Diabetes and the Paleo Diet – a good combination?

Diabetes and the paleo diet - a

People always want to know about the best diet to manage their diabetes. Most of the questions I get asked here at www.healthybloodysugars.com revolve around medical breakthroughs, exercises and diets. Diabetes and the Paleo diet comes up fairly regularly, as does the Atkins diet. My answer is always the same about these diets – try it out to see if it works for you. But for long term benefits the diet must be sustainable. If you do the diet for 3 weeks then revert back to your same unhealthy diet then you are wasting your time.

Diabetes and the paleo diet

Diabetes and the paleo diet never used to coexist

Most of the terminal diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease were unheard of and almost never existed.  This time was referred to as paleolithic period and our forefathers were more muscular, taller, stronger and less fat than the modern man. They lived on hunting in game plains, fishing in the sea, and also gathering wild fruits and nuts in the forest. Then what happened? A big change in diet.

After the end of the Paleolithic period, man discovered farming and everything changed.  He started domesticating animals and plants which led to emergence of diabetic seeds and increased dairy products. Wheat and rice tends to dominate the modern kind of foods and this has led to emergence of chronic diseases like diabetes.

The main benefits of the paleo diet


Weight loss

Those people who follow it properly tend to shed some weight and maintain lean bodies. That is the main attraction when it comes to diabetes and the paleo diet. The  Paleo diet consists of low carbohydrates but a large amount of fruits and vegetables is encouraged.  There are certain foods that are allowed in paleo diet while others are banned.  Those encouraged are organic and lean cut meat, sea food, fruits and vegetables and some nuts.  Those banned are processed foods, dairy, legumes, potatoes and some grains like rice, wheat, oats and barley as these never existed in our diet in the Paleolithic period.

The best thing with the paleo diet is that you can eat a wide variety of delicious and nutritious foods without depriving your body of essential nutrients.  In this diet there is no need for minerals and vitamin supplements.

It helps diabetics control their blood sugar

Lots of  people with diabetes (particularly type 2 diabetes) are hardly eating anything to raise their blood sugars and are restricting their carbs that keeps their blood sugar down.  The paleo diet encourages eating of whole unprocessed foods for a healthier approach. This food makes you feel fuller with fewer calories which encourages weight loss.

It reduces the risk of heart disease and its complications.

The paleo diet users are encouraged to reduce their cholesterol levels by avoiding red meat or saturated fats, and their proteins sources should be from fish and chicken and using heart healthy and unsaturated fats. They are also required to avoid using refined carbs and sugar. These factors are what makes diabetes and the paleo diet an interesting alternative.


People with diabetes are encouraged to lose some weight, by following a proper diet and also a consistent exercise regime. The paleo diet can definitely help manage weight and keep blood sugar levels down.This can encourage diabetics to live a healthy life without fear of the terminal disease that they poses. It is important to find a proper diet and STICK TO IT however. There are many alternatives out there. Please also read my article on diabetes and the Atkins diet.

Please get in touch with me if you have diabetes and the paleo diet is something that you follow.

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  1. Travis Smithers

    From what I know of the paleo diet, it makes sense to me that it could help with people having diabetes.

    When you consider what a majority of people are eating the concept of the paleo diet would benefit most people. Process foods are no good for anybody, and the food companies are using too many bad fillers in our food supplies with crap for profits.

    Getting back to organics and better food choices is something we all need to do more of to have healthier lives.

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Travis. Yes the Paleo diet is another diet that maybe better than a typical western diet especially if it involves a lot of processed foods. The Atkins diet also gets a lot of coverage. Please ee my article on the Atkins diet as another potential game changer for diabetics. http://healthybloodsugars.com/the-atkins-diet-and-diabetes-a-good-combination

  2. Brian

    As an optometrist that specializes in diabetic retinopathy, I have to agree with you that the paleo diet is excellent. It contains almost no carbs as far as I can see, although you must be careful with regards to the sugar from fruit and not overindulge in that area.

    But I really agree with your initial sentiment. Weight loss is so important for type 2 diabetes and a diet that will last is the trick. If you look at this diet and say, I won’t be able to keep it up, it isn’t for you.

    I have patients who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than 20 years ago, got on a good, long-lasting diet and exercises every day and they are off all medication and have no retinopathy.

    Thanks so much for setting up this site, it is so important and I will be directing my patients to it in the future!

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Thanks for the feedback Brian I certainly value it. I quite liked the Paleo diet but unfortunately I found it unsustainable which is what you were alluding to. It must be sustainable. I have tried just about every diet out there but a calorie controlled diet is probably the easiest one to follow in my experience. Luckily I dont have any problems with my eyes but I make sure to get a check-up once a year which is important. The drops they use that make you unable to see for a few hours are annoying. What are they called?


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