Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Carbohydrates


Interesting bit in Sally Squires’ column in the Washington Post yesterday.  Seems researchers are examining the effect of a vegan diet on Type 2 diabetes control. 

Dean Ornish, famous for his work in helping reverse arterial blockages in heart disease, has published one study that shows diets rich in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables – healthy carbohydrates, in other words – helped some folks cut insulin and other medications as well as improve blood cholesterol levels.  The National Institutes of Health has another study going that’s looking at a similar dietary regimen and coming up with similar results.

The interesting thing, of course, is that this flies directly in the face of current thinking that says diabetes control requires limited carbohydrate intake.  It appears that in the right circumstances, which includes the right carbohydrates and apparently other foods, carbohydrates aren’t a problem for Type 2 diabetes.

Trouble is, a vegan diet is extremely hard to follow.  Which makes this interesting news, but something that probably won’t ultimately mean much to the millions of folks struggling to prevent or control this disease. 

There is something that’s a lot easier to implement.  It’s called a healthy lifestyle.  As we all know, even that is a challenge on a daily basis.  Still, it’s middle of the road compared to a vegan diet. 

2 responses to “Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Carbohydrates”

  1. Jim says:

    What foods in specifly would be good for a person that is on insulin.

  2. Marsha says:

    Hi, Jim,

    Generally, a person on insulin can eat balanced, healthy meals just like everyone else. They just have to manage how much and what at each meal and snack. The Plate Model on our site at gives an idea of what a balanced, healthy meal looks like. All that said, however,it is important to work with your physician and/or nutritionist to get a meal plan that fits your specific needs in terms of the amount of insulin you take, when you take it, and your overall lifestyle.

    Hope that helps a bit.


About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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