Nutritional medicine and lifestyle is the cornerstone of treatment for type 2 diabetes. Although genetics play a role, type 2 diabetes is primarily related to excess insulin secretion in response to dietary habits and lifestyle. Over time, the pancreas slows insulin synthesis and release. Insulin shuttles sugars out of the blood and into storage to prevent hyperglycemic episodes. With type 2 diabetes, body tissues become resistant to the extra insulin, causing sugars to climb. Conventionally, type 2 diabetes is managed by adding supplemental insulin and taking drugs that work on increased secretion. Although this lowers blood sugars in the short-term, a medication-based approach does not address the underlying causes of disease.
By making changes in diet and lifestyle, it is possible to reverse and even completely recover from type 2 diabetes. Current research into ketogenic nutrition reveals that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is effective for controlling type 2 diabetes.
Foods to include:
When switching to a ketogenic diet, focusing on whole foods, lots of plants, and organic poultry, grass-fed beef and wild-caught seafood ensures a healthy approach. Focus on plant-based fats like avocado, nuts & seeds, raw olive oil, and unrefined coconut oil. Go for one avocado per day, 4 servings of nuts & seeds, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Keep up with veggies, getting 4-6 servings of fresh, steamed, baked, and lightly sautéed vegetables per day. If not vegetarian, add in 2-3 servings per day of protein from eggs, lamb, poultry, and fish — like salmon, cod, & halibut. Weave in a few servings per week of grass fed beef and pork. Grass-fed beef has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventional.
Eliminate refined carbs, grains, legumes, fried foods, sugars, juices, and dried fruits. For fruits, focus on berries for a few months. This stops the flow of sugars into the body, giving the pancreas time to rest and heal. Placing the body into ketosis creates a fasting like state, where the body turns its attention to healing damaged tissues and recovering healthy hormone function.
Research trials are validating the ketogenic approach. In the Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers found that a low carbohydrate, high fat diet led to improved blood sugar control, and allowed people to discontinue many of their medications. Researchers combined a ketogenic approach with short periods of calorie reduction.
Here is a link to the study for further reading:
Although many of us were taught that high carb, low fat eating leads to improved health, for certain chronic diseases, the opposite appears true. When switching to a ketogenic diet, focusing on whole foods, lots of plants, and organic, grass-fed, and wild-caught meats ensures a healthy approach. It is possible to follow a vegetarian approach to ketogenic nutrition, and the book "Keto-tarian" by Dr. Will Cole is a good resource for shopping lists, recipes, and research. This book is available at the following site:
For more info, check out this webinar on naturopathic therapies for Type 2 Diabetes by Dr. Ryan Bradley of the Helfgott Research Institute: