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The Best and Worst Foods for Controlling Your Type II Diabetes

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Although type II diabetes is a serious disease, it doesn’t need to control your life. Managing your diet is one of the most important steps to improving type II diabetes symptoms.

Although it can be difficult to adjust your eating habits, taking the time to be mindful of everyday food choices goes a long way. Here are the best and worst foods for type II diabetes symptoms.

The Best Superfoods to Add to Your Type II Diabetes Diet

Many people with type II diabetes are worried that their diagnosis means losing out on flavor in their diets. Fortunately, it is easy to add flavor to your life without adding fat or sugar. Here are great foods for a type II diabetes diet.


Red meat is loaded with saturated fats, which can worsen your type II diabetes symptoms. Fortunately, losing out on red meat doesn’t need to mean missing out on the flavors. Tomatoes are high in glutamate, the amino acid that gives red meat its strong umami taste. Cooking tomatoes also unlocks an antioxidant called lycopene, which lowers risks of heart disease.

garlic on a wooden cutting board


Garlic is the perfect example of a high-flavor, low-calorie food. Adding more garlic to your diet can add strong taste and decrease your risks for heart-disease and high blood pressure, two issues often associated with type II diabetes.


Having type II diabetes means finding new protein sources to replace fatty red meats. Oily fish, chicken breast, and tofu are all excellent choices. With high levels of fiber and low levels of fat, legumes like beans, peas, and lentils may be the best pick. They’re also one of the most affordable proteins at your local grocery store.

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This controversial green veggie has gotten a bad rap for too long. The problem with broccoli isn’t with its taste but its preparation.  The typical method of steaming or microwaving results in a bland, sulfurous-smelling mush, often covered with a thick processed sauce made of something that is not unlike cheese. However, with massive stores of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber, broccoli’s health benefits are too great to overlook.

Fortunately, it is easy to make broccoli a delicious addition to your diet. Just roast or grill your broccoli for a crispy and flavorful side.

Looking for more type II diabetes diet options? Our recent list of weight-loss foods contains great low-calorie options.

Surprising Foods to Avoid if You Have Type II Diabetes

Your doctor likely told the best ways to manage your type II diabetes is to steer clear of foods that are high in fat, sodium, or sugars. This means severely lessening your intake of obvious bad foods like:

  • Red meat, like beef and pork
  • High-sugar desserts, like cakes and pies
  • Fat-heavy dairy, like butter
  • Fried foods, like french fries or fried chicken

These are all good foods to watch out for, but you may not be aware of the fats, salts, and sugars tucked away in foods that you assume are healthy. Here are some of the worst foods for type II diabetes that may surprise you.

Store Bought Smoothies

Although they may seem like a healthier alternative at the coffee shop or drive-through, many restaurants pack their smoothies with extra sugar. This influx of sugar is very difficult for someone with type II diabetes to break down. This doesn’t mean all smoothies are bad. In fact, home-made smoothies are a great way get your daily fruit servings.

fish and chips

Deep Fried Fish

Although fish is usually a healthy protein, not all seafood is created equal. Fried fish is typically covered in a starchy, fatty batter, and oils from the cooking process tend to stay with the fish. The firm-fleshed white fish used, like haddock or cod, lack the nutritional value of oily fish like tuna and salmon.

Canned Vegetables

As with fish and smoothies, you need to be mindful of the veggies you eat. Canned veggies are often loaded with sodium. When it comes to fruit and vegetables in your diet, go fresh as often as possible.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has made quite the name for itself in the past several years as the health food magic bullet. Unfortunately, coconut oil’s purported health benefits are mostly smoke and mirrors. 84% of the calories in coconut oil come from saturated fat. This is compared to 63% saturated fat with butter and 14% with olive oil. Coconut oil also raises your body’s levels of bad cholesterol.

It is also important to keep in mind that even the worst foods are okay to eat sometimes. It’s impossible to keep up your type II diabetes diet if you label any food as untouchable. Just make sure you only consume these foods in very small amounts.

Want more help controlling your type 2 diabetes? Diet is not the only way. Dynamic Health can help you eliminate your symptoms without drugs. Book an appointment in Charlotte, North Carolina, and get started on your path to better health.

Learn more about services at Dynamic Health Carolinas

Regenerative Therapy Weight Loss Programs Pain Management