What’s the best diet for diabetics? Well, the answer is that diets like a low-calorie diet, low fat diet, and even low carbohydrate diet don’t work. And the reason is that diets mean deprivation of nutrients which slows down the metabolic system so you metabolize at a slower rate, and so when the diet is over you’ll regain all the weight you’ve lost and more.
So it’s not about going on a diet. It’s about creating a healthy and lasting dietary change and getting the right kind of nutrition and in the rights amounts (no deprivation here). You cannot truely heal your body if you deprive yourself of nutrients. Nutrients are like medicine for building and healing the body again.
And, no, it’s not about eating low amounts of carbohydrates to manage and even reverse diabetes. It’s about getting the right carbohydrates which are vegetables, salad (complex carbohydrates). And fruits and berries too. Yes! Fruits and berries are healthy for you even if they are considered simple carbohydrates because they are healthy even if they contain a lot of sugar because that sugar which is actually fructose is healthy as opposed to refined carbohydrates which are empty calories. The fructose in fruits and berries are attached to nutrients, thats why they are healthy.
It´s a myth that fruits and berries are unhealthy. They are not,
Creating a lasting dietary change and getting gentle daily exercise
What is healthy living for diabetics? Well, it means living and consuming food in a way that you don’t spike your blood sugar level and your insulin level.
This means your diet should contain natural whole foods such as salad, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts and seeds and just little meat, if you require meat.
These foods are also called one ingredient foods because they only contain one ingredient. For example an apple, is an apple and doesn’t contain other ingredients than the apple. There are no added ingredients, they are not processed in any way but are in their entirety totally natural.
These types of food are the key to healthy living for diabetics, and should be included in a healthy and lasting dietary change. Also, de-stressing and getting daily exercise is important.
So your meals should be built up mostly around salad and vegetables, fruits berries, nuts and seeds, and animal proteins in moderation. Fats from animal proteins are the cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes together with stress.
It is also important to exercise on a regular basis – low intensity walking is one of the best exercise forms when you have type 2 diabetes as it will help you to de-stress and thereby lower your blood sugar and insulin levels. Learn more here.
Use the Glycemic Index and the Insulin Index
In creating a healthy lifestyle and a lasting and healthy dietary change it is a good idea to use both the Glycemic Index (GI) and the Insulin Index (II) to discover healthy foods for diabetics.
The Glycemic Index show a list of food and how much they will raise your blood sugar if you consume them. And the Insulin Index show a list of proteins that won’t raise your insulin levels so high. Most people know about the glycemic index, and virtually none know about the Insulin Index simply because in diabetes treatment today the insulin level is not in focus. All treatment as you probably know is through medication and insulin index which don’t actually cure diabetes but only subdue the high blood sugar for a while until more medication is needed.
Food to eat and food to avoid – add complex carbohydrates and avoid the simple ones
In a healthy dietary change for diabetes you will want to cut drastically back on refined carbohydrates like sweets, cakes, cookies, bisquits, candy etc. Basically everything that contains too much sugar.
Here is a list of what foods are good for diabetics and which you should avoid.
Mostly dark green leafy vegetables and bright-colored vegetables such as
– mustard greens
– collard greens
– spinach, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, good source of folate and iron.
– arugula, rich in vitamins A and C, good source of calcium and fiber.
– broccoli, good source of vitamins A, C, and K, contains fiber and folate.
– Swiss chard, good source of potassium and iron.
– iceberg lettuce
– arugula, rich in vitamins A and C, good source of calcium and fiber
are but a few examples of lettuce commonly used in salads and sandwiches.
Bright colored vegetables
Fruits and berries
Apples, pears, bananas, mango etc.
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries.
Proteins (lean cuts in moderation, only 1 serving per day, if you require meat)
Healthy fats (in moderation)
– extra virgin olive oil
– flax seed oil
– hemp oil
– omega 3 from plants
– pure mineral water
– lemon water, 1 glass of water
– coffee, both regular coffee and decaffeinated
– all beverages without sugar
– almond milk
– soy milk (only non GMO)
Avoid processed foods and fats
Processed foods are foods that have been changed from their natural state for safety reasons or convenience. They have been either frozen, canned, dried, hydrogenated, or pasteurized.
Most contain added salt, sugar and unhealthy fats which should be avoided.
They also contain mono sodium glutamate (MSG) which is used to enhance flavor in lower quality products so it tastes better.
This are the ingredient that makes snacking addictive. It also raises the insulin level by up to 300 percent. So you want to avoid all food with MSG.
Another name for MSG is modified food starch.
Avoid sugar in all its forms; candy, soda, raw sugar, brown sugar, golden sugar and the like. Avoid all food labels that end in “ose” like fructose, dextrose and more, as these foods contain hidden sugars. Please note that fructose in its natural form in fruits is healthy.
Avoid white flour; white bread, white pasta, cakes, cookies, biscuits, buns and pastries.
Drink only 1 to 2 glasses. Too much alcohol destroys your liver. You want to keep your liver as healthy as possible for optimal metabolism.
Drugs and antibiotics kill the good gut bacteria in the intestines, affect the metabolism and are a contributing factor to Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes.
Such as chips containing MSG. ·
Such as microwave meals or ready-to-eat meals
Such as milk or soft drinks
Processed meat are meats that have been smoked, cured or salted or contain added preservatives.
Most contain unhealthy fats (trans fats) and should be avoided.
Examples of processed meats are
– cheap supermarket meats
– hot dogs
– fast food
Foods are processed to make them look better, taste better, and prolong their shelf life.
Avoid eating meat together with salad dressing containing sugar like fast food burgers and barbecue meals, as this will raise your insulin level up to 300 percent.
Liver Cleanings are Important in a Healthy Lifestyle for Diabetics
When you have type 2 diabetes you also naturally have a non-alcoholic fatty liver due to the excess fat mainly from refined carbohydrates.
A fatty liver means that it is clogged with fats and therefore cannot metabolize optimally. In essence, it too is insulin resistant and you will want to cleanse it for optimal metabolism.
The liver are the #1 blood sugar regulating gland, before the pancreas, and it is very important that you cleanse it in order to have good blood sugar levels.
The best diet for diabetics is not an actually a diet but a healthy and lasting dietary change that will lower your blood sugar level and insulin level, and cleanse your liver.
This can be accomplished through eating mainly one.ingredient foods also known as natural whole foods such as salad, vegetables, fruits and berries and nuts and seeds. Basically just unprocessed natural food. And eat only little meat, as the fat from meats and animal proteins contribute to type 2 diabetes.
Use the Glycemic Index and the Insulin Index to determine food that doesn’t spike your blood sugar level and your insulin level.
Also doed aily liver cleansing, and getting some daily exercise. Low intensity walking for 1 hour per. day is recommended.
Hi Jesper, very excellent article! Actually, the food you describe is what every person should eat. I love salad. Your pictures look so yummy. Every person should eat healthy, a lot of vegetables and fruits, and avoid crabs like pasta, cakes, and bread. Grains are very unhealthy for us. I miss the liver cleanse you are talking about. What do I need to do if I am doing a liver cleanse?
Hi Jesper, Good read. I actually did a post for my website about finding the right diet for diabetes. You seem to be spot on with most things I think. I would maybe make 1-2 small changes like I’m not really sure about white rice or milk but I could be wrong. Anyway some great dietary ideas here and if your readers are interested here is my article;