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 Diabetes  Holistic-online.com

Recommended Dietary and Lifestyle Changes for Diabetics Sufferers


Dietary changes


Lifestyle changes

Dietary changes for Diabetics

Beneficial Foods:

bulletOnions, Garlic, Cinnamon, High Fiber Foods, Beans, Lentils, Fenugreek Seeds, Fish, Barley, High Chromium Foods (Broccoli)
bulletWhole grains, especially millet, rice, sweet rice, and wheat
bulletChlorophyll-rich foods, especially wheat or barley grass, spirulina, and chlorella
bulletWhole and cooked fruit 

The following foods have an insulin-like action and should be included regularly:

Brussels sprouts
Green beans 
Oatmeal or oat flour products 
Soybeans and tofu 
Raw, green vegetables 
Wheat germ 
Fresh flaxseed oil
GLA oils (available in evening primrose, black currant seed oil, and spirulina) 

Foods to Avoid

bulletFoods rich in fat, especially animal foods, such as red meat, eggs, and dairy products
bulletWhite flour
bulletWhite rice 

See Also: Researchers Link Processed Meat with Type 2 Diabetes (February 2002)

Dietary Recommendations from Chinese Medicine
bulletCooked vegetables and fruit
bulletCarbohydrate-rich vegetables: winter squash, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, garbanzo beans, black beans, peas, sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkin
bulletPungent vegetables and spices: onions, leeks, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, and nutmeg
bulletSmall amounts of certain sweeteners and cooked fruits: rice syrup, barley malt, molasses, cherries, and dates.

Avoid sugar and sugar rich foods. Eat diet rich in fiber

People with diabetes cannot properly process sugar. Research shows that sugar causes diabetes in animals.

The fiber in carbohydrates helps protect against NIDDM (Type 2 diabetes). Most sugar comes from low-fiber foods, while high-fiber foods are often low in sugar. Therefore, eating more sugar usually means decreasing fiber-a mistake for diabetics. When whole foods, such as beans, whole raw fruit, and pasta, are compared with processed sugary foods, the high-sugar foods increase blood sugar more than the whole foods.

Cut intake of dietary sugar, such as snacks and processed foods. Replace low-fiber, high-sugar foods (such as fruit juice) or starch (such as white bread) with high-fiber, whole foods.

High-fiber supplements, such as psyllium, guar gum (found in beans), pectin (from fruit), oat bran, and glucomannan, improve glucose tolerance. Eat more fruits, vegetables, seeds, oats, and whole-grain products. You may supplement your diet with psyllium and glucomannan supplements.

We also recommend that you consume 1-3 ounces of powdered fenugreek seeds per day.

Fish/Omega 3 Oils

The results on fish oil is not conclusive. Glucose tolerance was found to improve in healthy people taking omega-3 fish oil supplements. Some studies reported that omega-3 fish oil improves glucose tolerance, high triglycerides, and cholesterol levels in diabetics. However, others report that cholesterol increases and diabetes worsens with fish oil supplements. So, until this issue is resolved, we recommend that you eat fish; but avoid fish oil supplementation unless advised by a nutritionally oriented physician.

Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians eat no meat, dairy, or eggs. Studies have shown that vegetarians have a low risk of NIDDM (type 2 diabetes). When people with diabetic nerve damage switched to a vegan diet, improvements was found within several days. In one study, pain completely disappeared in seventeen of twenty-one people. 
Fats from meat and dairy cause heart disease, the leading killer of people with diabetes. Vegetarians eat less protein than meat eaters. Reducing protein intake lowers kidney damage caused by diabetes and may also improve glucose tolerance.
Monosaturated Oils

Monounsaturated oils may be good for diabetics. Use olive oil as a source for monosaturated oil in your diet. Olive oil is high in calories; so if you are overweight, use it sparingly.

Milk and Type 1 Diabetes

Countries with high milk consumption have a high risk of Type 1 diabetes (IDDM). Milk contains a protein that is related to a protein in the pancreas, the organ where insulin is made. It is suggested that children who are allergic to milk may develop antibodies that attack the pancreas, causing IDDM. Several studies have shown that children with diabetes drink cow's milk at an earlier age than other children. Animal research indicates that avoiding milk affords protection from IDDM. If you have a family history of diabetes, it is suggested that you minimize feeding of dairy products to infants and children. Recent research suggests a possible link between milk consumption in infancy and an increased risk of NIDDM.

See Also: Macrobiotic Approach

Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements for Diabetes

Lifestyle changes for Diebetics

Reduce Your Weight

Excess fat actually decreases the number of insulin receptors present in the body, aggravating diabetes. Most people with diabetes are obese. Excess abdominal weight make the body insensitive to insulin. When you are overweight, your body need more insulin. NIDDM improves with weight loss in most studies. Thus, reducing weight will be helpful for people with diabetes.

If you are already overweight, slim down. Avoid overeating and emphasize healthy whole foods. In addition to managing your blood-sugar levels appropriately, follow your doctor's recommendations for a weight- reducing diet.


Both types of diabetes can be greatly improved with a regular moderate exercise program. Exercise helps decrease body fat and improves insulin sensitivity. Exercisers are less likely to develop NIDDM (Type 2 diabetes). People with IDDM (Type 1 diabetes) who exercise require less insulin.

Aerobic activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming have a proven beneficial effect on blood-sugar levels. The utilization of glucose by the exercising muscles improves, and the improvement can last for up to seventy-two hours. Exercise also improves the blood-lipid (fat) profile and helps control blood pressure. 

However, exercise can induce low blood sugar or even increased blood sugar. Carefully monitor your blood sugar during exercise in order to avoid possible overdoses of insulin.  Consult a health care professional before starting an exercise program. 

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol worsens glucose tolerance in the elderly and in diabetics. Diabetics who drink have a high risk for eye and nerve damage. Avoid alcohol if you are diabetic. 


Diabetics who smoke are at higher risk for kidney damage, heart disease, and other diabetes-linked problems. Smokers are more likely to become diabetic. Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit.

See Also: Common Sense Care

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