13 Tips For Type 2 Diabetes Food (+ Type 2 Diabetes Food List to Eat and Avoid)

Lower Blood Sugar / Reverse Diabetes

Having a diet of healthy diabetes food is not easy if you don't know what to buy.

Eating the wrong products can worsen your diabetes and make you even more insulin dependent. The right products, however, can completely reverse type 2 diabetes.

In this blog, I'll be giving you 13 tips on which diabetes food you can and should eat. I'll also tell you how you can reverse your type 2 diabetes naturally.


How to eat healthy if you have type 2 diabetes

What are the right food products to eat if you have diabetes? Which healthy diabetes foods can cure your diabetes?

To single out particular foods as absolutely 'forbidden' might be a bit of a stretch. But it's definitely advisable to avoid certain sugary products if you really want to reverse your type 2 diabetes.

The important thing is to eat a daily diet of tasty products that will help to stabilize your blood sugar level.

I could give you a dietary list, as any government agency does, or a copy of the food guide pyramid. I could even give you a list of supplements that will 'magically' lower your blood sugar level.
But I believe it's far more important for you to know exactly what is healthy and what is not. So you can make the right decisions based on your new knowledge of your diet as a type 2 diabetes patient.

Purpose of this article

It's easier than you think to keep your blood glucose in check. And below, you will find 13 great dietary tips that you can start following today. It's even possible to cure type 2 diabetes with the diet described in this article.

Let's start:

# 1: Understand what bad diabetes nutrition is

Healthy diabetes food and 'forbidden' (bad) diabetes food are easy to recognize...

...provided you know the difference between good and bad. And to know this, you should know exactly which foods caused your type 2 diabetes. If you know this, curing your type 2 diabetes with food will be a breeze.

All you have to do is avoid eating an unhealthy diabetes diet. This will automatically make you eat a lot healthier. That said:

What kind of food should you avoid?

The dangerous diet that causes type 2 diabetes

The answer is simple:

Processed food.

That's the diabetes food you have to avoid. Anything our prehistoric ancestors couldn't find in nature tens of thousands of years ago, should be avoided like poison. Our bodies are not designed to deal with the unhealthy properties of processed foods, which include:

  • Enormous amounts of sugar
  • almost no fiber
  • unhealthy fats that lower your insulin sensitivity
  • Highly addictive ingredients (added to make you buy more)
processed food is not healthy diabetes food

Almost all products that are 'made' in a factory have one or more of these properties.

The caveman question for identifying healthy diabetes food 

You can easily recognize these products:

They are products you would never encounter in their current form in nature.

You can easily come across fruit trees when walking through a forest, so there's nothing wrong with eating fruit.

However, you won't find any trees with boxed or bottled fruit juice growing on them. So DO NOT drink it.

Although the original source is healthy, food manufacturers have squeezed the healthy fiber out of the apples and along with it all  the healthy properties. What remains is a glass of apple juice, which is nothing more than water, lots of sugar, and a little bit of fragrance and food coloring.

So, when doing your grocery shopping always ask yourself: "Can I encounter this product in its current form in nature?"

If the answer is "no," the product doesn't belong in a healthy diabetes diet. Otherwise, will be impossible to improve your blood glucose levels.

More tips on reducing your blood sugar levels here.

#2: The list of diabetes food that will change your life forever

The next 11 tips will show you how to lessen the effect of your diabetes.

It's important to go through all of this because it includes an in-depth explanation about why certain foods are better than others.

Before I do that, I'll give you an overview of unhealthy and healthy diabetes food. You can use it as a cheat sheet, in case you forget the rest of the blog.

Unhealthy products:

  • Candy (wine gums, cookies, licorice)
  • Milk chocolate and white chocolate
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes
  • Pastry, white bread and other dough based foods (pizza, cakes, etc.)
  • Deep fried snacks (potato chips, French fries, hamburgers)
  • Fruit juices and sugary soft drinks

Replace by:

  • Fruit
  • 75% + dark chocolate
  • Piece of meat, fish or cheese with vegetables and a creamy sauce, plus a small portion of pasta, rice, potatoes, or bread
  • Whole wheat bread with butter, preferably with an egg or chicken fillet
  • Protein-rich snacks that are not fried (egg or meatball)
  • Water, coffee/tea, pomegranate juice, coconut water

#3: Focus on one thing at a time

If you look at the list of foods above, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Especially if you are currently doing everything "wrong" and eating products that are not really good for diabetics.

You can try to change your entire diabetes diet at once, and replace almost every food. Unfortunately, this is a lot of work, and doomed to failure.


It'll go well for a few days. But after that, you'll notice that you fall back into bad habits. Especially when you're a bit tired. Before you know it, you'll be sitting in front of the TV with your hand in a bag of chips.

Maybe you'll have the willpower to put that bag away. But when a friend or partner comes and offers you a piece of cake, it gets a bit more difficult. The more temptations there are, the greater the likelihood that you'll succumb.

That's why it's good to tackle your food-based habits one at a time. Only when you've stopped making mistakes with one habit should you move on to the next.

Rome was not built in a day
And often, changing your habits takes longer than you think. Some studies suggest it can take as long as 60 days for any change to become permanent

Outsmart your brain

Fortunately, some of my tricks are set up in such a way that it becomes hard to slip back into your old habits. I created them like that because I know how challenging it is to change your lifestyle.

I'll start with the habits that have the most impact. One habit is more important than another. And if you notice that it's going well, you'll automatically feel like moving on to the next one.

#4: Choose these three delicious snacks as healthy diabetes food

You can make all the good resolutions you want. But if you're hungry and someone arrives with a tasty cake, then those resolutions quickly go out of the window. And the cake goes into your mouth.

That's why it's always good to have one of the following three snacks handy. If you find yourself getting a bit peckish, eat enough of these snacks to make you feel satisfied.

This makes it much easier to say "no" to colleagues when they offer you cake.

The three musketeers you can snack on
The three snacks are:

  • Nuts: Pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, or any combination. Unsweetened and possibly with a little salt. The fresher, the better.

Nuts are full of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In other words, they fill you up, give you energy, and hardly increase your blood sugar level at all. A few handfuls of nuts and your hunger has gone. That's why they make such an excellent snack.

  • Pure chocolate: 75% cocoa or more. This may be with nuts, or white chocolate, as long as it contains less than 25% sugar.

Maybe you think: "25 grams of sugar per 100 grams in a bar of chocolate – that can never be healthy." But fortunately, it's not that bad.

Pure chocolate is rich and relieves your hunger pretty well. You don't have to eat a lot to feel full.

If you're a real chocoholic: don't eat more than 40 grams at once. This is a good indication that your chocolate is poor quality or contains additives to stimulate your appetite.

I dare say you can measure the quality of a bar by how little of it you need to eat before you feel you've had enough. Good quality chocolate is nutritious and gives you a pleasant energetic feeling because of the naturally occurring chemicals it contains.

Good sugar-free chocolate can be found here.

Which fruits can I eat with diabetes?

fruit and diabetes food list

As you can see from my table in tip 2, fruit juices are not healthy. But fresh (or frozen) fruit is.

Fruit is full of fiber, which slows down the absorption of fruit sugars.

As a result, most people with diabetes can eat fruit without any problem.

Nevertheless, I advise you not to let fruit be your favorite snack. Nuts (and then chocolate) fill you up much more.

You don't need as much to feel fuller for longer.

But for people who really can't stand nuts or chocolate, fruit is also a great option. Provided you pay attention to how much you eat. Do you notice that you eat a lot more than a few pieces? If so, consider taking a small, additional meal to satisfy your hunger. To find out for sure whether you're overeating, keep a food diary or count your carbs.

Bonus tip: combine your snacks
Some pure chocolate, white almonds, and (green) banana make a delicious combination. Or if you take pieces of fresh fruit and cover them with chocolate melted from a chocolate bar, you'll have a delicious treat for several people. Healthier than a muffin, and more delicious.

# 5: Use a garbage bag for your cupboards

Now that you have healthy snacks in your home and you take these snacks with you whenever you go out, it's time to throw away all that unhealthy food. You no longer need it because you always have a healthy snack at hand. And most things on this list are really unhealthy.

If you don't have these unhealthy snacks in your home, there's no temptation to eat them. And if you make sure you're satisfied before you go out (or at least take something healthy with you), you won't need to buy any unhealthy food along the way.

So: what can you throw away?

  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Deep-fried snacks like potato chips and cocktail nuts (not the healthy variety I mentioned earlier but the fried version with a crunchy layer made out of dough)
  • Soft drinks, fruit juices, or sweet dairy products
  • Chocolate with less than 75% cocoa

If you have diabetes, all these products are bad for you. But fortunately, they are easy to replace with healthy diabetes food. It is only difficult to get used to the new snacks if you still have the old ones in the house.

Don't think: "I still have two packs of cookies left. It's a shame to throw them away."

We're talking about your health here! Give them to your neighbor or to the newspaper boy. They'll be thrilled, and for them it's a lot less harmful than for you.

Check your kitchen cabinets every month

It's important to check once in a while that no unhealthy food has crept into your kitchen cupboard. This way you prevent yourself from eating unhealthy food.

Throwing away unhealthy food every month will save you a lot of trouble.

Important information

If you have a family, it's good to explain to them why you'll likely be tossing all questionable snacks into the trashcan sooner rather than later. But if they protest, remember, your success doesn't have to depend on them.

Assign a separate kitchen cupboard as the repository for all things unhealthy, and put a lock on the door.

Or move it to the basement storage, where everyone gets a key but you. If necessary, make a second refrigerator. Anything that makes it as easy as possible for you to avoid eating unhealthy diabetes food.

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#6: Use this super breakfast to stabilize your blood sugar

Not many foods that have a healing effect of their own.

At least, a therapeutic effect that is not negligible. There are plenty of examples of "superfoods" that are not that "super" at all, because the amazing effect is not what it's cracked up to be.

But if you have diabetes, there is one food that you cannot skip. Partly because it makes a perfect breakfast.

It is filling, healthy (because of the vitamins in it); has the ideal balance of nutrients such as proteins, fiber and sugars; and has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar level.

Yes, you guessed it! I'm talking about good old oatmeal!

"Oatmeal? That's what my grandma always used to eat."

Well, good for her. Your grandmother did right because it's very healthy.

Especially if you have diabetes, because it helps to stabilize your blood sugar level throughout the day.

A breakfast that includes oatmeal ensures that you are less affected by any fluctuations – and that's good of course.

The stabilizing effect of oatmeal on your sugar level has been extensively researched by an entire army of scientific researchers.

This claim has been proven so often that the EU has allowed oatmeal producers to put it on the packaging.

This is rare because the EU does not give permission easily for printing such claims. Certainly not when it concerns something as serious as stabilizing your blood sugar. Oatmeal should take the place of bread in your diet.

#7: Never drink juice again

I don't have to explain that soda is bad for you. Even if you don't have diabetes, it's not a good idea to drink large amounts of soda.

Even consuming small amounts of soft drinks is not a good idea.

But what is less well known is that fruit juices are just as unhealthy. It has no place in healthy diabetes nutrition.

That may seem a bit strange. Most people think: "Fruit is natural, healthy, and sweet. So squeezed fruit, with only the sweet juice, will be just as healthy, won't it?"

Health-wise, fruit juice and soft drinks are just about as bad as each other

First, fruit juice is not as healthy as regular fruit.

This is because all the good things in fruit – pulp, fiber, vitamins and minerals – are lost in the processing.

Also, manufacturers add additives that increase the juice's shelf life and intensify the taste.

Additives might be flavor enhancers or fructose. In the end, you're not tasting the juice itself but rather some mysterious substances that are supposed to improve the taste.

Fruit juice is, therefore, not the same as an actual piece of ripe fruit.

It is not nearly as healthy and not nearly as good.

More importantly, fruit juices raise your blood sugar level much faster and more violently than a piece of fresh fruit. And this can get you into deep trouble. So I advise you not to drink fruit juice. It's not healthy and it'll only make your type 2 diabetes worse.

#8: Drinks that can reverse diabetes

Not all drinks are on the unhealthy or forbidden-to-diabetes-patients' list. Some are allowed. Moreover:

Some are highly recommended because of their health-giving benefits.

The best liquids you can drink as a type 2 diabetes patient are those with lots of antioxidants.

Antioxidants in food and drink are curious compounds. They are bitter-tasting, slightly toxic substances that plants create to protect themselves against being eaten by animals and insects.

But for us humans, they are not poisonous. At least, not enough to make us sick. They work just the opposite way: they make you healthier.

Increase your insulin sensitivity with antioxidants
Antioxidants ensure that your body and immune system get a positive blow. They get a wake-up call and then work better.

Your blood sugar level and insulin production are also positively shaken up. It turns out that drinking antioxidant-rich fluids increases your insulin sensitivity. This means your body needs less insulin to process sugars.

Ideal! But which are the best ones to drink? Unfortunately, you don't have a massive choice.

  • Green tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Black coffee
  • Pure cocoa (pure cocoa powder cooked in water without sugar)

Making a drink of pure cocoa is quite hard work. Its bitter taste (evidence of its healthy properties) also makes it hard work for some people to drink. Got what it takes? Then go for it!

The average person finds a cup of green tea or black coffee a lot less challenging. You will experience all the health benefits as long as you drink these beverages without milk or sugar.

Do you want more healthy sugar-free drinks? Click here.

Worried you might be drinking 'too much' coffee or tea?

Studies show that you have to drink between 3 and 5 cups a day to experience the maximum health benefits of green tea and coffee. So don't be afraid that you will drink too much.

#9: Rice, potatoes, and bread are less important than you think

In the western world, it's normal to have bread for breakfast and lunch. And at the end of the day potatoes or pasta for dinner.... with a sweet dessert afterwards to top it all off.

That's all well and good. But it is not the most sensible thing to do if you have diabetes.

Because bread, potatoes, and rice are full of sugars. And although these foods also contain fiber, they still increase blood sugar levels.

At the same time, there are a lot of other healthier foods, which we traditionally don't eat so much of in the western world. Why? For nothing other than cultural and historical reasons, or so it seems.

Healthy eating is no longer expensive
But a lot has changed in the last century. Even people with a tight budget can eat vegetables or a piece of meat every day, without having to spend their last savings.

If you shop smart, you can eat much healthier than your grandparents. And for a much lower price, too.

That's why you should eat less bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta. These food sources are mainly sugars and are not the healthiest thing you can eat.

Beans are the best substitute for bread and pasta. They contain a lot of fiber, proteins, vitamins, and relatively few carbs. Eating 100 grams of beans is much more challenging than eating 100 grams of pasta, potatoes or rice. This is mainly due to the fiber (and proteins) in beans.

#10: Enjoy a piece of meat or fish

If I can mention one very healthy diabetes food, it is fresh fish. And especially the somewhat fatty fish, such as mackerel and salmon. They belong to a healthy diabetes diet.

The beauty of oily fish is that it is very filling. A small piece fills a lot more (and for a longer time) than a large bowl of pasta. So if you put this on your plate more often, it is not only pure pleasure...

... but you also avoid eating more carbs.

You need protein more than you need  carbs

Because the proteins in oily fish (or other types of meat and fish) ensure that your muscles and brains stay strong and can make the connections they need.

They ensure that your body can maintain itself.

That is very different from the role of sugars in your body, which is mainly used as fuel in the short term.

But as a diabetic patient, your body can no longer deal appropriately with those sugars. Your body can still process proteins. And by eating more protein, you emphasize what your body can do instead of what it can not do.

And to top it all off, fish and meat are packed with vitamins and minerals that are much harder to obtain in other ways.

The same compounds are simply not in pasta and potatoes. You need both, but don't be afraid to eat that tasty piece of fish out of fear of being unhealthy.


Scientistst have proven that fatty fish (such as mackerel and salmon) have a beneficial effect on the body. So that's a good start.

What kind of meat and fish can you eat?

  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel)
  • Other fish (herring, tuna, tilapia)
  • Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)
  • Eggs
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Pork (although this is the least healthy meat)

The fresher the fish or meat is, the better. So preferably a piece of fresh salmon rather than canned salmon.

Are you a vegetarian? Eat eggs regularly. 

#11: Why a tasty sauce is a good diabetes food

If you go to a restaurant and order a piece of meat or fish, nine times out of ten, it comes with a greasy sauce.

Unfortunately, restaurants often add sugar to their sauces, but if you make it yourself you don't have to.

Good sauces to consider are:

  • Gravy (made from the fat of meat with some added water and herbs)
  • Cheese sauce
  • Sauce based on butter and white wine
  • Sauce based on coconut oil or coconut milk
  • Occasionally a sauce based on olive oil

Sauces are unhealthy... right? Wrong!

Maybe you wonder why I call this "healthy."

Aren't these types of sauces full of fat? Do they not make you fat?

Well, it is not that bad actually. My first concern when you have diabetes, is to prevent your blood sugar from spiking after a meal. And fatty sauces will help you to keep your blood sugar in check.

The fat mixes with the carbs of the rice, potatoes or pasta. As a result, they are broken down more slowly. Why? Because your body has to process the sugars and fats at the same time. As a result, your blood sugar level does not rise so fast or high.

And if you add an acid to the sauce - as happens in almost every restaurant - you make the process even more gradual.

And talking about fat: if you make sure there is a piece of meat, vegetables and a bit of potato on your plate, you can get away with a sauce. Believe me, it's the least of your problems when tackling type 2 diabetes.

Sauces from a packet, on the other hand, do not help you. And they're full of additives that make you eat more than you should. That's why it's better to make a sauce yourself rather than use one out of a packet.

#12: Walk around the block

Maybe you're thinking:

"What does walking have to do with diabetes food?"

Exercise and diabetes are actually inseparable.

Because exercise at the right times ensures that your blood sugar does not "peak." The best time is after dinner, when your body is busy with all the sugars you have just ingested.

Exercise is part of healthy diabetes nutrition

When you walk a bit, your body receives the right stimuli.

And when you do this after every evening meal, your blood sugar level will be much more stable throughout the week.

Also, exercise and sports increase your insulin sensitivity.

Walking also helps you maintain a healthy weight.

You don't have to exercise intensively if you want to burn calories. Walking is mentally and physically less demanding and it only consumes a little less energy than running or fast cycling.

It is better to walk fifteen minutes every day after eating, than to walk three times a week for 45 minutes. Both for losing weight and stabilizing your blood sugar level. Consistency is most important.

Just like you want to eat healthy every day, you also want to move every day.

#13: Live your life Diabetes-Free

With the right diabetes diet, there's more possible than you think.

it has Recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.

You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call"The Diabetes-Free Secret,"  I have written several pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:

  • Why you got type 2 diabetes
  • What mechanism you can use to reverse diabetes
  • The best tips to be diabetes-free within a few weeks

Enter your e-mail address below, and I will send you the E-book for free.


Ben Kuiper

PS: What are your favorite diabetes foods? Leave a comment below

About the Author

Marloes Schuurman is a medical specialist and an expert in the field of type 2 diabetes.

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