Reversing type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification


Reversing type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification

  • 22nd March 2021

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term, serious medical condition. Although it is more common in adults, is developing in children as well. Mainly because of obesity diabetes is becoming common among children. 

World Diabetes DayThere are several factors giving rise to type 2 diabetes, being overweight or having obesity is on the top.

If untreated or not managed well, type2 diabetes can be life-threatening. But if treated carefully, it can be managed or even reversed.


What is type 2 diabetes?

A hormone called insulin is made by your pancreas. When the level of sugar glucose in your blood increases, insulin is released by your pancreas.

Blood sugar checking with glucometerThis causes the glucose to move from the blood to your cells, where it can be used as a source to provide energy. As glucose level in the blood goes down, the pancreas stops releasing insulin.

Type2 diabetes affects the sugar metabolism of your body. Either the pancreas starts secreting a lesser amount of insulin as required or, your body becomes resistant to its action. This builds glucose levels in the blood high. This condition is known as hyperglycemia.


Common symptoms of untreated type2 diabetes:

  1. Blurry vision

  2. Dark discoloration on the skin

  3. Excessive thirst and urination

  4. Infections that heal slowly

  5. Fatigue

  6. Weight loss, despite eating more

  7. Increased hunger

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Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?

The main line of treatment for type2 diabetes are:

  1. Proper monitoring of blood sugar levels

  2. Using medications and /or insulin depending upon sugar levels

Weight loss is recommended by doctors through diet and exercise. Some medications used in diabetes also lead to weight loss, as their side effect. It can also help in the management and treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes reversal mission

The key to managing your diabetes is:

  1. To do Exercise

  2. To lose extra weight

  3. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

The primary factor for the reversal of type2 diabetes is weight loss because excess fat in the body affects the production of insulin and how it’s used.

In a small study of 11 people, it was shown that people with type2 diabetes drastically reduced their caloric intake for 8 weeks, reversing the course of their condition. Researchers noted that the sample size was very small and the participants had lived with the condition for only a few years.

Blood sugar in blood

According to one research bariatric surgery can also reverse type2 diabetes. These are few ways to reverse diabetes for an extended period of time.

You can lose weight and reduce your symptoms. Proper exercises and dietary modifications are the changes that you need.

Can diabetes be reversed by exercise?

Doing exercise on a routine basis will not only help you lose weight but also start to reverse your symptoms and will improve your entire health.  Talk to your doctor before planning such and keep the undermentioned  points in mind:

  1. If you are not used to doing daily exercise, start slowly. You can start with a small distance walk. Gradually increase the duration and intensity.
  2. Brisk walking is a good option as it is easy to do and requires no equipment. Fast walking is a very good exercise.
  3. Keep monitoring your blood sugar level before, during, and after exercise.
  4. During exercise, always keep a snack in your hand for situations like blood sugar drop.

Reversal of diabetes by diet

Apart from exercise, eating a nutrient-dense diet is another way which can help you in diabetes reversal:

  1. Losing weight

  2. Managing the symptoms associated with diabetes

  3. Reversing the course of your diabetes

You can meet a dietician for this or can also take the help of your doctor to plan a healthful and balanced diet for you.

Diabetes 2 reversal diet

A diet that can help you manage or reverse your diabetes should include:

  1. Restricted sweets

  2. Restricted alcohol

  3. Reduced calories, mainly from carbohydrates

  4. Whole grains

  5. Lean proteins, such as soybeans, low-fat dairy products, fishHealthy Vegetable and poultry

  6. Healthful fats

  7. A variety of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables


The American Diabetes Association recommends a low-carbohydrate eating pattern but doesn’t recommend a standard for grams at this time.

A low carbohydrate diet is suggested for diabetic people. Your aim should be to eat fewer, which is always a better option.

A ketogenic diet is suggested by some doctors and scientists, as a way to lose weight and stabilize blood sugar levels. This diet markedly restricts carbohydrates, 5 to 10% of total calorie intake.

In this diet, in absence of carbohydrates, the body is forced to break down fat for fuel. This results in rapid weight loss and shows positive effects on both triglycerides and blood glucose control.

By the way, there are some negative effects of the ketogenic diet also including:

  1. a rise in cholesterol level

  2. muscle cramps

  3. a loss of energy

  4. change in bowel habits

  5. bad breath

Some recent studies also show that keto diets increase hepatic insulin resistance and may cause a deficiency in some essential micronutrients. More study is needed for the long-term use of this diet, keeping safety and effectiveness in mind.

The three basic points to be kept in mind for diabetes reversal are meal planning, healthy eating, and regular exercise. If you can do these things and maintain your weight to the desired level, you may become free from diabetes and its complications.

How is type 2 different from type 1 diabetes?

Although Type1 diabetes is similar to type2 diabetes, the former develops during childhood and is in most of the case unrelated to weight or diet. The exact cause of diabetes type 1 is unknown. Genetics and family history are the most important risk factors. 

In the case of type1 diabetes, there is little or no secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin injection is needed daily to metabolize glucose.

Type1 diabetes neither can be cured nor be treated. The symptoms are the same as those of type2 diabetes. You can only manage the symptoms by proper diet medication and exercise. Both type1 diabetes and type2 diabetes can cause serious complications, if not managed properly.

Complications related to diabetes include:

  1. Hearing problem

  2. Heart disease

  3. Nerve damage

  4. Osteoporosis

  5. Atherosclerosis

  6. Foot infections, which can lead to amputation

  7. Vision problems and blindness

  8. Skin and mouth infections

  9. Kidney damage

Always talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment or management options, no matter whether you are suffering from type1 or type2 diabetes. Your doctor can help you choose the best plan to address your healthcare needs.

Diabetes reversal with diet – 16 best foods

16 best foods to reverse diabetes




Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contains omega 3 fats that help reducing inflammation and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Also, this is a great source of protein, which is important for blood sugar regulation.

Shirataki Noodles

The glucomannan in shirataki noodles promotes feelings of fullness and can improve blood sugar management and cholesterol levels.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C as well as antioxidants, which protect your heart and eye health.


Summer and winter squash contain beneficial antioxidants and may help lower blood sugar.


Avocados have less than 1 gram of sugar and are associated with improved overall diet quality. Avocados also have properties specific to diabetes prevention.


Garlic helps lower blood sugar, inflammation, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure in people with diabetes


Eggs may improve risk factors for heart disease, promote good blood sugar management, protect eye health, and keep you feeling full.


Strawberries are low-sugar fruits that have strong anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve insulin resistance.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds contain high amounts of fiber, which may help you lose weight. They also help maintain blood glucose levels.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar may help improve fasting blood sugar levels, but more research is needed to confirm its health benefits.


Beans are cheap, nutritious, and have a low glycemic index, making them a healthy option for individuals with diabetes.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are rich in omega 3 fats, fiber, and other unique plant compounds

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt promotes healthy blood sugar levels, reduces risk factors for heart disease, and may help with weight management.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil contains healthy oleic acid. It has benefits for blood pressure and heart health.


Amounts of digestible carbs, per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of nuts       

  • Almonds: 2.6 grams

  • Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams

  • Cashews: 7.7 grams

  • Hazelnuts: 2 grams

  • Macadamia: 1.5 grams

  • Pecans: 1.2 grams

  • Pistachios: 5 grams

  • Walnuts: 2 grams

Nuts are a healthy addition to a balanced diet. They’re high in fiber and help reduce blood sugar and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.


Broccoli is a low-calorie, low-carb food with high nutrient value. It is loaded with healthy plant compounds that may help protect against various diseases.

Questions and answers related to diabetes reversal    

What is diabetes reversal?

People with type 2 diabetes that can get their HbA1c below 42 mmol/mol (6%) without taking diabetes medication are said to have reversed or resolved their diabetes. Diabetes reversal is a term that refers to a significant long-term improvement in insulin sensitivity in people with type2 diabetes.

Is diabetes reversal possible?

There is no cure for type2 diabetes, however, through diet changes and weight loss, you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication.

How does diabetes reverse?

Through diet changes and weight loss, you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication. This doesn't mean you're completely cured. Type 2 diabetes is an ongoing disease.

What is the diabetes reversal diet?

You should eat food with having low glycemic index (foods higher in fiber and protein or fats) like vegetables and good quality protein such as fish, chicken, beans, and lentils. Also add other nutritious foods like fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and nuts. This type of food will help you in diabetes reversal.

What are diabetes reversal superfoods?

Non-starchy and low-carb foods are good for diabetic people. Fatty fish, shirataki noodles, leafy greens, squash, avocados, garlic, eggs, strawberries, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, beans, flax seeds, Greek yogurt, nuts, extra virgin olive oils are the superfoods for diabetic people.

Is diabetes reversal permanent?

Through diet changes and weight loss, you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication. This doesn't mean you're completely cured. Type 2 diabetes is an ongoing disease.

Type 2 diabetes reversal diet plan idea

A diet that helps you manage or reverse your condition should include:

  • reduced calories, especially those from carbohydrates.Food Pyramid
  • healthful fats.
  • a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • whole grains.
  • lean proteins, such as poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, soy, and beans.
  • limited alcohol.
  • limited sweets.

How much time is required in the reversal of Type 2 diabetes?Salad

The time needed for diabetes reversal varies from person to person. It may take 3 to 6 months to reverse the conditions; however, some patients may not be able to achieve the reversal of diabetes.



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