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Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes (diabetes mellitus type 2) is the most common, in which the body is resistant to the signaling of insulin as it reaches the cells, leading to dysfunction of energy storage in the cells and rising glucose levels in the blood stream as a result.

  • Overview
  • Action Plan
  • Ask The Doctor
  • Read & Watch
  • Success Stories
  • See Also


Type 2 diabetes has become so prevalent in developed and developing countries that it has quickly become an epidemic in many areas of the world, including in the U.S., where approximately 8-10% of the population has diabetes1 and another 36% are thought to have pre-diabetes.2 The following signs and symptoms are common in someone who has developed type 2 diabetes:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Blurry vision
  • Wounds on skin difficult to heal
  • Tingling, numbness or even pain in hands or feet

Type 2 diabetes can lead to many health complications such as:

  • Eye disorders, including blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Neuropathy (damage to nerves)
  • Skin infections, discoloration, itchiness, and/or rashes
  • Limb amputations
  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Increased risk of cancer

Type 2 diabetes is primarily a dietary-caused disease related to eating processed foods highly prevalent in the Standard American Diet (SAD) and across the modern world today. Excess fat on the body increases insulin resistance leading to diabetes, but other factors that place a biochemical stress on the beta cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin, such as repeated glycemic stress and chemicals, can play a contributory role. Even though the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may be higher if you have others in your family with the disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop it. Being overweight and eating too many animal products and refined foods is so common today that diabetes is exploding world wide. Lifestyle changes, which include regular vigorous exercise and a Nutritarian diet-style, are not only preventative but in most cases, they enable patients with this condition to make a complete recovery.

  1. Centers for Disease C, Prevention. Increasing prevalence of diagnosed diabetes--United States and Puerto Rico, 1995-2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2012, 61:918-921.
  2. Bullard KM, Saydah SH, Imperatore G, et al. Secular changes in U.S. Prediabetes prevalence defined by hemoglobin A1c and fasting plasma glucose: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999-2010. Diabetes Care 2013, 36:2286-2293.

Action Plan


Evidence from studies, especially those from the last two decades, has shown us that the quality of our food intake matters a lot when it comes to diabetes risk. Diets rich in vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and nuts, as well as low in alcohol, refined grains, refined sugars, and animal products dramatically reduce the risk of developing diabetes,1 and a Nutritarian eating style, with attention to reducing glycemic load at meals, is an excellent strategy for managing and even reversing type 2 diabetes. For 25 years, I have been caring for hundreds of patients with Type 2 diabetes and making most of them non-diabetic. I even published a study that showed that 90% of diabetics who followed a Nutritarian diet were able to come off of all of their diabetes medications and still achieve non-diabetic glucose readings.2

  • Fruit is allowed, but you may need to limit or avoid dried fruits and very sweet fruits such as tropical fruits.
  • Limit the overall daily intake of fruit to 2-3 servings, making berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.) the primary fruit choice.
  • Reduce all grain and potato intake, and eat more greens and beans, squash, peas, avocado, seeds, and nuts in their place. Beans have been shown to provide health advantages over whole grains in diabetes, and nuts provide healthy fats and are very low-glycemic calorie source.3, 4
  • No snacking or overeating at meals.
  • Combine your higher glycemic foods (fruit, etc.) with raw vegetables (such as a salad) at the same meal. Do not snack.

Meal plan: Diabetes Reversal


  • Dr. Fuhrman’s general supplement protocol for adults (see Vitamin Advisor for details) includes:
  • Consider adding:
    • Thiamin and chromium: People with diabetes are at risk of low thiamin (vitamin B1) and chromium levels, and additional supplementation may be appropriate.
    • Cinnamon: Many human trials have suggested that cinnamon powder or supplemental cinnamon extract can support healthy blood glucose levels.5, 6 Discuss taking purified cinnamon extract with your doctor, especially if you are taking medication, as it may require an adjustment medication.7
    • Green tea extract: A meta-analysis of 17 trials using green tea extract as a supplement concluded that green tea extract reduced fasting blood glucose and HbA1c (a long-term indicator of blood glucose levels).8
    • Aloe vera gel: In people with either diabetes or prediabetes, supplementing with aloe vera gel powder resulted in decreases in fasting blood glucose.9
    • White mulberry leaf, banaba leaf, gymnema leaf, and fenugreek seed phytochemicals may also be helpful, according to preliminary studies 10-13

For supplement recommendations personalized to you, your health condition and goals, visit the Personalized Vitamin Advisor and answer a few questions. 


Exercise daily, even multiple times a day as a strategy to lower blood glucose, such as after meals.


  • The End of Diabetes contains the scientific information and full program to most effectively enable you to reverse your diabetes.
  • Transformation 20 – Diabetes Edition.

    • Reduce or eliminate type 2 diabetes medication and lose weight in 20 days.

    • This e-book supplies the menu plans, shopping list and recipes for 20 days, for you to reverse your type 2 diabetes quickly.

    • Most people will lose at least 10 pounds during this time and a majority will not need diabetic medication after this initial period.

  • Study: Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in Type 2 Diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet
    • In this study on type 2 diabetics following a Nutritarian diet, 90 percent of participants were able to come off all diabetic medications, and the mean HbA1c after one year was 5.8%, which is in the non-diabetic (normal) range.14

Other Considerations

  • Weight loss is key to improving diabetes, and a Nutritarian diet will produce steady weight loss.
  • If you are taking medications for diabetes, it is very important that you work with your doctor to reduce your medication so glucose levels do not get too low.

Find additional help

ONLINE: All members of can search the Ask the Doctor archives for discussions on this topic. Platinum and Diamond members can connect with Dr. Fuhrman by posting questions in the forum. Not a member? Join now.

IN PERSON: Book a stay at Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Retreat in San Diego, California. With options ranging from one, two and three months (and sometimes longer) you will be under Dr. Fuhrman’s direct medical supervision as you hit the “reset” button on your health. For more information: (949) 432-6295 or [email protected]

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  1. Ley SH, Hamdy O, Mohan V, Hu FB. Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. Lancet 2014, 383:1999-2007.
  2. Dunaief D FJ, Dunaief J, Ying G. Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventative Medicine 2012, 2:364-371.
  3. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, et al. Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2012, 172:1653-1660.
  4. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Banach MS, et al. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care 2011, 34:1706-1711.
  5. Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food 2011, 14:884-889.
  6. Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clin Nutr 2012, 31:609-615.
  7. Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, et al. Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2006, 3:45-53.
  8. Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, et al. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2013, 98:340-348.
  9. Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, Punthanitisarn S. Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Pharm Ther 2016, 41:180-188.
  10. Mudra M, Ercan-Fang N, Zhong L, et al. Influence of mulberry leaf extract on the blood glucose and breath hydrogen response to ingestion of 75 g sucrose by type 2 diabetic and control subjects. Diabetes Care 2007, 30:1272-1274.
  11. Stohs SJ, Miller H, Kaats GR. A review of the efficacy and safety of banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) and corosolic acid. Phytother Res 2012, 26:317-324.
  12. Leach MJ. Gymnema sylvestre for diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. J Altern Complement Med 2007, 13:977-983.
  13. Lu FR, Shen L, Qin Y, et al. Clinical observation on trigonella foenum-graecum L. total saponins in combination with sulfonylureas in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Chin J Integr Med 2008, 14:56-60.
  14. Dunaief DM, Fuhrman J, Dunaief JL, Ying G. Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 2012, 2.

Ask The Doctor

The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)


I have been told that by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed a person has probably lost 75-80% of his beta cells in the pancreas and that those that remain can probably handle the glucose if the patient follows a strict exercise program and diet. I have also been told that these dead beta cells cannot come back and will never again produce insulin – that that’s the very definition of diabetes. So the disease is controllable but not curable. Is this correct?


It depends on your definition of cured. Even though they have lost the function of some beta cells, most Type II diabetics can still secrete enough insulin to handle the needs of a normal weight body eating healthfully. Therefore, they can have normal (non-diabetic) blood glucose readings without medications. Should they eat unhealthful or gain back the weight their diabetes would come back. It is a semantical argument, but I consider it reversed. The tendency to develop diabetes is still there, though, if they do not take excellent care of their health. I strongly recommend all those with diabetes read my book on this subject, The End of Diabetes.


My brother takes insulin for type 2 diabetes. I’ve convinced him to try the 6 week challenge. He’s agreed to do so but doesn’t want to give up meat and he doesn’t eat fish.

Is there anything he should be doing differently because of the diabetes? He would really like to get off of the


This should be done with caution and under close supervision by his diabetes doctor in order to decrease the dosage of insulin right at the start, most likely to prevent a low blood sugar. Discuss this with him so that he doesn’t create risk by trying to help himself. Generally, one has to decrease the insulin dose by 25-30% or so depending on how compliant the patient is on the diet. The emphasis for diabetes is to eat winter squashes and legumes (beans, lentils, peas) as the primary starchy food and eat unlimited non-starchy vegetables, mushrooms, etc. Also, eat primarily low or moderately low glycemic index fruits such as berries. Have him join and check in on my website or schedule an appointment with one of us to help him more closely if he needs it, but he should at least communicate with his doctor often. Remember, my book, The End of Diabetes, gives specific advice to those with diabetes and their physicians, so they can reverse their disease effectively and safely. It is imperative he reads that.


Do you maintain that a type 2 diabetic who is on a high nutrient diet such as yours will have their body change to normal and become non-diabetic?


Yes. You are correct. Type 2 diabetes occurs largely because:

  1. the insulin receptors on muscles and other cells are clogged with fat, so insulin cannot do its job and
  2. excessive abdominal body fat generates cytokines that interfere with the action of insulin.

Maintaining a nutrient-dense, Nutritarian diet unclogs the insulin receptors and melts away excessive abdominal body fat. As a result, Type 2 diabetes predictably fades away in a relatively short time, depending on how faithfully one adheres to the dietary program and if one is exercising regularly. So, it is a reasonable expectation to become diabetes-free from maintaining a Nutritarian diet and lifestyle. I strongly suggest you read my book, The End of Diabetes.


I’m trying to use Dr. Fuhrman’s program to deal with type 2 diabetes. My proposal is to eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal with almond milk and 1 cup blueberries for breakfast; a large salad at noon; juiced kale, apples, lemon, and ginger as a snack; and a cup of anti-cancer soup with an apple or orange for dinner. Will this work? Actually, it seems like a ton of food. I was thinking of having some Stevia with my oatmeal (original instant oatmeal without sugar) also, with a little plain yogurt in the morning. What do you think? I’m not a cook but can manage the above food. More than that is difficult.

I am taking 10 units of Lantis at night, 1000 mg Metformin twice a day, and 10 mg of Glipizide before breakfast. I’m 6 feet tall, 247 pounds. I walk 30 minutes twice a week. The Lantis and Metformin make me itch even when taken with food, so I assume I’m allergic. What should I do?


Use steel cut oatmeal and not the instant. Add cinnamon to the oatmeal instead of stevia and soy or almond milk instead of yogurt. Make sure you’re adding 1 oz. seeds/walnuts a day. Even though you’re not a cook, with some planning, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to prepare healthy food for the week.

Your doctor should adjust your insulin now and likely eliminate it within a few days. You also need to slowly discontinue the Glipizide, as that medication can prevent weight loss and accelerate the progression of diabetes. As you follow this dietary approach and come off the Glipizide and insulin, the itching will likely stop.


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