How This Helps
Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance. This means that insulin, the key that allows sugar to enter the cells for energy use, no longer functions properly. The number one culprit in this dysfunction is fat, mainly from animal products. Fat in the muscle cells blocks the lock-and-key action of insulin so sugar cannot enter the cell. This leads to elevated blood sugar levels. Research shows that by decreasing the amount of fat in the diet, insulin begins to function optimally once again.1
Science and Research
All available research points to the best possible diet for type 2 diabetes being a whole food, plant based diet and meal plan with minimal added fats. This means focusing more on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in your meal plan and less on animal foods such as meat, dairy, fish and eggs. You could also look at this as a low-fat, high fiber meal plan for diabetes type 2. When compared head-to-head with the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association, a whole food, plant based diet led to three times greater improvements in blood sugar control.2
Note: The benefits of this way of eating do not require counting carbohydrates or calories. For that reason, this meal plan is not set for a particular calorie count. With the exception of limiting peanut butter and olive oil to less than 2 tablespoons, you are encouraged to eat until satisfied.
Sample Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan ideas are listed below.
Breakfast: Southwest Tofu Scramble
This is a great way to start the day strong with a good dose of vegetables. By using tofu instead of eggs, you decrease the fat and cholesterol content of your meal and help to improve insulin function (make sure to go light on the olive oil, too!). Research has found that individuals who eat fewer eggs are at less of a risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Serving size: 1/2 recipe, Calories: 252, Fat: 19g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 12.7g Sugar: 2.5g, Sodium: 516mg, Fiber: 3g Protein: 12g
Snack: Dried Apricots
Apricots are a powerhouse of nutrients and also happen to be very high in fiber. They’re a great option for diabetics. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, be sure to combine the apricots with a handful of nuts to prevent unwanted blood sugar spikes in planning your meals.
Calories 10, Fat 0g , Saturated Fat 0g , Cholesterol 0g, Protein 1g , Carbohydrate 23g , Sugar 21g , Fiber 3g , Sodium 15mg