Does Nutrisystem Really Help to Lower Hba1c in Diabetic Patients?

This is a guest post by Maria Doukas

For the last couple of weeks, most of my colleagues at office were bringing pre-packaged meals from Nutrisystem to eat during lunch hours. One colleague, who is also my best friend from office, told me that she has started with this new diet plan to reduce body weight and control her diabetic symptoms. I was of course quite skeptical at first. I am not quite uninformed when it comes to weight reducing programs. When I was a young kid, I had a lot of angst and depression because I was overweight. My mother had tried multiple diets on me to ensure that I ate less. The meals she cooked were basically boiled, which means that I had to eat bland food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I would compensate for that torture by eating out as much as possible without her knowing. As a result, none of the diet plans worked on me and I stayed overweight for a long time. Puberty was kind to me, as my body grew in height and the extra weight balanced out. However, I have always remained skeptical of any weight reduction programs that claim to control obesity. But there was something different about Nutrisystem. I saw that their pre-packaged meals were extremely tasty, and the dishes were varied. I was more than curious to see if this system really worked, so I started to do more research.

Nutrisystem has been endorsed by doctors, like physician Dr Andy Baldwin.

I came across the essay “A randomized comparison of a commercially available portion-controlled weight-loss intervention with a diabetes self-management education program” online. This essay was published by the peer reviewed scientific journal Nutrition and Diabetes. It emphasized on the positive results of Nutrisystem, as a portion controlled diet for patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes.

HbA1c

My sister has been battling against diabetic symptoms over years. I know how dependent she is on her expensive medicines and insulin shots. Her HbA1c—also known as Haemoglobin A1c—has always been high, which indicated a greater risk for her health. HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. The haemoglobin is a protein that you find in red blood cells. It is responsible for carrying oxygen. When this protein fuses with excessive glucose in the blood, it becomes glycated and we call it HbA1c. Unlike a blood glucose test which tells us how much glucose we have in our blood the moment we take the test, the HbA1c test tells the average concentration of our blood glucose over a period of 8-12 weeks. Therefore, it’s a very useful measurement of how well we control our diabetes.

Nutrisystem Diet Lowers HbA1c Levels in Diabetic Patients

Nutrisystem claims to provide food with less low glycemic carbs, low sodium and high protein. This ensures a very healthy balance in diet. According to the study, there were about 100 participants with mean body weight of 102.9+-18.4 kg, average age of 55.6+-10.6 years and HbA1c of 7.7+-1.3% who were assigned to 9-session group lifestyle intervention that included Nutrisystem on a random basis. Others were included in 9-session group diabetes self-management education program. This treatment was carried on for 6 months, at the end of which the results denoted significant improvement.

Both groups showed reduced body weight, but the first group on Nutriystsem lost an average of 7.3 kg, as compared to the second group which lost only 2.2 kg. More importantly, the amount of HbA1c in the first group declined by 0.7%, but the second group showed a reduction by 0.4%. This stated in very clear terms that Nutrisystem diet is extremely effective in not only reducing excessive weight, but is also responsible in lowering HbA1c, which means that it would help in slowing down the diabetic condition in patients.

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Editor’s note: Thank you Maria for sharing with us this interesting piece of Nutrisystem research.

I shared this information with my sister immediately and she started with her Nutrisystem diet plan as well. The results in her body weight have been noticeable.  Moreover, in a few weeks, her diabetic symptoms became less regular, and she is already living a more active life. Nutrisystem has been proved through clinical tests as effective, and this has certainly been a positive game changer for my sister.

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