What do I eat for Type 2 Diabetes? Episode 41.

Welcome to episode 41. We have a listener question so let’s get started. 

Hi there. Thanks for your easy to understand information in your podcast. I have Celiac disease, Hashi's and now Diabetes! Do you have a sample simple diet plan? I just got diagnosed with the Diabetes..  I have no clue what to do about this. 


Hi Misty, 

Thanks for listening to the podcast! Sounds like you have a lot going on. I am going to assume you were diagnosed with Type II diabetes. 

A sample diet plan would look something like removing all processed foods, eating real whole foods. Meats, ideally from pastured animals, good quality fats like grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil and consuming lots and lots of veggies. 

This type of diet is very helpful to reset the body so it can reduce inflammation and your cells can become less resistant to insulin again. 

Often, having issues with insulin means you also have trouble with your weight. It is estimated that more than ⅔ of adults in the US are overweight. I am not saying that you are overweight Misty. 

Each year about 45 million Americans go on a diet and spend around $33 billion on weight loss products and programs. 

Let’s get something straight right now.

Diets don’t work.

Weight loss programs might work while you working them but they don’t work once you stop. This is why I am constantly preaching and teaching my clients that it is not about a diet. It is about changing your diet and lifestyle.

A diet is the kinds of foods that a person, animal or community habitually eats according to the dictionary definition. So we have a diet. We don’t go on a diet for a short time to get a result that we can’t keep when we go off a diet. 

Digging ourselves out of our chronic disease states is a JOURNEY and not necessarily a destination. 

You almost have to just make a decision to start doing the right thing by your body. Give it what it needs and craves to keep it in balance. Choose your health. 

When you are dealing with Type II diabetes, refined carbs are not your friend. 

Here is what happens to your cells when you consume too much sugar in the form of sugar itself or refined carbs like bread, pasta, cookies, cakes etc. 

Our cells need energy and they store in the form of something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Cells need glucose (sugar) to create ATP or they will die. 

Plants make glucose through photosynthesis, we do not. We have to get it from our diet. 

If your blood glucose or blood sugar gets too low, not enough glucose will get to our tissues and organs, leaving our cells unable to make enough ATP to work properly or function. 

Now too much glucose in the blood will make blood thicker (think of molasses and how slow that flows) and it won’t flow as well or as quickly which means nutrients, especially oxygen does not get delivered to cells and they will eventually die. 

When we eat something and digest it, glucose enters our bloodstream. Our cells need to adjust to that shift in sugar pretty fast so the cells can get the glucose they need to create energy.  

How does this happen?  Insulin. It is a hormone produced by the pancreas and it gets released just before we eat and while we are eating. It tells the liver, muscle and fat tissues to take the sugar out of our blood which lowers our blood sugar levels. 

Insulin goes to the receptors on our cells. I always think of receptors on our cells as little satellite dishes waiting to receive a signal.  When it gets to the receptor and attaches itself to it, the cell it is on (muscle, liver, fat) gets a signal to absorb the glucose/sugar molecule and store it as a form of glucose called glycogen which is a stored form of glucose or sugar. 

As your blood sugar level drops, insulin release will slow down or stop. Our body doesn’t want this level to get too low though so it will also stimulate the cells in muscle, fat and in the liver to to break down that stored sugar, glycogen, by releasing glucagon and sugar will be released. 

This is how the body maintains balance or homeostasis. 

Our body gets ready for the barrage of sugar we consume by releasing insulin before we even take the first bite. Just by us smelling some delicious food or drooling over the dessert tray at a restaurant, our body releases insulin. 

Let’s use a candy bar as an example. You eat it, it is broken down in your stomach and absorbed as glucose right into the bloodstream.

Your body will then release insulin and in a few minutes your insulin level will be pretty high so it can bring all that sugar to the cells and lowering your blood sugar levels. 

What you ate the meal before the candy bar will affect how much insulin is released- usually means more insulin is released to respond to the candy bar if you are eating a meal made from the Standard American Diet- processed, refined carbs. 

If your blood sugar is regularly high, the pancreas continues to release insulin until blood sugar levels return to normal. 

The brain needs glucose and can make its own insulin. How crazy is that. That might be why when your blood sugar gets too low, you can’t think. 

Stress will affect your blood sugar too. Noradrenaline, a fight or flight hormone, will keep the body from producing insulin because it thinks we need to hang on to the sugar in our blood to flee danger. 

In Type II Diabetes the problem is that you have insulin being released but the receptors on your cells are not taking it in. This shows up as consistently high blood sugar levels on a blood test. 

It starts out as insulin resistance. Think of insulin as a key to a door. The cell is the door and the receptor is a lock on the door. Using that key too much can wear out the lock and it just doesn’t work anymore so you can’t get the door open. Your body might try to make more keys (insulin) to try to get the door open. 

The more refined carbs and sugar you eat, the more insulin produced by the pancreas. This can wear down the receptors causing insulin resistance but if not managed with diet and lifestyle it can also wear out the pancreas to the point of it not being able to make insulin as well or make enough or make any at all. 

This is when you become insulin dependent and need to inject yourself with insulin. 

Again, the best foods for managing Type II Diabetes are going to be proteins like meat, seafood, poultry, lamb, bison, wild caught fish, pastured eggs. Always buy the highest quality protein that you eat the most of and for the rest, trim the fat and do your best. 

Full fat dairy products will slow down the absorption of the milk sugars keeping your blood sugar stable. Most people with hashimoto’s should not be consuming dairy but you can do full fat coconut milk in place of many dairy products, except cheese sadly. 

Veggies in large amounts. Avoid some of the starchier veggies for a few weeks like sweet potatoes, squashes, beans and things like that. 

Grains will cause your insulin to spike so are not recommended. 

I hope this helps. 

If you have a question about your health you would like me to answer, send it to me at helpforhashimotos@gmail.com or go to my website and fill out the contact form. 

Please leave me a rating and review on iTunes and share this podcast with anyone you think could use the help from it. I would really appreciate it. 

You can also get my ebook Five Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hypothyroidism by heading over to HelpForHashimotos.com

You can join my facebook group Help For Hashmoto’s and while I am on a social media break I do check daily to see if anyone has asked to join. 

I’m currently taking new clients. If you need help figuring out just how to feel better with Hashimotos, thyroid problems or other chronic illness, I’m your girl!