Diet Guide & Principles
In This Article
M.Ds say that a healthy diet is crucial for reversing diabetes. However, many of us with diabetes need help in learning how to eat right. That’s why we need the Diabetes Food Pyramid.
It’s quite simple. The Diabetes Food Pyramid, ideally, tells you how much of what foods you should eat every day. It was designed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association. It divides food into 6 groups. Foods at the bottom, which is a wider section, should be eaten in larger portions, while food groups at the narrow top should be consumed less.
Most doctors will hand you this food pyramid chart from the ADA as a part of your advice. But, what if we told you that more and more M.Ds are now disagreeing with this pyramid and are suggesting you use a different one? What if those very doctors were the ones reversing type 2 diabetes in their clinics?
Important Note: In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture swapped the Food Pyramid for the American Plate. The ADA followed suit. However, its approach to two crucial components – fats and carbs – has, roughly, remained the same. So, in order to compare the old diabetic food pyramid and the new diabetic food pyramid (followed by functional M.D.s like Dr. Mark Hyman), we are still using pyramids as the visual aid to point out key differences.
The traditional diabetes food pyramid looks something like this, from bottom to top:
To figure out what’s wrong with this pyramid, just take a look at the bottom of it. The carbs are sitting there! That’s a whole lot for diabetics to eat every day.
We’ve built resources for you on reversing diabetes, diabetes and weight loss and the simplest diabetes diet plan. We are big fans of Canadian nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung and his amazing work, when it comes to weight loss and diabetes. Dr. Fung and other M.Ds like him are successfully reversing Type 2 Diabetes in their patients. For them, the Low Carbohydrate High Fat Diet (LCHF diet) is often the critical starting point.
The combination of low carbohydrates and good fats is being shown to improve weight loss and insulin resistance in a variety of studies. A UK-based study done in 2006 found that “carbohydrate restriction was an effective method of achieving short-term weight loss compared with standard advice, but this was at the expense of an increase in relative saturated fat intake.” The study examined 102 Type 2 diabetes patients over a 3-month program. One group was given low carb and high fat foods while the other was given reduced carb portions and low fat food. All participants were obese, with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes. The people on the LCHF diet lost weight by the end of the study and showed improved cholesterol numbers (higher HDL) as well.
Another Canadian study found strong evidence supporting the intake of vegetables, nuts, a high-quality, Mediterranean diet plan for greater protection from Coronary Heart Disease. It also found that harmful factors like the intake of trans fats and foods with a high glycemic index or load increase the risk of heart disease. We’re highlighting this study because the traditional Diabetes Food Pyramid restricts fats by putting it at the very top of the pyramid, treating it as the villain. But in 2016, the U.S government took good fats and cholesterol off the ‘naughty’ list. High quality fats are heart healthy and must be included in bigger portions into the diabetes food pyramid.
An LCHF diet with limited portions of red meat, cheese, eggs and no added sugars closely resembles the popular Mediterranean diet. Several studies have proven than the Mediterranean diet is not only ideal for weight loss; it is also great for diabetes.
When you break it down (pun intended), it’s pretty clear why low-carb diets work to reverse T2D. Carbohydrates break down into sugars in the body. These sugars go into the blood stream and cause a spike in blood glucose levels. Reduce the carbs and your blood sugar levels will begin to stabilize. We really like Dr. Mark Hyman’s Pegan Food Pyramid for this very reason.
The LCHF diabetes food pyramid focuses on:
Lots of patients with T2D have followed this diabetic food pyramid chart in combination with intermittent fasting, to make huge gains in blood sugar control. Add a bit of sustainable exercise and you are well on the path to reversing your T2D. It could be as simple as walking. Research shows that yoga and other techniques of stress management, also, go a long way to tip the scales in your favor and against diabetes.
While this diabetic food pyramid chart gives you a good starting point on modifying your eating habits, we ‘ve put together diet plans and fantastic recipes for right here. Based on your current level of activity, you can choose Sedentary Lifestyle, Active Lifestyle or Highly Active Lifestyle and get complete plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week.
So, go ahead and eat your way out of type 2 diabetes!