Type 2 diabetes and diet

Type 2 diabetes and diet

There is some good news when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes and diet. The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about what you can and can’t eat. Basically you can eat most things however some foods you will have to moderate as part of an overall healthy, balanced diet.

Your type 2 diabetes and diet needs to be realistic and manageable over the long term. It should try to achieve long term weight loss levels and healthy overall blood sugar levels. Ideally you should work to get yourself into a situation where your diet and exercise regime is so good that your diabetes goes into remission.

Type2 diabetes and diet

This is a subject that is close to my heart and one that I know can make a big difference in the life of type 2 diabetics across the globe. Through proper diet and a good exercise regime you can get yourself off diabetes medication including Metformin and insulin and live a healthy, normal life. It is all a matter of exercising your willpower and forming some new life long habits in the kitchen. To access the best ebook ever written on healthy, tasty type 2 diabetic recipes that was written by a 5 star chef you should start here.

An education in type 2 diabetes and diet

To get the most out of your diet you need to understand how different food impacts your blood sugar levels. The most crucial food group to understand is carbohydrates or carbs.  Carbohydrates are a type of sugar, they are stored in your body and broken down into fuel for your body to function. They are found in pasta, bread,  rice, fruit, grain and anything with sugar in it.

You will need to manage your diet and match it against the amount of physical activity or exercise that you undertake on any given day. This will require some initial calculating on your part and you may need to formulate a plan with a dietitian initially.  If you eat too much food, especially food that is high in calories and you do not burn it off via exercise, those excess calories will lead to weight gain which is especially dangerous for diabetics.

It doesn’t have to be hard work

Managing your type 2 diabetes and diet does not have to be a painful process by any means. In fact you can still eat some of the naughty foods that you love, so long as it is part of an overall healthy, balanced diet. Your diet should have a good balance of healthy carbs, protein and fat. The main point of your diet is to get your blood sugar levels into an optimal target zone in order to keep them well maintained.

Type 2 diabetes and diet can be managed so that, with the addition of exercise, you can limit insulin resistance in your body and therefore manage your  blood sugar levels effectively.Type 2 diabetes and diet

What’s in our food?


Carbohydrates gives your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. They also have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels so they need to be monitored very closely. Carbs come in two forms, simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are something like sugar that requires little effort to be converted into energy by your body. Complex carbs take longer for your body to absorb and digest therefore they give you a slower release of fuel. Complex carbs include vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruit and beans.

You should include a small amount of carbs in each meal. You should look to eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. For the record one serve is equal to about half a cup of vegetables.

If you eat more carbs than the insulin supply in your body then your blood sugar levels are going to increase and vice versa.  Carb counting is a common method of planning and managing the carbs you intend to eat. Please see my blog post about carb counting here.


In a nutshell, saturated and trans fats should be limited, this is because diabetics are more susceptible to heart disease. Please see my blog post on diabetes and heart disease here.

Fats are essential for healthy living. You should focus on eating healthy fats or unsaturated fats, although it important to remember that if you eat too much fat, be it good or bad fat, you may see yourself gain excess weight. You should focus on polyunsaturated fats which includes omega 3 found in fatty fish. Monounsaturated fats are also good for you, these are found in some nuts and in avocados.

Saturated fats are found in animal products such as steak, lamb, cheese and dairy products. To limit the amount of fat in your diet you should choose lean cuts of eat and restrict fried and fast food.


Foods high in protein include meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, eggs, and soy foods. Diabetics should focus on eating more fish and poultry to keep weight and cholesterol levels under control. If you are going to eat meat then you should trim the fat off it and bake, roast or grill it where possible. If you are shallow frying something you should use healthy oils such as olive oil. You should rarely deep fry anything you eat.

Best alcohol for diabeticsA quick word on alcohol

I like a drink and probably drink more than I should. For the record a glass of red with an evening meal is considered to be healthy. Binge drink is not. We are all human and we all like to socialise but you do need to understand the effects alcohol has on the body. Please see my blog post about the best alcohol choices for diabetics here.

See a dietitian

To get your type 2 diabetes and diet under control it is highly advisable that you see a dietitian. Many diabetes centres let you book in for a consultation with a dietitian free of charge so you really don’t have any excuses. Your dietitian should be able to get the most out of your diet and put you on course to effectively manage your diabetes. It will only be a matter of following the instructions laid out and forming some new lifestyle habits.

Buy this eBook for the best recipes

This eBook that I am recommending on this blog post is written by a type 2 diabetic who just so happens to be a 5 star chef. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it really rocked his world. Ultimately he decided to use his disease as a reason to help others. He developed some incredible meals and has shared this with others. In fact he worked so hard on finding healthy, tasty recipes that his type 2 diabetes went into full remission. I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of this award winning eBook, it might just save your life.

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to diets

These days there are so many diets out there and a number of them I have reviewed for you free of charge on this website. A diet that gets a lot of attention inside diabetes circles and out is the Atkins diet. This focuses primarily on your intake of carbs and may make a lot of sense for diabetics. please see my blog post on the Atkins diet here.

The Paleo diet is also getting a lot of coverage in the media these days. The paleo diet focuses on man’s diet when he lived in the caves and how a number of the diseases we see today including diabetes were not around back then due to the unprocessed food early man ate. Please see my blog post about the paleo diet here.


As I have mentioned many times, it is possible to manage your type 2 diabetes and diet to a level where your diabetes goes into remission and you can take yourself off any medication that you are on. It is all a matter of forming some healthy new habits. Getting off your medication is ideal although it may not be feasible for all type 2 diabetics especially if you have had your disease for some years. Ultimately your diet and your exercise regime is going to determine your quality of life and your longevity.

If you have has success managing your type 2 diabetes and diet I would love to hear from you below…

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  1. Andrew6000

    Hi Ben. What a comprehensive site! You have plenty of great quality content there that must have taken you a long time to compile. Your writing style is very natural and easy to read so I am guessing you have some experience writing? Either way, a lot of work has gone into it.

    You also have lots of quality pics on there. Are you paying for those or have you been able to get them free?

    Layout is great. Clean and easy to read and navigate.

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Thanks for the feedback Andrew. I get pics from a variety of sources. I think that Wiki commons is a good place to start for free pics.

  2. Calvin

    Hey Ben there is a lot of great content on this site.
    It really shows how important diet is to a person with Diabetes. I do not have Diabetes, but i know that an insulin spike is something that can cause you to gain weight. I know a lot of people who have been on stuff like the zone diet that is supposed to help control spikes in insulin. What is your opinion on diets like these?

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Thanks Calvin. I can attest to some of the diets on here especially the intermittent fasting one. That seemed to work best for me. As I highlighted above the important thing is to find one and stick to it for the long term. A low carb diet may suit certain diabetics but I love carbs too much which makes that one hard for me to follow over the long term. Ditto the paleo diet. An insulin spike generally means you are probably eating too much especially carbs so that is where you might run into weight gain issues…

  3. Lena

    Hi, Ben and thank you for your very informative post! I and my friend were looking for Type 2 diets. Her little son, who is 5 got Type 2 Diabetes out of the blue and we are trying to figure out a plan. I just don’t understand how he got it on first place. The whole family is very fit and into sports. Both kids are very active and not overweight and my friend cooks healthy meals at least 4 times a week could be even more. So we were looking for more info on what else she can do to make sure her son eats right. Thank you for the e-book recommendation. The recipes there would probably help my friend a lot!

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Lena. As your friend’s son is only 5 I would assume that he has got type 1 not type 2 diabetes… It would be extremely rare to get type 2 diabetes at that age.

      I bet it feels like the sky is falling for that family right now though. The most important message is that it is not the end of the world by any means. He should be able to live a normal, happy, healthy life with only a few changes to his lifestyle and habits.

      Please wish them all the best and please do direct them to this site. Thanks. For anyone else wondering what symptoms to look out for when it comes to juvenile diabetes please read this http://healthybloodsugars.com/juvenile-diabetes-symptoms-what-to-look-for

  4. Alma

    Hi Ben,
    My mother-in-law has type 2 diabetes and was recently rebuked by the dietician. She’s been naughty and her sugars went sky high, so now she’s on a super strict diet plus has been ordered to make exercise.
    The funny part is that the diet she’s been given is exactly what I usually eat, and the same diet you’re talking about in this great website.
    I think that the best way to avoid these kind of illnesses is to raise our kids with proper food and lifestyle.
    However, if we still get diabetes, we should really follow the right guidelines, and your website is giving them all – thank you so much Ben, I’ll get my mother-in-law to visit it every week!
    Cheers, Alma

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Thanks for your kind feedback Alma. There are ways that you can stop type 2 diabetes with better lifestyle choices. Type 1 diabetes is a bit more indiscriminate unfortunately. Hopefully one day the exciting medical breakthroughs will yield something that will eradicate this disease forever. Please tell your mother-in-law to make a few simple lifestyle changes and she will live a normal, happy, healthy life. She maybe interested in the eBook that i mention that has turned many lives around and seen people reverse their type 2 diabetes in a matter of months.


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