Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.

It seems like we're bombarded year round with diet advice that is "guaranteed" to help you lose those extra pounds and be a "healthier" person.

I’m sure you’ve seen it all. This pill will help your belly shrink, eat this food and you’ll be healthier, or don’t eat that, it’s making you sick! Food is an integral part of controlling diabetes. You don't want to be led astray.

So while there is no lack of diet and nutrition advice in this internet world, who should we really be listening to? The ​Cleveland Clinic mentions five specific considerations when thinking about starting a new diet.

  1. Is there science behind the claim? Regardless of any claim made by a diet plan or supplement, if there isn’t any science backing those claims, you should be wary. Anyone can claim that their plan will help you lose weight, but where is the proof? Look for studies that were done over a sufficient period of time and had at least 100 participants.

  2. If they claim a cure, run away. Anyone who claims that you will be cured of your diabetes simply by eating this food or swallowing this supplement is lying. If these claims were true, then we would have heard about it and multiple studies would have been performed. As the Cleveland Clinic says, “Your risk for developing a chronic disease involves a complex mix of behavioral and environmental factors. The same is true for managing and treating diseases.”

  3. The “expert” lacks credentials. When it comes to nutrition, folks with an RD (registered dietitian) after their name is a good place to start.

  4. The plan suggests that you eliminate an entire food group. Certainly there are some foods we should be limiting, but never be afraid that an entire food group is bad for you.

  5. The diet plan lacks education. Buying supplements or “special foods” from someone who doesn’t also provide you with sound nutrition education is only trying to get into your wallet. You need to know how to change your eating habits long term or your diet won’t be successful.

Certainly, many people have had weight loss and health success by following a specific food plan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for everyone. Be sensible, eat whole foods, limit portions, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.

To learn more on this topic:

Is Diet Soda OK for Diabetics?
Diabetic Diet: Eat Smarter, Not Less
Diabetic Diet: The Skinny On Natural Sweetener Swerve