9 foods to eat with type 2 diabetes

foods to eat with type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases. Diet plays a key role in people suffering from this disease. It must make it possible to meet nutritional needs, control blood sugar and blood lipid levels, in addition to promoting the maintenance of a healthy weight and preventing cardiovascular disease. Here are 6 foods to include in the menu in case of diabetes, in addition to a healthy and balanced diet and regular physical activity.

The pear offers many phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, responsible for the color of the fruit, and phenolic acids. Present mainly in the peel of the fruit, these components help neutralize free radicals, thanks to their antioxidant effect. Phenolic compounds would thus contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. 

The high dietary fiber content of the pear would also help to reduce the risk of heart problems as well as to regulate intestinal transit. The soluble fibers contained in the pear delay the absorption of glucose in the small intestine, thus allowing better control of blood sugar. People with type 2 diabetes must monitor blood sugar levels, that is to say the level of sugar (glucose) present in the blood, so as not to be in hyperglycemia. In case of hyperglycemia, the person could experience different symptoms such as a constant urge to urinate or a feeling of thirst. 

Avocado is an excellent food choice since it is a strong antioxidant. Its TAC index is 1933 μmol per 100 g serving. This measurement makes it possible to situate the antioxidant activity of a food on a scale of 0 to 14,000 μmol (= micromole). In case of diabetes, it is important to consume foods with high antioxidant power because this disease promotes the activity of free radicals responsible for the oxidation of the body. These can lead to glycation (= reaction between excess glucose and body proteins) which is one of the factors of accelerated tissue aging. Avocado is also a fruit rich in monounsaturated fats also called “good” fats. A study 1has demonstrated that avocado has a real impact on the reduction of blood lipids. This helps prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease which is 2 to 3 times higher in a diabetic person.


Colquhoun DM, Moores D, et al. Comparison of the effects on lipoproteins and apolipoproteins of a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, enriched with avocado, and a high-carbohydrate diet. Am J Clin Nutr 1992 October;56(4):671-7.

Barley is a very nutritious whole grain cereal product, rich in soluble fiber and vitamin E. This cereal is an antioxidant that helps fight against damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E thus promotes the prevention of the risks of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and other diseases linked to ageing. In addition, this cereal has a low glycemic index, either equal to or less than 55. Two meta-analyses 1-2concluded that taking the glycemic index into account had many benefits: lower blood sugar levels, more effective metabolic control and lower lipid levels. These indicators must be taken into consideration because they make it possible to counter or reduce certain effects that may be associated with type 2 diabetes: hyperglycemia, metabolic syndromes such as abdominal overweight and hypertension, increased risk of cardiovascular disorders, etc.


Brand-Miller J, et al. Low-glycemic index diets in the management of diabetes. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diabetes Care, 2003. 26(8): p. 2261-2267. Opperman AM, et al., Meta-analysis of the health effects of using the glycaemic index in meal-planning. British Journal of Nutrition, 2004. 92: p. 367-381.

An excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is a fatty fish whose impact on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease has been demonstrated by numerous studies 1-2 . This type of fatty acid helps reduce blood pressure, blood triglycerides and the formation of blood clots. Salmon is also an excellent source of complete protein. It is advisable to include fish protein in your diet since it would be favorable to improving insulin sensitivity 3-4. Type 2 diabetes causes resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that promotes glucose uptake into cells and regulates blood sugar levels. In the case of insulin resistance, too much glucose is found in the blood, which causes hyperglycemia. 


Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA 2006 October 18;296(15):1885-99. Calder PC. n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored. Clin Sci (London) 2004 July;107(1):1-11. Lavigne C, Tremblay F, et al. Prevention of skeletal muscle insulin resistance by dietary cod protein in high fat-fed rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2001 July;281(1):E62-E71. Tremblay F, Dubois MJ, Marette A. Regulation of GLUT4 traffic and function by insulin and contraction in skeletal muscle. Front Biosci 2003 September 1;8:d1072-d1084.

A vegetable from the cruciferous family, to be eaten raw or lightly cooked, broccoli contains a lot of vitamin C whose preventive properties on certain cancers have been demonstrated.

Daily consumption of broccoli is linked to a lower concentration of homocysteine ​​1 , an amino acid whose increased content is proportional to the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Two of its components, lutein and zeaxanthin, have antioxidant properties that also fight against cardiovascular disorders.


Ganji V, Kafai MR. Frequent consumption of milk, yogurt, cold breakfast cereals, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables and intakes of dietary folate and riboflavin but not vitamins B-12 and B-6 are inversely associated with serum total homocysteine ​​concentrations in the US population. Am J Clin Nutr 2004 December;80(6):1500-7.

In addition to its exquisite flavor, the sweet potato has a high antioxidant content, in particular thanks to the anthocyanins and carotenoids it contains. The purple-colored sweet potato is said to be particularly rich in anthocyanins, hence its coloring 1 . Moreover, the darker the flesh, the higher its concentration of antioxidants. This component reduces the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The sweet potato whose skin is white would have the effect of reducing insulin resistance, which would promote blood sugar control 2-3-4 .


Philpott M, Gould KS, et al. Enhanced coloration reveals high antioxidant potential in new sweetpotato cultivars. J Sci Food Agric 2003;83:1076-82. Kusano S, Abe H, Tamura H. Isolation of antidiabetic components from white-skinned sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2001 January;65(1):109-14. Ludvik BH, Mahdjoobian K, et al. The effect of Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) on glucose metabolism and serum cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized study. Diabetes Care 2002 January;25(1):239-40. Ludvik B, Hanefeld M, et al. Improved metabolic control by Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) is associated with increased adiponectin and decreased fibrinogen levels in type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Obesity & Metabolism 2008;10:586-92.

To concoct delicious recipes prepared with foods to favor in case of diabetes, here is an example of a standard menu validated by nutritionists. 




Breakfast “Eastman”
Banana, whole wheat bread
, ham, cheese,
skimmed milk
Chilli con carne

Parboiled quinoa



Cajun fish fillets

Parboiled brown rice

​Blanched Green Beans

Plain apples

snack Carrot and celery
snack Yogurt and berries

See more Diabetes menus concocted by

Olive oil

Regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil is a good alternative to the treatment of diabetes mellitus because it does not contain carbohydrates, but it can also help prevent or delay the onset of the disease by avoiding insulin resistance. and its possible consequences, by increasing the level of good cholesterol. 

It improves blood sugar control and lowers blood pressure.


Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, pulses could help prevent type 2 diabetes. In addition, in diabetic patients, they can help maintain blood sugar balance because it limits the increase in blood sugar.

The researchers believe that the highest consumers of vegetable proteins are thus the best protected against the risk of diabetes. 

The water

Water is essential for the transport of nutrients and the elimination of waste, including and especially for a diabetic: drinking at least 1.5 L per day is necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

Prefer low-salt water, because excess salt can promote high blood pressure, to which diabetics are more sensitive.

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