Although some health practitioners may believe there are a variety of diets that may work to achieve this goal, as I see it, there is only one choice for the best diet to reverse type 2 diabetes. Considering the fact that intake of sugar and carbohydrates is the leading contributing factor to this condition, the only logical step is to eliminate these foods from your menu.
In their book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, Drs. Volek and Phinney explain, when one is intolerant of carbohydrates, the logical course of action is to reduce one’s intake of the problematic substance below the threshold that produces symptoms in the same way that one would eliminate gluten or lactose if they were intolerant of these substances.
Carbohydrates in any form (including the complex ones) are converted into glucose, which means they prompt an insulin response. The scenario that needs to be avoided when trying to reverse type 2 diabetes. If the excess sugar is removed from the bloodstream and you eat more animal protein and fat, blood sugar levels will decrease and insulin sensitivity will return.
Fortunately, a diet for this serious endocrine disorder did not have to be invented; it already existed in the Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet. This diet used anthropological research to discover the foods that human beings are genetically designed to eat based on evolution, and it inherently contains all the foods that are needed to reverse type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, the best diet to reverse type 2 diabetes is as follows:
- A lot of animal protein and a moderate amount of fat (beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey, wild game, fish etc.)
Fish should be wild Alaskan, poultry should be cage-free, hormone and antibiotic free, and beef and bison should be grass-fed. Otherwise you’ll be eating foods that have an imbalance in their Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, as well as a variety of chemicals that disrupt insulin and cause disease.
- Free-Range and Organic Eggs
- A lot of non-starchy vegetables (like broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, green beans, avocados, kale or any other green)
- Oil from walnuts, avocado, olive and coconut. No vegetable oils, as they cause an imbalance in fatty acids as well.
- Plenty of water. (Free of chlorine, fluoride and other contaminants that may disrupt insulin.)
- Small servings of nuts, seed and low-sugar fruit.
Including walnuts, macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. (Cashews are high in carbohydrates, so they need to be limited. It’s important to note that peanuts are not a nut, they are a legume and should be avoided.)
Fruits that are low in sugar are the best, like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Apples, peaches, mangos, plums, pears can be eaten moderately. High sugar fruits like bananas, grapes, pineapple should be limited.
Raisins, dates, figs and any other dried fruit should be restricted for special occasions, as they are very high in sugar.
- All legumes and grains, including whole wheat, whole grains, brown rice, barley, corn and even the alternative grains like quinoa and amaranth should be eliminated.
- All starchy carbohydrates, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash should be restricted and reserved for special occasions, not eaten on a regular basis.
- No caffeine (including coffee, tea, soft-drinks, chocolate, green tea etc.) Caffeine stimulates the liver to pump the bloodstream with glycogen.
- No fruit juice. (too high in sugar)
- No alcohol. (the most refined sugar that exists)
- No artificial sweeteners. (They disrupt brain chemistry and the endocrine system, which often results in cravings for sugar and carbohydrates.)
- Dairy is not technically a Paleo food, but butter and ghee do not have a significant affect on blood sugar and insulin. Yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese do prompt an insulin response, so they should be eaten in moderation.
All food in your type 2 diabetes diet should be organic, because the food additives and preservatives, and pesticides and herbicides set off the stress responses system, which results in adrenalin triggering the liver to release glycogen into the bloodstream and thus the inevitable release of insulin. These chemicals may also interfere with insulin receptors.
By simply returning to the foods that Mother Nature intended for you to eat in the place first, you can not only reverse type 2 diabetes, but lower triglycerides and cholesterol, prevent obesity, promote good mental, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, and optimize your physical, emotional and spiritual health all around, as well.
Sources for Diet to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
- Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. Beyond Obesity, LLC. May 2011.
- Gant, Charles, M.D. Endocrine Stress Webinar. www.cegant.com/seminars
- Dr. Al Sears, PACE: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution. Wellness Research & Consulting, Inc., 2010.
- Cordain, Loren. The Paleo Diet. Wiley, 2001