Diabetes Type II


In my practice, I see individuals with Type 2 Adult Onset Diabetes, almost exclusively. The onset of diabetes will impede your lifestyle; there is no question about that.  The secret to dealing with it lies in prevention. 

The next best time to deal with it is today.


What’s in this article:

  • Signs and Symptoms
  • What it is
  • Exceptions to the role of insulin and glucose uptake
  • Probably or Possible Causes
  • How to manage
  • Avoiding the complications of diabetes
  • Chromium rich foods
  • Foods rich in zinc
  • Daily menu planning
  • What do other Experts Say?


  • Health Watch eBook:  Healthy Weight Reduction: Gaining Control 


Signs and Symptoms:

  • The first two signs that twig an individual to getting their health status checked are generally fatigue and frequent urination.  Frequent urination is a noticeable sign so it brings with it a consideration that something is just not right.  Along with that comes fatigue.  Fatigue with frequent urination is quite alarming.  Part of the fatigue is the result of a loss of minerals and electrolytes but it is also a bigger expression of cell starvation and poor energy conversion within the cells. Weight loss is another problem sign.  In fact what is generally a concern here is that the individual’s appetite has increased exponentially along with the thirst factor, but the weight keeps dropping.  The hypothalamus signals the hunger switch because cells are starving for glucose and fluids are being drained at an unacceptable rate, but when the glucose is still not being transported into the cell, large amounts of food don’t fix the problem.  High and low blood sugar episodes, otherwise known as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia respectfully, follow.  The fluctuations in blood sugar levels reflect the ineffective transport of glucose across the cell walls. Increased hunger, blurred vision, slow healing times, are some of the major signs and physical expressions of diabetes. 


Now let’s look at the problems that cause the signs.

 In other words what is diabetes?

Simply put, diabetes is caused by the inability of glucose to enter or cross individual cell walls to feed the cell. 

Glucose is food.  Glucose is one of the two molecules of the disaccharide, sugar. The other molecule is fructose. Fructose follows a different pathway in the body. Here is some anatomy/physiology. 

Nutrients like glucose enter cells piggy backed by a transport system.  In this case, the transport system is a hormone called insulin. Insulin, which is manufactured in the islet cells of the pancreas, carries glucose through an insulin specific portal into the cell. In Type II or Adult onset diabetes, the transport system breaks down. 

Why?  It used to be thought that the problem occurred when there was an excess of carbohydrates or sugar molecules in a person’s diet.  The correlation seemed reasonable since carbohydrates directly impact blood sugar and diabetes certainly is a blood sugar problem.  However, upon closer examination by esteemed Physicians such as Dr. J Anderson MD and Professor of Medicine at University of Kentucky in the year 1927, no less, the correlation of fat to diabetes was a decidedly far more accurate measure of the efficient transport of glucose by insulin. 

Around that particular time, other Physicians, namely Dr. Samsum and Dr. J Sweeney, also showed how to negatively impact or cause diabetes in lab mice, using a high fat, low carbohydrate diet.

Since that time many Physicians and Nutritionist have come out in support of that truth.  Excessive fat has many deleterious effects, but importantly, in this situation, they seriously hampers the role of insulin as a transport system.  It simply can not penetrate the insulating effect of the excess fat membrane.  All cells are bathed in lipids. It is a protective layering.  The problem is clearly when the layer grows beyond healthy proportions. 

Having said that, ethnicity may also be a factor in certain populations who are more susceptible to Type II diabetes.  For example, our Native population has an alarming rate of Type II diabetes.  Education and prevention are vitally important to protecting the health of the indigenous population. 

Regardless of the origins, the road to recovery and control is still the same. 


We need to talk a little more about Insulin and its role in glucose or at least I need to talk more about this… As in all things, all things are not created equal and to every rule there is an exception or two or three.  Insulin hangs right in there in that group.

So, the exceptions to the relationship between Insulin being the buddy system for glucose are as follows:

  •  Exercise – glucose is more readily taken up by cells with exercise.  Muscle tissue will glean glucose from the blood without the need for insulin.  This makes exercise pivotal to diabetic recovery or management. Beyond that single pivotal impact , there is a treasure of other health benefits of exercise, including the fact the muscle is active fiber and uses fat as a source of energy.
  • Brain cells do not require the presence of insulin to transport glucose.  Thank goodness for that.   

So those are the two main exceptions to the rule.

As in all conditions, they are Probably Causes.  In diabetes, it is no different. 

  •  Predisposition complicated by years of poor dietary choices has many negative physical outcomes and diabetes is one.
  • Obesity or excess body fat is another
  • Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family History
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Poor diet that also results in a lack of certain minerals, for example, chromium, and B vitamins

The next step is managing the condition.  We know that diet, exercise; lifestyle will positively impact the condition of diabetes.  So, let’s look at those factors individually.

Food choices, which I feel is a far more effective and frankly, appropriate way to approach your nutrition has a number of important components.  Because the diabetic condition and your food choices are so intimately connected, you do need to take the time to learn how to properly feed and nourish yourself. 

So, let’s look at your Goal.

The nutritional approached of the most successful controls for diabetes look like this:

  •  70 – 80 % complex carbohydrates or slow burning carbohydrates
  • 10 – 15% protein calories
  •  10 – 15% calories from healthy fat sources.
  • High fiber food choices should comprise 30 – 40 % of the nutrition.  That includes legumes, bran, grains, fruits and vegetables.

High quality food choices, along with diligent exercise and a return to an active lifestyle are important factors in your quest for health.


Why do I want to avoid the complications of diabetes?

Simply put, because they are many and they are varied and they are very serious along with being potentially debilitating.  Here are some of the consequences of poor management of the condition.

  • Heart disease. Heart disease can occur as a result of excess circulating glucose that increases your chances of atheroplaque
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: This condition occurs as a result of poor blood flow as well as flow of nutrients to the eye. A system of extra capillaries develops to compensate. Unfortunately the vascular integrity or wall lacks the strength of the original capillary system.  Vascular integrity is what is going to protect veins, arteries and capillary from rupture.
  • Fatigue as a result of an imbalance of blood sugar
  • Poor circulation to extremities
  • Poor circulation of nutrients to internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Etc.

Here is the thing: The basic problem with the condition of diabetes lies in getting food into every one of your thirty trillion cells via the insulin transporter or via exercise. This underscores the need for a healthy nutrient protocol and exercise regime, along with nutraceuticals that can potentiate good digestion.  In fact, let’s look to certain herbs to improve and potentiate glucose uptake.

  • Cinnamon Bark: Recent research has revealed that constituents in cinnamon bark called procyanidin Type-A polymers help maintain the body’s ability to metabolize glucose in a healthy way. Cinnamon extract can be purchased as a nutraceutical with the goal to aid glucose uptake.  As in most herbal extracts, I prefer organic tinctures and I use Gaia as my choice for herbs.
    USDA research indicates that Cinnamon reduces the amount of insulin necessary for glucose metabolism. Furthermore, Cinnamon has been shown to stimulate glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis to similar level as insulin
  • Banaba: Otherwise known as ‘botanical insulin’, has been studied for its ability to act as a glucose transport in the blood stream.
  • Gymnema Sylvestre:  Gymnema has been used for over 2000 years in the control and management of diabetes. Animal studies have resulted in very positive results.  Gymnema leaves have been shown to stimulate islet cells in the pancreas.  Islet cells, you’ll remember are responsible for producing insulin. Gymnema leaves also improves glucose uptake in the cells. Studies from both Harvard University and King’s College in London, show evidence that Gymnema increases cell permeability which reduces insulin resistance. Gymnema also benefits stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease.
  • Banaba: Otherwise known as ‘botanical insulin’, has been studied for its ability to act as a glucose transport in the blood stream.
  • Bitter Melon: Is known for its ability to improve glucose tolerance.
  • Chromium: Stimulates cells to naturally respond to insulin. You have seen the letters GTF on your bottle of chromium.  That refers to glucose tolerance factor.  Chromium is necessary to burn and utilize glucose in the body.  In fact, in my earlier years of study, one of my favourite books was “The Chromium Rich Diet”.  To follow is a list of chromium rich foods.  The diet protocol suggests 800 mcg of chromium per day through supplements and diet. Take a look and incorporate:

Food                      Serving                       Chromium per mcg of serving


Apple                     1 medium                   36

Banana                  1 medium                   16

Broccoli                1 head                          34

Brussel Sprouts  4 small                         20

Celery                   1 cup                            21

Cucumber             1 small                        30

Onions                  1 cup                            30

Pear                      1 small                         33

Peas                      1 cup                            33

Prunes                   5                                   25

Split Peas              ½ cup                         18

Sweet Potatoes   1 medium                    36

 Whole Wheat      1 cup                            36

 Wheat Bran         1-4 cup                       9.5

  • Chromium is one of those minerals that is often lacking in the soil that is growing our food.  Do your due diligence and supplement with a high quality nutraceutical that contains 400 mcg of chromium.
  • Zinc: is one of my all time favourite minerals.  Zinc is involved in over 300 metabolic pathways in the body. There are zinc receptors scattered everywhere, in your eyes, thyroid, pancreas, taste receptors, enzymes as cofactors, you name it, there is probably a zinc receptor.  In order for the pancreas to efficiently produce insulin, adequate levels of zinc are necessary.  Zinc also works as an antioxidant to protect insulin receptor cells.   Take a look at where you can improve your zinc rich food sources:


Food                      Serving                       Zinc mgs per serving

Amaranth              ½ cup                         3.18

Quinoa                  ½ cup                          3.30

Wheat Flour         1/3 cup                       2.93

Pumpkin Seeds    1 oz                             7.46

Sesame Seeds     1 tbsp                         7.75

Pine nuts               1 oz                             4.25

Parmesan cheese 1 oz                           3.19

Medium cheddar   1 oz                            2.99

Swiss                       1 oz                            3.90

Chicken-dark meat1 cup                        2.80

Turkey                     1 cup                         3.08

Turkey-dark meat1 cup                          4.13

Oysters                 6                                  76.28

Lamb                     3 oz                              6.21


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Probably the most perplexing problem for diabetics is the issue of daily menus.

Let me provide you with some sample menus as a guide:



Fruit – 2 servings – pear and apple

Yogurt – organic – 2% mf

3 tbsp. – ground flax seed

Whole Wheat Bread – 1 slice

Butter – 1 tbsp

Tea – Herbal or Regular – sweeten with xylitol or ½ tsp of honey



Vegetable Soup made with my soup broth found in Nutrition Strategies e-Book.  Nothing comes close and this I promise you.  I have actually updated the recipe to include variations.

Vegetable Soup ingredients: potatoes-1, carrots-2, tomatoes-2, onion -1, cabbage- ½, chic peas -1/4 cup, black beans -1/4 cup, celery – 4 stalks, peas – 1 cup, whole wheat pasta in any shape – 4 oz., red pepper – ¼ cup, yellow pepper -1/4 cup.  If you would like to add parmesan cheese fresh shredded on top, you will be the hit of the party.

4 tbsp. – hemp hearts

Whole Grain Bread – 1 slice

Butter – 1 tbsp



1 cup of dark meat Chicken (Make sure to roast whole chicken and remove the meat so you can keep the carcass to make the chicken broth. Just put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.) 

Wild Rice: cooked in chicken broth or tomato juice is a lovely alternative to ordinary water – ½ cup Stir fry ½ an onion, some mushrooms, celery and tomatoes, add 2 tbsp of tomato paste, seasoning such as oregano, a dash of cayenne, chili, salsa or Cajun spices, simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, add to the rice, gently toss and serve.

Green Salad – again I have a World Class Salad recipe in my Nutrition Strategies e-Book or you can make a salad with a wonderful variety of greens with an assortment of vegetables for variety and flavour.

Dessert: If you go to www.scdrecipe.com you will find a simple, yet delicious recipe for coconut macaroons.  Make them bite size. Have a couple.

This represents close to 1800 calories and is wonderfully nutrient dense.  It has a good source of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals

Here’s another example:



Omelets or Frittata:

  •  2 omega 3 eggs
  •  ½ onion
  •  3 each floweret’s of broccoli and cauliflower
  •  6 – mushrooms, ¼ each of red and yellow peppers.

Stir fry the onion and peppers in 1/8th cup of extra virgin olive oil or 1/8 cup of expeller pressed coconut oil. Don’t preheat the oil. Put the onions and oil in together. This will help prevent oxidation of the fatty acids. Stir fry for about 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another couple of minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower; cook another two to three minutes.

I don’t necessarily beat the eggs, sometimes I break them open and put them on top, cover and continue to cook until done. Or you can lightly beat the eggs and mix them with the vegetable mixture, cover and cook.  S&P to taste.  At the end, you can grate 1oz. of parmesan cheese on top

Whole Grain Bread -1 slice

Butter -1 tbsp

Ground Flax Seed – 3 tbsp.

Tea or Weak Coffee – never use decaf coffee because of the use of chemicals in the decaffeinating process.



Vegetarian Lasagna:

  • Whole Wheat lasagna noodles
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • spinach 
  •  oregano 
  •  basil
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms 
  •  onion
  • spinach and any other vegetables you might prefer 
  • mozzarella cheese

Salad with

  • leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce
  • red or white onion slices
  • tomatoes
  • kidney beans 
  •  black beans 
  •  celery

Dressing is always a simple combination of 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil and 1 ½ tbsp of either apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc. with ¼ tsp. xylitol if you like your dressing with a bit of sweet taste, oregano and basil, ¼ tsp. dry mustard and 1 clove crushed garlic.  Mix and mix…. Mix together and mix into the salad


Apple Corn Muffin made with:

  •  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  •  ¾ cup – whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  •  ¼ cup grated apple
  •  2 stiffly beaten egg whites
  • ½ apple juice- unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup pureed date or date sugar

Stir the dry ingredients together. Add the apple, beaten egg whites, apple juice and olive oil.  Use coconut oil to spread into your muffin tins or use muffin liners, Add to 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, test for doneness in a 375 degree oven.


Supper: Salmon loins baked with lemon juice and 1 tbsp of butter per loin

Vegetables: Green Beans, Turnip, Carrot

Whole Grain Bread -1 slice

Butter -1 tbsp.

Calories 1800 – 1900 – I would like to thank Dr. Julian Whitaker MD, for his guidance in putting together the sample daily menus.


The idea is this: as you can each section has a good amount of food.  Divide your breakfast portion into the main meal plus a snack mid morning, same thing with Lunch and same thing with Supper.  I always counsel my clients to make a little extra in the event of hunger.  If it is after 6:00 p.m., make your snack light but never let yourself go hunger. 

Coconut Macaroons

Whole wheat muffins

Oatmeal cookies – All homemade of course, make a reasonable choice for something sweet after lunch or supper. Make them bite size and have just a couple.

That gives you some very good choices and an idea of how to construct your daily eating plan. 

Each and every day, include essential fatty acids in the form of ground flax seed- 3 tbsp and hemp hearts – 2-4 tbsp. 

You would be very wise to also include digestive enzymes before each meal.

I have covered the systemic health benefits of exercise including the all important one of up taking glucose without the need for insulin.  Please go to my Article on Nutrition 101  and read the article which includes valuable information on exercise and relaxation points.  These will be immensely helpful.  Now, please do the prudent thing – check with your Physician on your current health status.  Get a clean bill of health and begin your quest for a healthy body.  Now, please remember exercise takes many forms.  If you love to walk then walk and if you walk consider that to be a wonderful full body work out.  If you would like to engage the skills of a personal trainer, please make sure they are current of diabetic information and that they have lots of experience in developing a program. 

Get Up … Get Out and Enjoy your right to health and vitality


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