The 14 Best Foods to Control Type 2 Diabetes

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The 14 Best Foods to Control Type 2 Diabetes

We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is vital in terms of type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment. Generally, the advice given to diabetics is relevant to the general population as well: consume adequate vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, and less industrial sweets and foods high in fat and salt. It is known that patients who use professional advice and expert dieticians and nutritional supervision have a much better chance to maintain balanced levels of sugar, and avoid the complications of the disease. Diabetics should also keep meals at regular times throughout the day to avoid sharp rises in blood sugar levels.

So what are the best foods to control diabetes and add to the menu? There are 12 foods that can help balance blood sugar in your body. These are olive oil, cinnamon, green tea, pulses, green vegetables and oats. These common foods that are already in our kitchen help maintaining adequate blood sugar and prevent diabetes complications:


1. Olive oil

Oil lacks carbohydrates, and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels. In addition, it slows the absorption of foods eaten along with the oil. Olive oil is rich Omega 9 and Omega 3 which help maintain the flexibility of blood vessels, allowing good blood flow. Also oil does not increase insulin levels, thus reducing the non-insulin tolerance that exists in many people and causes an increase in blood sugar levels. Find here more information about the great health benefits of olive oil.

2. Cinnamon

Many studies show that consumption of one teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 g) to three teaspoons a day has a positive effect on reducing blood glucose levels. It was found that the cinnamon can make your cells more sensitive to insulin. Thus, the cells convert sugar into energy more efficiently and control the amount of sugar level in the blood. Diabetics who received cinnamon extract daily for 40 days experienced lower levels of blood sugar after eating, as well as substantial improvements to the heart health. Read here more about how to use cinnamon as a medicine. Adding cinnamon to your diet is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

3. Green Tea

Green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG, which helps to maintain the flexibility of blood vessels and stabilizing blood glucose levels. A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that this element reduces blood sugar levels and prevents its sharp rise after a meal consisting mainly carbohydrates. Read here more about the amazing health benefits of green tea.

4. Pulses

Legumes such as lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas are low in fat and calories and also rich in fiber and protein. Dietary fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption into the blood and reduces the glycemic load. They are a great addition to soups, salads and a variety of other dishes.


5. Green Vegetables

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal fresh green leaves vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard and parsley, and other green vegetables  (fresh, steamed or frozen) such as celery, cucumber, cauliflower, green beans and kohlrabi contain carbohydrates that release hormones in the gut that reduce appetite. In addition, the researchers found that these vegetables improves insulin sensitivity and thus better regulate blood glucose levels. Eating vegetables like asparagus, garlic and Jerusalem artichoke can help in cases of diabetes and obesity, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because vegetables are rich in magnesium and are known as effective antioxidants.

6. Oatmeal

Oats contain a high percentage of fiber, B vitamins (especially B1), vitamin E and antioxidants. The large amount of fiber causes a slower absorption of glucose, and combining antioxidants makes the oatmeal recommended food to stabilize blood sugar levels. Click here to find easy and delicious porridge recipes with oatmeal.

7. Red Apples

A recent study conducted in Finland found that men who ate the greatest number of apples (and other foods rich in quercetin) had 20% less deaths related to diabetes or heart complications. Other good sources of quercetin are red grapes, tomatoes, onions, green vegetables and berries. You can find easy and nutritious berry recipes in my e-book The Healing The Healing Berry Guide. This e-book will teach you how to transform your health with berries, and is a must for berry lovers.

8.  Vitamin C Rich Foods

Studies show that people with diabetes have lower levels of vitamin C in their body, so rich foods in vitamin C such as berries, citrus fruits, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwifruit, tomatoes, etc are loaded with antioxidants and are an excellent choice.


9. Cold-Water Fish

Those who suffer from diabetes are twice more likely to suffer also from heart disease. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, can help to lower “bad “cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol. Seafood is a great source for omega 3, such as: halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and cod. Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, such as: kale, parsley, mint, Brussle sprouts, spinach and watercress, are rich in ALA, one form of omega-3 fatty acids (although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA). Ground flaxseed is also a good source of omega 3. Read here more about the fantastic health benefits of omega 3.

10 . Dark Chocolate

Researchers from Tufts University in Massachusetts found that dark chocolate improves cell sensitivity to insulin and significantly improves the chances of avoiding diabetes. In addition, dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the body, and strengthens the blood vessels. Dark chocolate is a true superfood that is also featured in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.


11 . Grass Fed Beef

There are other things in beef other than protein, iron and vitamin B. There is an element which is part of the beef fat which is called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). The most abundant source of CLA is beef from grass-fed cows. Experiments have shown that CLA works to correct improper utilization of blood sugar and helps fight cancer and heart disease. In a  recent study in Norway scientists have added a few grams of CLA to the daily diet of 180 people. They reported that they lost 9% of their body weight in one year. Make sure that the beed is processed as little as possible, as it contains more CLA. Other food sources of CLA in smaller amounts include milk and eggs.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

According to webMD website, the effect of ACV on blood sugar levels is one of the best researched and the most promising. Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For example, a small 2007 study with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. Dilute the ACV in a glass of water and drink (you can add a little bit of honey to improve the taste). Read also my previous article why you should use ACV to lose weight, reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.

13. Okra

Particularly interesting is the research into the potential of okra (also known as lady’s fingers, bamia, bhindi or gumbo) in the treatment of diabetes. The studies have only been done on animal models so far and it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but the preliminary findings are promising. A study from 2011 showed that okra helped reduce the absorption of glucose and lowered blood sugar levels in rats. Another study on rats was conducted in 2011 and provided similar results (see more information in my article about the amazing health benefits of okra).

14. Bitter Melon

Bitter melon, also known as wild cucumber or bitter apple, grows in Asia, East Africa, South America and the Caribbean. It is consumed as food and also has many medicinal effects. It has a strange appearance, almost like a bumpy green banana, and contains three different properties that are proven to help diabetics. Clinical studies continue to evaluate the charantin, polypeptide-p, and vicine, each of which have shown an ability to lower blood sugar. You can read more about bitter melon and how to consume it in my article Bitter Melon Can Treat Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes.

In summary, these best foods to control diabetes should be added to your daily menu. You can start the day with oatmeal porridge flavored with cinnamon, eat for lunch grass fed beef with poached green vegetables, drink afternoon green tea alongside a red apple, and in the evening eat lentil soup. At bedtime drink another cup of green tea in order to lower blood sugar levels and calm the digestive system before going to sleep. You can also read my article about the independent documentary film that features six people with diabetes who reversed their diabetes in 30 days with one simple change:

Diabetes can be Reversed In 30 Days With One Simple Change

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70 Responses to The 14 Best Foods to Control Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Laura Blake says:

    I have been Type 2 diabetic for many years, this article was very helpful.Thanks!

  2. Malcolm Tan says:

    Very informative. Thanks for the info. Will try to keep this in mind when I make my food choices.

  3. John says:

    Another good food to add would be almonds – great in fiber and protein.

    • natalie grimmond says:

      I will definetly try these remedies for my mom and myself,she has high pertension,also a stroke,type2 diabetes,I have high pertension too but no diabetes,so to prevent anything further from happening I will try it,thank u very much for sharing these important topics,god bless

  4. Deborah Durhsm says:

    Thanks. with this ailment on the rise across the nation and it running on both sides of my family tree, it is a treat to me.
    More and more we are being urged to be conscious and careful of what we EAT.
    THANKS for the reminder that it is NOT a Hopeless battle to have good health

  5. Narayan gurung says:

    Thanks for this articals .

  6. Steven Alemany says:

    I’m not taking any medication, just by diet and gymnema, cinnamon, chromium and am considering adding black cumin, which studies have proven to lower blood sugar. My question is if the person is not taking medication will the be beneficial? I’ve tried oatmeal and it raises my blood sugar. I also understand that each person is different. thank you for the information.

    • Jenny says:

      If you have a tendency to have high sugar levels in your blood, your doctor will probably send you to do periodical tests to monitor the sugar levels to make sure they are under control. According to the results, your doctor will be able to see if continuing with your diet is enough or if you may need some medications.

    • Kostas says:

      The fiber in oatmeal may reduce the absorption rate of carbohydrates, but it is important to note the carbohydrate in oatmeal is quite high.

      As a Type-1 I choose to avoid oatmeal as the carb load spikes my sugar within fifteen minutes to we’ll above acceptable ranges, even if I take the correct amount of insulin. It also helps to assess what you add to it and to use traditional oat groats instead of instant oatmeal.

      Great article!

    • Tracy Smith says:

      Steven, oats do the same to me. I just added black seed oil and black seed powder to my regimen, hoping it will help with fasting levels. I notice that wild salmon, cucumbers, wild tuna and romaine lower my blood sugar . I actually feel good with eating no carbs no sugar, clean fresh food. However my levels go up as i sleep and wake with my highest levels in the morning (130-150s) i have noticed that they are higher when i am frustrated or irritated with someone. Anyone notice the same? I also started dandilion root tea and Nettle tea to help regulate.

  7. Judson says:

    I have found this to be helpful, thank you. I also use lemon juice concentrate to lower my blood sugars very fast. I mix a half cup in sugar free flavored water—it tastes really bad but will lower blood sugar by up to 1/3 or 1/2 in less than 2 hours; at least for me.

    • Julie-Anne Wong says:

      Wonder how many quick trips to the bathroom is the result as lemon removes toxins from the body. I am diabetic II but have to limit myself to only one glass of lemon-water (due to other digestive issues) with only a couple of dribbles of lemon juice concentrate with 8 ounces of filtered water (first thing in the morning). Also for every sip of lemon-water (through a straw to limit acid-access to my teeth) I always follow with a sip & swish in mouth of plain filtered water.

  8. eldie p. lozarie says:

    on top of the very informative diet beneficial to diabetics, regular exercise is a must….

  9. Michelle D. says:

    Thanks, great information! I also came across a great recipe for regulating your sugar:
    Thought it was worth a share, enjoy!

  10. Jerry Couch says:

    I am type 2 diabetes and have been using canola oil, but see that olive oil would be better for me with the other health issues I have.

    • Julie-Anne says:

      I believe coconut and coconut oil would be even better! Check it out – research the internet & these kinds of websites.

  11. ruthhoy pongase says:

    Thanks a lot for the health tips,but i want to know also what is good foods for highpertension people??tnx

  12. Mary says:

    This information very helpful. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

  13. Hans Grobbelaar. says:

    My suger fles to match up and down.

  14. Luzviminda Banquirigan says:

    Thanks for helping me how to take care of my body,I have learned a lot.

  15. Cheryl A. says:

    Be careful about overuse of vinegar. I wouldn’t sip it before bedtime as article suggests due to acid reflux. Corrosive to esophagus and stomach lining.

    • Anita says:

      Cheryl, my reflux stopped after I started ingesting raw organic apple cider vinegar. My stomach acid is too low and it’s apparently a family thing as I have siblings, my father and several of his family members who also have this issue. They used to think it was too much acid, but it’s not. I do have to be careful when swallowing vinegar. I always dilute it in water. I used to swallow it straight and I liked it but two different times I accidentally inhaled the fumes while swallowing and I about died because I could NOT breathe! If you ingest vinegar straight, BE VERY CAREFUL!

  16. Courtney says:

    Most valuable article and comments. Can relate to much of it. Very reassuring to learn of other persons’ experiences. Thanks to all

  17. millie koroi says:

    Thank’s for the Information..

  18. Kathryn Cavanagh says:

    I have just been investigating the qualities of Jerusalem artichokes and have found they are excellent for diabetics. I am not diabetic, but have the artichokes growing amass in my back yard, proliferating very healthily. Google the name and get the facts. Yummy too…

  19. Rachel says:

    what the article doesn’t mention is that if you are on any type of blood thinner or asperon cinniom actually will raise ur blood presser and a lot of people don’t have home kits to test their BP levels daily it can be very dangerous. remember people already do your research first before trying anything specially if on medications

    • Jenny says:

      This is true for Cassia cinnamon, commonly found in the supermarkets, which contains the compound called coumarin which might interact with the blood thinner warfarin as well as with a number of blood pressure medications if taken in large doses. However the type recommended for diabetics is Ceylon cinnamon – read about the differences between the two in my article “How to Use Cinnamon As a Medicine” – see reference in the article itself. In any case, it’s always important for people who take medications to consult with their doctor about any possibility of interactions with medications.

      • Hilary Sandberg says:

        I was very interested to read re the benefits of Apple Cider vinegar at night as my blood sugar is also high in the morning – so thought would give it a try – then the lady above said be careful because of acid reflux stomach lining etc – so now should I use it or not – would it help if I diluted it in some warm water??? Help please ………

        • Jenny says:

          Hi Hilary, always dilute the ACV with a glass of water (and I’m going to add it to the original article, so thank you for your question).

        • Alicia says:

          Some Natural Food Stores sell apple cider vinegar beverages. I like BRAGGS APPLE CINNAMON. It’s juice, spice, and vinegar. There are different flavors, but the vinegar hides best in apple cinnamon. Call your local natural foods store and ask about it.

  20. Carol Jean says:

    Do these help regulate the processes involved to balance blood sugar as needed by the body OR do they simply assist raising sugar levels. In other words would these also assist with hypoglycemia?

  21. amonibia amonibia says:

    Thks for these lessons. Its life saving and educating.Red wine is believed to be good for the heart if true then to what quantity.

  22. Nayyar Nizami says:

    Thanks.I got lots of Valueable information. Daily brisk walk for at least 45 minutes is best to control diabetes, it’s my experience.

  23. More and more we are being urged to be conscious and careful of what we EAT.
    THANKS for the reminder that it is NOT a Hopeless battle to have good health

  24. margaret says:

    I really enjoyed reading it, I’ve really learned alot.

  25. alameen mari says:

    Wow thank so much for this great tip

  26. Jill says:

    I just found out that I am type 2 and gluten intolerant,,,,this was very interesting article,,,this will be discussed at the next visit i have with my doctor

  27. asif khan says:

    Always check the GI value of food u eat….it shoulb be below 50…

  28. Mark Conrade Sr. Querl says:

    All sounds informative + neccessary for me.

  29. joao claudio says:

    Thank for the info.

  30. Glennys Fells says:

    I haven’t seen Apple Cider Vinegar in the shops anywhere, do you know which shops stock it in the UK please?

  31. evelyn martha says:

    Thanks alot for the information.I have diabetes type 2 and am trying to control it.

  32. BARBARA says:

    I wonder when people are trying oatmeal and saying that it spikes their blood sugar levels, are they using instant or slow cooking oatmeal? I am sensitive to sugar but I am going to try STEEL CUT, SLOW COOKING oatmeal. I think the fiber content is higher which should help with the sugar absorption rate. I am also going to add chia and possibly hemp seeds. I will do that in separate meals and check my sugar levels with and without the added seeds. I will try to post my results after a few mornings of figuring out which oatmeal works best for me. I was curious if anyone else had tried something similar?

  33. Tanveer says:

    Add bitter squash and black seed to the list, they have shown improvement in numbers.
    Additionally 10 minutes walk after each meal improves carbohydrate metabolism.

  34. Paul says:

    This article is really good, and it is a big improvement over the articles that talk in generalities. Like eat more fruit, legumes and fish. I would like to see them go one more step in their recommendations though. How about a suggested meal plan. Not necessarily limited to these 12 foods but mostly these 12 foods. Can they do it? Perhaps 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners.

  35. ode says:

    I’ve to add also the okra and bitter melon just steam and eat raw.

  36. kathy whitaker says:

    Am type 2…recently diagnosed…Emergency room, my BS was over 1100…now on insulin..and trying to eat.
    Very low appetite…don’t drink much…live alone, hard to WANT TO COOK…EAT FRUITS

  37. Cecilia says:

    Dear friends can try this. My family have long history of diabetes n is always very difficult to control even w medication. Until we being introduce to this . In Indian shop they call it as Meithi seed. In Sheng Siong supermarket u can get it , it name as Fenugreek seed. Everyday, i put 2 teaspoonful in a teapot (brew like tea w hot water) after 15mins drink the water. Is cheap n super effective. I have told some of my friends n it works wonder on them too. Hope this will helps many of u out there.

  38. Majed says:

    Very useful info.
    I’d like to add a piece of advice for type-2 diabetes patients.
    I’m sure they’d feel the difference if they manage to comply.
    Make olive-leaves tea by boiling for 5 mints 2 handfuls of olive leaves in 1.5 liters of water. Drink a small cup of the cooled tea 10 mints before meal 3 times a day.
    Keep monitoring your blood sugar level and tell us the result after 1-2 weeks.

  39. Komal says:

    Thanks a lot! It really helped me to learn a lot for my father. I will make these things a routine for him. It was quite helpful …….. GBU

  40. Mike says:

    Lol oatmeal increases blood sugar levels instantaneously, it does not regulate sugar levels

  41. Julian Lewis says:

    Good stuff, thank you very much.

  42. denise says:

    Try Essiac tea … (Google it !) It is a great food that no one talks about and can be very beneficial to alot of health issues … not just diabetes!

  43. Kevin says:

    Olive oil is not “rich” in Omega 3 as the article states.

  44. Paddy says:

    Was surprised to see dark chocolate on the list. How is this possible? Please explain.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      According to new research, consuming a small amount of dark chocolate every day could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The primary objective of the research was to assess if chocolate intake was associated with insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Participants who ate 100g of chocolate each day, which is equivalent to a bar, had reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes. This effect was stronger among those with higher chocolate consumption. Another research showed that adults consumed 20 grams of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate had better insulin sensitivity after just a month. The results imply that dark chocolate might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes and prediabetes.
      The important thing is that moderation is a key. Dark chocolate does not pose a threat to people with diabetes if their glucose levels are under control and their lifestyle comprises healthy food and daily exercise. A healthy combination of adding dark chocolate and a balanced diet could prove beneficial.

  45. Munir says:

    Pink rose water three times a day (morning before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner) 1 tablespoon pink rose water add with two table spoon water daily will cure diabetes 1 and 2 permanently forever. It is a magicful treatment. But plz keep in mind that those people will never use or never try this permanent cure treatment who are sensitive to cold or have high blood pressure because of winters. I have shared to help those who are not sensitive to cold weathers.

  46. jery says:

    Are these foods are good for hypertension patients too? thank you

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