If you or someone you love is living with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, you’re sure to wonder on a daily basis which diet or eating plan is best for this type of diabetes. There are so many ideas, theories and trends that have been purported to be the best over many decades, that making sense of it all is a daily challenge. Let’s take a look at what is essential in choosing the right eating plan for Type 2 diabetes.

The key here is that your diet or eating plan is actually right for you. Do you know what works best for your health and lifestyle? We are all biochemically different and therefore respond differently to food. Whilst the diet and eating plan may tick many boxes, your own individual response to food needs to be factored in for it to be a long term success.

Prefer to see this information as a video? Watch Which eating & diet plan is best for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes? on YouTube.

What is a successful eating plan for Type 2 Diabetes

A successful eating plan for Type 2 diabetes is the one that gets you the results you are seeking, both in the short term AND long term.

There is growing research that reveals the harm of yo-yoing from diet to diet with weight loss and gain, especially for our longevity. A successful eating plan is not based on this vicious cycle, but instead is a plan that is consistent and achievable.

Tips for choosing a successful Type 2 Diabetes eating plan

  • Choose a plan that is simple enough to follow so you will manage and sustain it
  • One that you can imagine still doing in a year or five (lifestyle change)
  • Avoid extremes – moderation works to achieve tip 1 & 2
  • Ensure it has a blood glucose (insulin lowering) component – this is essential
  • Include the 3 macro foods for balanced eating (Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates)
  • Choose a plan that includes these 3 components for the best chance of success –  food, exercise and behavioural changes
  • Develop an understanding of what works for you – your body and lifestyle
  • With any eating plan, monitor your own blood sugars so you can see the facts in real-time – here and now. (e.g on waking, just before a meal and then 2 hours after)

Eating and diet plan theories and options

Let’s look at the current eating plans that you may be considering. Low carb-healthy fat (LCHF) is getting a lot of traction and has strong research to support it. LCHF is the overarching set of principles and other eating plans sit under it such as Ketogenic, Atkins, Mediterranean. Paleo, Western A Price and others.

Vegetarian and Vegan trends are on the rise. Within your eating plan choices, there is also the consideration of raw food versus cooked food, plant-based versus animal foods. This is about individual choices to find what suits your lifestyle, your body and your principles. We have included a brief comparison of eating plans to view. Download eating plans here.

Should I be eating a low fat eating plan?

For decades we’ve been told to fear foods high in fat and there are plenty of diets still promoting and advocating low fat eating. The research is now clear that this advice on nutrition is very much out of date so this is not an eating plan to consider for Type 2 Diabetes. The research is clear about the harm to health when consuming man-made seed oils and restricting natural dietary fat including from diabetes. This does not mean going crazy eating high levels of healthy fat either. Be sure your liver can cope by avoiding extremes.

Is LCHF or Keto the best for Type 2 Diabetes

As an independent diabetes reversal programme, we sit with the LCHF eating plan for Type 2 Diabetes as a solid starting place for Type 2 diabetes, along with resetting hormones, lowering insulin and improving insulin sensitivity.

LCHF is not new and much recent research proves LCHF eating as the winner for a number of criteria – for prevention, diabetes, weight loss and weight maintenance.

The Keto eating plan is a more extreme version of LCHF that needs specific focus and planning or often isn’t effective – you kick yourself out of ketosis. Keto APPs help achieve the correct ratios of macronutrients. The Keto plan can be too high in protein. Our body can only digest and absorb the protein it needs and the rest of it putrifies, which can create digestive disturbance and stress for the liver and kidneys. A Keto plan can also be too high in fat,  especially if you already have a fatty liver, (which is common with diabetes and weight issues), therefore care can be needed at the start.

The main question and challenge with Keto is whether the very specific requirements are sustainable for you? Remember tip 1 and 2 above? Choose simple plans, what works for you and what can you sustain long term.

In summary

Our recommendation is to choose simple plans, discover what works for YOU and think about what you can sustain long term, which is what really matters.

Through The Diabetes Clinic Online Programmes, we guide our clients in any eating plan that suits them as an individual, as long as it fits the principles of whole real food, healthy fats and has insulin lowering results.

CASE STUDY – Read Carol’s story here for how she is reversing her diabetes with LCHF eating through The Diabetes Clinic Online programmes.