Is the Mediterranean Diet the Answer for Type 2 Diabetes?

By Published On: October 7th, 2022984 wordsViews: 109

The Mediterranean diet is popular and often referred to as the gold standard of dieting.  What is this diet? Is  it truly the best way for people with Type 2 Diabetes to eat?

The Mediterranean diet includes lots of healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, beans, and nuts.  It really isn’t a ‘diet’ per say, but a guideline for eating.  Some meal box companies offer what is called the Mediterranean diet as a choice, but before you engrave this eating style in gold, let’s inspect it further.

(1) This diet says that whole grains are essential.  Are they?  If you have Type 2 Diabetes, grains and flours made from grains (both gluten grains and gluten free grains) are not your friends. They will cause unstable spikes and drops in your blood sugar and insulin.  Sugar (table sugar, cane and corn sugar) are in the same plant family as grains and flours from grains.  This family is called the grass family and the grasses that humans typically consume are wheat, oat, rye, barley, sorghum, millet, spelt, teff, corn, rice and sugarcane.  They are collectively referred to as the edible grasses.

Just as sugar causes blood sugar issues, so do the flours made from grains. Once eaten, these flours quickly turn into sugar.  The proteins in all of these flours and sugars are very similar and react similarly in the human body.  The theory and common misconception is that the grain flours are processed so much slower and so don’t cause as much problem.  Once eaten they quickly are converted into sugar and a sugar is a sugar is a sugar to your body.

Consider this. If you have ever eaten a breakfast consisting of mainly pancakes, cinnamon rolls, etc. you are very aware that in just a couple of hours you will be very hungry again.  Why?  The blood sugar spike and drop.  This is UNHEALTHY, especially if this is your regular pattern.  It is really hard on insulin levels and blood sugar stability.

Also, when your ‘mind’ signals it is starving, then whatever you eat will be stored as fat to protect you from starving.  Most people who consume flours made from grains, corn, and cane sugars three plus times per day are addicted to the kind of drug-like high you get when you consume these.  That is also the reason it is so hard for people to even mentally consider abstaining from them.

Your body will crave them and make it really hard to stay away from them, so much so that even when a person has developed an autoimmune disease they will ‘rationalize’ why they must eat them.  Often subconsciously.  If this isn’t a sign of an addictive problem, then what is it?

Over time this can pre-dispose you to develop Type 2 diabetes or any number of autoimmune diseases.  Once Type 2 Diabetes has developed, continued eating of these flours and sugars will cause all kinds of continuing health problems.

(2) Fruits are fabulous in smaller doses, like one fruit at a time, but are best digested separately from meals. More specifically 30 minutes before or an hour or so after a meal.   The natural fruit sugars will turn off your appetite.  Eating vegetables, proteins and healthy fats are key for healthy bones (protein), digestion and natural carbohydrates to regulate your body.  (Grains are NOT the only source of carbohydrates and fibers at all. Vegetables are really good sources of healthy, easily-digested carbohydrates and fiber.)

(3) Seafood is not just a good source of protein and brain food, but also a great source of Omega fatty acids.    Salmon is really good for you.  Buying wild-caught, or catching your own wild fish, is the best.  Be wary of farm-raised fish like salmon and tilapia, as their genetics are altered and can be harmful if eaten regularly.

(4) Beans, more specifically legumes, are great sources of protein and fiber.  If your body produces a lot of gas when you consume legumes, try smaller, regular doses and see if the gas subsides.  Continued gas production could mean you do not tolerate legumes well.

(5) Nuts are very popular these days, and they are a quick dense source of protein and fats.  However, they are calorie dense as well.  Additionally, they mold easily and so if you have a reaction to molds, nuts could be the culprit behind any bloating you may be experiencing.

Having said the above, like any eating patterns, one size does not fit all.  We have a habit of eating the same small number of foods over and over and over again.  A healthy gut needs diversity, just like people need diversity.  Changing up eating patterns frequently can keep your body in the best condition.

Eating foods that are growing in the local seasons is very healthy and beneficial.  Whatever can be grown where you live in its natural growing time is a tremendously healthy source of ingredients for meals  If you are able to grow your own fruits, vegetables and raise or grow your proteins of choice, that is even better.

Farmer’s markets are really great source for buying local produce and proteins.  They can be expensive, so if that is a factor for you I would encourage you to keep up on what is locally growing, but perhaps shop the grocery market sales on these products instead.  In season fruits, vegetables and proteins are often on sale.

Using the Mediterranean diet mindset of preparing meals from fresh healthy ingredients is very good for health.  Consider your own state of health, which categories of foods are beneficial for you and which ones are not, and use your creativity to craft appealing, delicious meals.  It is fun, rewarding, and very good for your mind and body.

Eager for more information?  We have online resources to help you to seamlessly navigate healthy eating.  Check out our online course, Sustainable Clean Eating Made Simple.

Bon Apetit!

Margie Traxler | Owner, Grain Free Mamas

Written by Margie Traxler
Grain Free Mama’s is a FoodTech Consumer Product Goods company. We make gluten/grain/sugar free (Edible Grasses Free), dairy free and botanical nut free baking mixes that put the simple back into simply good for you. We also have educational resources to help you on your healthy eating journey. Margie, the Founder/CEO, received her B.S. in Biology from Portland State University. She has 22 years of experience as a successful Restaurant owner. She lives and operates her business in Henderson, Nevada.

Stay Healthy and Informed

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter