Diet Plan Shopping
A review of five meal plans and weight-loss programs designed for people with diabetes
By Colleen Moriarty
Next to navigating the healthcare system and taking new medication, figuring out how to eat and lose weight with diabetes is the most difficult issue newly diagnosed people face. It's no wonder that diet and meal-planning companies have begun catering to people living with diabetes. These companies provide meal plans — and, in some cases, pre-packaged food — carefully tailored for nutritional balance, portion control, and other specific dietary factors. From menus, recipes, and grocery lists to home delivered, portion-controlled, ready-to-heat meals, here's a roundup of meal-plan programs designed to make healthy eating easier for people with diabetes.
What it offers: Twenty-eight days of meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts — delivered to you. You combine their shelf-stable, pre-portioned dishes with your own fresh foods. Free online counseling and support services, daily online newsletter with weight loss tips, and weight loss tracking.
How it works: Choose a "diabetic meal plan" designed specifically for men or women. Select customer-favorite foods or a custom menu.
What they say: Nutrisystem D meal plans offer six eating occasions to help stabilize blood sugar, low sodium, and a low glycemic index program to help keep you feeling fuller longer. "Nutrisystem D is based on over 35 years of weight loss research and the science of the glycemic index and is full of good carbs and high in fiber."
Cost: $299.95 (free shipping) for auto-delivery every month; $333.28 plus shipping per month.
Contact: 800-435-4074; www.nutrisystem.com
Have you tried Nutrisystem D? Let us know how it was! Send an email to editorial@dLife.com and type "diet reviews" in the subject line. Or, go to our Food Talk forum and post your thoughts there.
What dLifers Are Saying:
"I have been on the Nutrisystem D program since August of 2009 and have lost 26.6 lbs. My A1C went from 8.6 to 7.6. I expect my next A1C to be even better. I'm very happy with the food plan and the results." (sent January 7, 2010)
"There were a lot of tomato-based meals that contained the same flavor over and over again, like Meatloaf and Cheese or Spinach Ravioli. There was little to no change in my blood sugar. I lost 10 pounds the first month and about 6 the second month. Many of the desserts were good, but again many had the same flavor. I stopped after two months because I simply could not get used to the food. There is no flexibility in this plan for people who are trying to lose different amounts of weight. I would encourage people who are interested in trying this program to go through a discount club, but it's still spendy. The free online counseling is next to impossible to access, but maybe I just tried it at the wrong times." (sent March 3, 2010)
Options: Sign up for automatic delivery or order month-by-month.
How much you can expect to lose and how fast: A company-funded clinical trial at Temple University School of Medicine showed that participants in the Nutrisystem D program lost on average 18 pounds in three months and lowered fasting blood sugar from 149.5 to 115.2 compared to those on hospital-developed eating plans who lost on average 1.3 pounds and lowered fasting blood sugar from 151.4 to 144.
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...