we recommend consulting with a physician or other professional healthcare provider. Results may vary based on various health factors, individual weight loss plans and adherence to the meal plan.

Sarah PritzkerBySarah PritzkerAug. 20, 2018
Sarah Pritzker is a content writer with years of experience and a keen interest in the vast world of online consumer products. She enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market in industries including diets, meal delivery and psychic reading.