Diabetes Type 2 Diet


I would like to hear from anyone with Type 2 diabetes about what diet you follow, what actually works to control your blood sugar. That is, those of you who are not on insulin but on oral meds only.

I have had no luck on the ADA diet given to me in my diabetes education program mandated by my insurance co. Way to many carbs, sugar spikes all the time. the only thing that seems to work is what my doctor prescribed in the first place, low-carb, moderate low-fat protein, veggies (non-starchy) in healthy amounts.

I’ve read every book out there, I think, but since I got serious about testing my sugar, and logging what I eat, how I feel, and sugar levels daily, it is becoming clear the diet based on complex carbs - fruit, veggies and whole grains (not flours or breads or cereals, actual grains), beans, potato etc. just does not work for me way too many carbs.

what is your experience?


JMJ I had the same problem re carbs. They are finally waking up to the fact that starch is just as bad as sugar [so skip the bread and use your allotment on cake.] I find Italian starches particularly bad for some reason - pizza and bread sticks especially. The liver turns starch into blood sugar quite rapidly. Apparently diabetics have known this for years but it is just getting through to the dietitians. I go heavily for raw fruits and vegetables - lots of salads and carrot sticks. And I need a good helping of protein to keep the hunger down. My sugar still spikes a lot for no apparent reason. I can have a reading of 140 before dinner and 80 after. I had maxed out on med dosage and was about to go on insulin when I had heart surgery. I lost 20 pound then and sugar came back down. I’m about at the upper end of recommended weight now. Sorry if this if rambling but maybe there is a helpful idea in it someplace.


Juice greens and use cinnamon supplement.


DH is big on juicing, any juice, veggie, greens or fruit raises my sugar enormously. I just have to eat more veggies but even more than 2 servings of cooked veg at a time causes a problem. I am also having a lot of trouble digesting salads and raw veggies. fruit, even berries or low gi fruit raises sugar too high.


I am on Glucophage XR. I don’t test as regularly as I should but when I do, my sugars are great. I follow a Vegan diet. And I don’t eat a lot of pasta. When I do it’s whole grain…NEVER white. Things made with white flour play havoc with sugar. Salads are a staple, with lots of seeds and nuts. Lots of seasonal fresh fruits…apples are a favorite.I second the poster’s cinnamon suggestion. I put that on my morning oatmeal. Although you can buy capsules also.
My weight loss efforts have been a roller coaster ride.But since I have been on the meds( 4 years) it has been an overall downhill loss of 32 lbs.



I have no background with trying to eat with type 2 diabetes, but I’m wondering if you take in mind the glycemic index when making food choices and how that might have any effects on blood sugar?


I have been diagnosed with “pre-diabetes” and PCOS, so essentially, I eat like like I already have the full blown disease. I stay away from refined carbohydrates (this is including whole grain bread, rolled oats) and foods with added sugar. I take Metformin 3x per day, seems to be helping along with the diet changes. I eat a lot of fruits, lean meats, low fat dairy, legumes and veggies. Potatoes have been a big thing with me, I eat them everyday. It’s kind of like my substitute for bread.


yes that is part of the system I have been following since diagnosis, but all carbs raise blood sugar wildly within 2 hrs of a meal, there is no difference between something high or low on the list, just the carb grams. there is also no difference in say a hi-fiber cereal or tortilla and a low-fiber. No difference between 1/8 a sweet potato and a piece of chocolate. Same grams, same blood sugar spike. That is why I am asking the question, the standard advice in the diabetes books and the health magazines just does not work for me.


this is my husband’s diet has been for years, he does great. I also followed it for years had some weight loss, but the high-complex carb lo-fat diet began my struggle. I followed it because it was recommended when I first was diagnosed with syndrome X or pre-diabetes. But since I started testing sugar, about a year before my diabetes diagnosis, all carbs raise my sugar and cause wild spikes. Oatmeal (steel cut, that’s what DH eats) is one of the worst foods in that way. I have not eaten sugar, refined flour, white pasta, white bread etc. for at least 20 years.


That’s me. PCOS with IR, but I currently have full-blown gestational diabetes. I know that exercise helped me a lot. When I got a decent amount of exercise every day, I started dropping weight, even though I ate the same. The weight loss, in turn, helped the BS lower.
I’ll go back on metformin after I deliver, but will have to be as careful as I am now, since the GD usually leads to full-blown Type II within a couple years.
I too find the ADA diet has a lot of carbs, so I usually eat more protein instead, and lots of veggies, especially raw, and only whole grain everything, no white flour.
What meds are you on? Have you tried the long-acting versions?


Yes, I’d check the newer drugs too. Januvia, or Byetta perhaps. With the spikes, maybe you might try eating quite slowly? That helps me. Also I’ve found I have to be quite careful to eat just as many carbs at each main meal (45 is my limit each time); if I only eat 30 for breakfast one day I try to eat 30 for lunch and 30 for dinner, otherwise I’ll feel the spike if I go higher, even if it’s within my limit otherwise. Still, I prefer counting carbs to the ‘exchange’, and I definitely check the GI (glycemic index). Don’t forget about your activity level, too; that has an effect (more activity means you might spike to adjust to the increased activity).

Also, have you checked into having a continuous glucose monitor placed for 24 hours? That’s what our hospital does when patients get major spikes, so that they can see exactly what, when, how etc. the patient reacts.


Have you seen an endrocrinologist? This is a doctor who specializes in endrocrine disorders, including diabetes. Type II diabetes, as you probably already know, is greatly aggravated by extra weight. Of course losing weight is often easier said than done, but of course that would be your first starting point.

Type II diabetes starts as insulin resistance. The islet of langerhams is still making insulin, but the body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is the chemical key that carries glucose into the cell, and in insulin resistance I believe some of it’s co-enzymes aren’t functioning properly. The Islet of Langerhams then goes into overdrive if the diabetes isn’t managed properly, and finally poops out, forcing the patient to start using insulin injections. Many people who end up with diabetes already struggle with poor eating habits and lack of a fitness routine, so of course they have trouble giving up a lifetime of bad habits. As most of us know, food can be an addiction.

You also might want to get some opinions from non-traditional sources for some holistic approaches. Also, exersise is clinically shown to decrease insulin resistance.


My doctor pulled me off of all kinds of refined carbohydrates. He said anything made with flour, even if it is whole grain, is off limits. I am on Metformin 3x/day. He did not recommend the XR version to me, so I figured he just wanted me to stay on the regular Met.


My husband has diabetes and heart disease in his family. We use the South Beach diet, which pays attention to glycemic index and also to whether the types of fats being used are beneficial. (For instance, the glycemic index of white bread is just as bad as the equivalent amount of white sugar.) We switched from potatoes to black beans and sometimes whole-grain pilafs. The form of the carbohydrate you’re eating makes a difference.

My husband lost a ton of weight and his blood test numbers got so much better.

As an aside, I read this summer that coconut flour added to white bread lowered the glycemic index substantially…it is a very high-fiber flour. Unfortunately, I could not find a bread recipe using substantial amounts of coconut flour that didn’t make our teeth squeak. If you try adding it to your food, don’t go overboard!


SOuthbeach is pretty good for diabetics.

I try to walk at least 2 miles a day. No breads, refined baked products. NO pizza, chinese food or pasta.

How bad are your spikes?

If you are eating carbs, mix em up with protien and lots of fiber.
I"m sure you are not drinking sugar drinks.
Juicing greens shouldn’t do too much to your blood sugar. Fruits are out as you know.

Lots of fiber, low on carbs, heavy on protien. See a doctor.


Hope you don’t mind me reviving this thread. I was told today that I have diabetes. I’m on metformin 500 mg 2x/day. I just got the dx so I have not taken the first pill yet. I was going to start a new diabetes thread but searched and found this one.

This thread looks like it’s several years old - have there been any developments since then? I imagine some of the websites are new. My doctor told me to take a diabetes education class through my county.

I’m not surprised b/c my diet and exercise habits have been poor and I need to lose a lot of weight. Additionally, I’m on a drug called Seroquel which is known to raise diabetes risk by a factor of almost 4, I believe.

Any suggestions/advice? thanks.


My niece is diabetic and there is a lot of diabetes in my husband’s family. She does something like South Beach, only she looks at glycemic load instead of just glycemic index. Also, she knows through experience that she can have a bit more of “bad carbs” on top of a meal that was high in fiber and had some fats in it.

As nearly as I can gather, this is the program:

  1. Learn scientifically what causes blood sugar to go up and down. You’ll be learning terms such as glycemic load and glycemic index, and things that affect these such as the total fiber and fat in a meal, the acidity of the meal, the ripeness of a piece of fruit, the amount a food was pre-ground or cooked, and so on.

  2. With this knowledge in hand, find out how your body handles foods,exercise, lack of sleep and other lifestyle issue by checking your blood sugar very very often, until you can predict the effect of each of these on your blood sugar. The reason for this is that the theory of predicting glycemic load is in its infancy, and includes many, many variables. One of those variables is your body.

Besides, when you get immdidate bad feedback when you make poor choices and good feedback when you make good ones, you’re less likely to fall off of the wagon.

In general, though…exercise, get enough sleep, work to lower mental stress, and stick to “good” carbs and “good” fats in portions that will keep your weight in a healthy region. Enjoy the “bad” ones in small portions and under circumstances in which they are least likely to do damage. That is going to be for a lifetime. The sooner you get started, the longer that lifetime is likely to be.


I love pasta. We found Dream Fields pasta is low on carbs. I further dilute it by chopping in a chunk of zucchini. It works well for me.


I see someone has revived this thread so will give a progress report since I started this the year I was diagnosed. What has proven necessary is testing daily, at least once, but 2 hrs after meals when I try new foods or diet strategies. and writing down every thing I eat, when, and tracking not only sugar but BP

Through trial and error, I am now on metformim 500 1/day, no other diabetes meds, and where I was taking 8 prescriptions am now down to 3, crestor and lotrel besides the met. have lost 30 lbs and kept it off. A1C is 5.6 and has been below 6 for 3 years. I realize I may still be in a honeymoon period but the longer I can stay controlled the better for my future.

Key is exercise, there is no weight loss w/o it.

key to controlling sugar is definitely low carb, the approach advocated by Dr. Richard Bernstein, at least for me, and eating the same total amount of food, no more than 1 to 1/2 cups at a time, same amount of carbs, same time every day. Too much variance throws me out of whack not only that day, but for at least a week afterward. 15-21g carbs at a meal, 5-8 g for a snack, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, 9-12 oz protein/day, only good fats, little or no processed or packaged foods, no manufactured foods (like jello, cool whip, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors etc). No more than 1 c. raw veggies, but I make salads of lightly steamed, chilled and marinated veggies.

2/3 by volume of any meal is veggies, most of them steamed, some stir fry, 1/3 good quality protein with a dash of good fat like slivered almonds, olive oil based dressing, avocado etc.

30 min walking and 30 min water aerobics daily, or 1 hour of housework.

w/o exercise nothing else works well.

this is the prescription for me, not for anyone else.
my cardiologist and pulmonologist have said bye bye for now, I only see them once a year, primary care doc does all bloodwork etc. every 3 months. Chol is under 200, triglycerides and ldl are under 130, working on getting them to 100, HDL went from 40 to 60+.

no bread except 1 slice of sprouted grain toast daily, just that simply addition helped stopped night hunger and lows. No sugar, no sweets, no baked goods, no candy, no gum, no soda diet or otherwise. period. No chips, popcorn or snack foods. These things have lost their appeal. 1 oz dark chocolate and 2.5 oz red wine every afternoon, so as not to conflict with my evening meds.

Sugar has stayed between 91 and 97 for the last 7 weeks. illness really throws me off so I try to stay healthy.


Congratulations on the successful maintenance of your diabetes. Your numbers are awesome.

My mother struggled with diabetes for many years before finally dying from its complications. I wish that she had been motivated to manage her disease as well as you have.

Keep up the good work.

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