Understanding Diabetes: The Importance of Good Nutrition

selection of healthy, nutritious foods

World Diabetes Day 2020 took place on Saturday 14th November, and we were proud to partner with Health Awareness on the Understanding Diabetes campaign.

The campaign was highlighted in every copy of The Guardian newspaper, featuring exclusive content from key opinion leaders and industry voices on the importance of nutrition for managing diabetes.

How Nutrition Can Help in the Fight Against Diabetes

“The nutrients and nourishment in our food are essential for growth development and healthy ageing. Too many refined grains, simple sugars and excess calories – and not enough fruit, vegetables and wholegrains – can significantly increase risk of disease,” explains Dr Jamy Ard, professor of epidemiology and prevention at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US.

Studies have shown that a healthy diet, reduced calorie intake and weight loss can help people with type 2 diabetes improve and better manage their condition, and even potentially put it into remission.

Dr Basil Issa, a consultant in endocrinology at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, explained:

“There is good evidence that weight loss can improve glycaemic control (i.e. blood glucose levels), which in turn can help and so reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as damage to eyes, kidneys and nerves.”

The NHS Low Calorie Programme

Earlier this year, OPTIFAST was recommended as a preferred supplier for the NHS Low Calorie Programme by Oviva, a provider for the NHS programme.

The programme is being offered to 5,000 people living with obesity and type 2 diabetes in certain pilot areas of England. OPTIFAST is a scientifically designed total diet replacement programme intended to significantly reduce caloric intake and promote weight loss, which can also help with the management of type 2 diabetes, in individuals overweight or with obesity and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Participants on the programme will replace all their usual meals with OPTIFAST shakes, soups and bars for a total daily intake of around 900 calories per day.

A recent study* with OPTIFAST demonstrated that individuals with type 2 diabetes were able to improve overall glycaemic control, as well as decrease the dosage of their diabetes medications. After 12 months, nearly half of the study participants were able to put their type 2 diabetes into remission.


OPTIFAST products are nutritionally complete and balanced, providing all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy while on a weight loss programme. All of our Shakes, Soups, Bars and Desserts contain at least 20g of protein per serving and are high in fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full.

While nutrition is of course the key pillar of the NHS Low Calorie Programme, participants will also be able to get support by speaking one-to-one with a dietitian or coach as part of a group or via an app that will help you to stay motivated and on track.

OPTIFAST has partnered with Oviva to deliver digital app-based support that will help participants reset their relationship with food and provide them with the knowledge they need to continue their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Understanding the importance of good nutrition is the first step to better managing your health. Find out more about how lifestyle choices can influence the risk of type 2 diabetes:

How Lifestyle Choices Can Influence the Risk of Diabetes


How Lifestyle Choices Can Influence the Risk of Diabetes

Are your lifestyle choices putting you at greater risk of type 2 diabetes?

2020-06-17 18:42:12By Health & Nutrition Expert


* Ard, Jamy D., et al. “Effectiveness of a Total Meal Replacement Program (OPTIFAST Program) on weight loss: results from the OPTIWIN Study.” Obesity 27.1 (2019): 22-29.

Health & Nutrition Expert

Health & Nutrition Expert

Writer and expert