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 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 eating plan is actually right for you. Do you know what works best for your health and lifestyle? We are all bio-chemically different and therefore respond differently to food. Whilst the 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.
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 on 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. (15 minutes before your meal and 2 hours after)
Eating 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.
Vegetarianism and Veganism 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 for you 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 hundreds 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 diabetes. This does not mean going crazy eating high levels of healthy fat either. Be sure your liver can cope and avoid 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 along with to reset hormones, lower insulin and improve insulin resistance.
LCHF is not new and most of the recent research proves LCHF eating as the winner for a number of criteria for health, diabetes, weight loss and weight maintenance.
The Keto eating plan is a more extreme version of LCHF that needs specific focus and planning or it often isn’t effective – you kick yourself out of ketosis which the body is designed well for. Keto APPs help get the ratios of macros correct. The Keto plan can be a concern as it can be too high in protein. Our body can only process the protein it needs and the rest of it putrifies, which can create digestive disturbance. Eating a Keto plan can initially also be too high in fat to make up the meals and if you have a fatty liver, (which is common with diabetes and weight issues), therefore careful introduction is needed.
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.
Through the Diabetes Clinic Programme 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 capabilities to achieve the reversal of diabetes that is essential for a longer and healthier life.
FREE DOWNLOAD! Are you ready to make some changes now to your diet? Get our FREE Cookbook download with delicious recipes from our programme nutritionist.