Can The Paleo Diet Help Diabetics?

Diabetic | The Paleo DietNovember is National Diabetes Month, so now is a great time to reflect upon the 26 million people who already have diabetes, as well as the nearly 80 million with pre-diabetes (those on high alert for developing the condition). If you fall into any of these groups, or know someone who does, take the time to consider what kinds of food choices may lead to better health.

Sometimes, better health means that weight loss is necessary. Obesity increases the risk for diabetes, and losing weight can help keep your blood glucose level on target.

Luckily, it may not be necessary to lose all those excess pounds to improve diabetes outcomes. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can help lower your blood glucose, total cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. Here, we will outline one eating plan that can help people with diabetes lose weight, among many other possible benefits.

The Paleo Diet

Often, people do not make time to prepare their own meals or even monitor their food intake. This can lead to regular intake of packaged, processed foods. Many experts believe that this trend away from carefully prepared whole foods has contributed to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

A growing number of nutrition researchers and doctors now suggest that we try a return to simpler diets, based on grass-fed and free-range animal products, fresh seafood, and whole fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

The Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet, also known the Hunter-Gatherer Diet, is a healthy-eating plan based on fresh, unprocessed plants and animals. Even though it is modeled after human diets from thousands of years ago, the Paleo Diet consists of easy-to-find foods, such as fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grass-fed meats. Most versions of the diet do not include grains (like wheat, rye, and barley) or legumes (like beans). Only a few versions include dairy, if it is from grass-fed cows or raw (“unpasteurized”).

Supporters of the Paleo Diet also think that you should avoid all processed fats, such as vegetable oil, soybean oil and margarine. This is because they are not whole foods and have been shown to contribute to heart disease. However, they do approve of several types of oil, including flaxseed, walnut, macadamia, avocado, olive and coconut. Most sugar is also limited.

The Paleo Diet can be adjusted for your specific tastes, weight loss goals and blood glucose needs. The Paleo Diet is very strict about the types of foods you can consume, however those foods that abide by the Paleo premise can be consumed in unlimited quantities. On this diet, you and your healthcare team can choose how much carbohydrate, protein and fat is best for you.

Why Switch to The Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet is high in vitamins and minerals, unprocessed, and low in foods that trigger allergic reactions. People with diabetes may benefit from improved blood glucose control, weight loss, and higher energy on this eating plan.

Here are other possible benefits of the Paleo Diet:

  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Better blood glucose control
  • Better brain health
  • Stronger muscles
  • Better digestion
  • Increased absorption of vitamins and minerals
  • Increased immunity
  • Relief from allergies and skin diseases
  • Improved energy levels
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Improved sleep

If you have poor digestion, allergies, high blood glucose, or any other symptoms of nutritional deficiency, think about speaking with your healthcare team about the Paleo Diet. With good planning, this healthy eating plan can be very nutrient-dense, low in allergens, and made specifically to suit your individual needs and tastes. It is a good idea to read more about this subject if you do decide to talk about it with your doctor or healthcare team. Have a look at some of the many books and articles written about the Paleo Diet, the Primal Diet, and “ancestral diets.” These are all slightly different eating plans based on the same basic idea: whole, unprocessed, and low-allergen foods are best.

Jonathan Jarashow, Publisher
Diabetes Digest Family of Magazines
diabetesdigest.com
jonathan@hcrimson.com

Learn how adopting The Paleo Diet can help diabetics:

Paleolithic Diet is Best Bet for Diabetes and Other Diseases

Cow’s Milk and Type 1 Diabetes

“22” Comments

  1. Hi
    I tried Paleo for close to a year, last year… Sorry to crash the party but it didn’t do anything to me.

    – No lower blood pressure: the only thing that makes my blood pressure go down is sports and meditation. A heavy dose of both.
    – My cholesterol didn’t change… Still too high… It was actually at its highest last year.
    – Yoga makes my brain and my muscles healthier.
    – I’m never really sick (knock on wood) so I don’t see the difference with my immunity system.
    – No change of energy levels.
    – Yoga (again) is a way better anti-depression and anti-anxiety (Sorry!)

    And, seriously, somebody wrote that you get away from myopia with the paleo diet…. Ahem… Seriously???

  2. I’ve been Paleo for 8 months. I’m 44, have 2 teenagers, PCOS since I was 13 and for just as long have had an unhealthy obsession with my weight, which I’ve been fighting my entire life. Endless hours working out and weighing myself constantly, always ending in frustration and tears.

    Since having gone Paleo, I’ve reversed my borderline Type 2 diabetes, increased my body temp to normal for the first time ever, my thyroid function is normal for the first time ever and my cholesterol is perfect. My anxiety (I was permanently injured in a car accident 3.5 years ago) disappeared by day 3.

    I’ve only lost 14 pounds so far but my body is visibly changing. I walk 5 days a week, run for 15 minutes (too much cardio isn’t good with PCOS) and strength-train 3 days a week. Paleo is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ll never revert to the SAD and cheat meals don’t happen cuz they make me feel horrible. Nothing tastes good enough to feel like crap.

  3. Sometimes in Oct 15, I saw one of Dr Oz’s show recommending Paleo diet. My blood glucose test taken on 18.10.15 was 12.40. I started myself on Paleo diet on 18.10.15. on 21.12.15, my blood glucose is 7.2, a remarkable drop of 5.4 within 2 months. My other tests Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL & LDL are also within normal range.

    My waist circumference had also drop from 97cm to 90cm.

    The Paleo diet has been a life-saver.

  4. I am 54 have been insulin dependent for 11 years. New endocrinologist put me on modified paleo (no fruit limit sugar from products).

    Three weeks later I lost 15 lbs and was taken off insulin. 5 weeks later I lost 18 lbs and readings have been steady at 102-108

    It a mirical to me. Will see in 2 months how a1c and cholesterol are.

    Do make the time and spend the money to buy grass fed meat, poultry and yes eggs ($$$).

    Make a mirical happen for yourself.

  5. This article is extremely informative and there is no doubt the Paleo diet is a true scientific nutritional guide. However, this website MUST differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes! Obesity does not cause all diabetes, only type 2! Paleo can also be extremely difficult to manage for a Type 1 diabetic. I think this is a gross oversight. Simply add the word T2 in front of diabetic in this article.

    • Cameron,

      Great point on the difference between type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes… I’m a 40 year insulin dependent (now an medtronics insulin pump with periodic medtronic Constant Glucose Monitoring (CGM) that has experienced dramatic improvements over the last few months (from low 7’s A1c to 6.8 … improving every A1C). The improvement is switching to a low carb diet.

      I’ve always enjoyed “adrenalin sports” and the diabetic community at livingvertical.org are generally T1D climbers and mountaineers looking at diets and insulin regiments that allow the lifestyle… Thanks again for your point

    • That’s not an 100% truth about Type 2 diabetes. Obesity doesn’t automatically mean that you’re about to get Type 2 diabetes. It’s just an factor that MAY effect for getting it, but that’s necessarily isn’t the fact. In my case; I’ve always been within normal weight etc. and I was diagnosed for Type 2 diabetes about 3 years ago.
      I’ve never had any weight-problems or nothing like that… And still I have an friend with obesity and he has no Type 2 diabetes. Not even close… Even if we eat pretty much same kind of food.

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  9. I am into the paleo diet for just about 4 months now and the results have been nothing but incredible. My blood sugar is down to normal, I have burned off over 20 lbs of body fat, while building up muscle and most important my A1C has dropped to 5.1. I will keep rocking this new lifestyle for the rest of my life. Woo Hoo

    • My A1C has gone from 12.2 in December 14, to 5.6 in September 15. I take two types of insulin; a short acting and a long acting. I have found that I’m not needing to use the short acting much at all, and we’re having to reduce the long-acting too.

      I’m not exactly full paleo, because I do include dairy, but eschewing ingredients I can’t pronounce in favor of fresh local produce has really helped.

      Yes, I’ve lost weight too.

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    • Hey folks,

      I’ve lost 25kg (56lbs) in just 6 months of not strictly following the paleo diet. My doctor has already started to reduce my diabetes medication. If there was a pill to do this the pharmaceutical companies would be making billions extra. Even if you are not diabetic or pre-diabetic the health benefits of the paleo diet are considerable. As a side benefit, my libido has gone through the roof.

      Bernie

  13. One of my friend recommend me to follow paleolithic lifestyle so i search about what is paleo diet during that search i found that article on it. It not only help you to loose weight but control on blood pressure,better sleep,good brain health, strong muscle,better digestion system and many more.

  14. You can get away from the following diseases when you follow the paleo diet:-
    Cholesterol, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, acne, myopia, gastric issues and many more.

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