Shopping List for Type 2 Diabetes

Below are items which have been demonstrated through scientific or clinical studies to have significant positive effects on type 2 diabetes. These are provided for educational and research purposes only. As always, be mindful of any allergies you may have and consult with your physician before starting any regimen in addition to your prescribed therapy.

  • Fiber supplement (e.g. inulin, psyllium husk)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Osu fruit 
  • Indian (or Chinese) bitter melon (fruit, juice (extract in water))
  • Fenugreek
  • Ginseng (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean)
  • Onion
  • Neem
  • Russian tarragon (or French or German tarragon)
  • Berberine
  • Garlic
  • Mediterranean diet items (fruits, beans (cannellini, chickpeas, fava, green, kidney and navy), almonds, coucous, lentils, pistachios, quinoa, farro, oats; cinnamon, rosemary, paprika, basil, mint leaves,  olive oil, oregano, thyme, vinegar, tahini; salmon, sardines, tuna, chicken, eggs; reduce the following: beef, goat, and lamb)
  • Oats, barley


Abascal K, Yarnell E. Using bitter melon to treat diabetes. Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 2005 Aug 1;11(4):179-84.

Aggarwal S, Shailendra G, Ribnicky DM, Burk D, Karki N, Qingxia Wang MS. An extract of Artemisia dracunculus L. stimulates insulin secretion from β cells, activates AMPK and suppresses inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Jul 21;170:98-105.

Igbe I, Omogbai EK, Ozolua RI. Hypoglycemic activity of aqueous seed extract of Hunteria umbellata in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2009 Oct 1;47(10):1011-6.

Johnston CS, Steplewska I, Long CA, Harris LN, Ryals RH. Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2010 Jan 4;56(1):74-9.

Kalailingam P, Kannaian B, Tamilmani E, Kaliaperumal R. Efficacy of natural diosgenin on cardiovascular risk, insulin secretion, and beta cells in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Phytomedicine. 2014;21:1154–61

Kang KS,YamabeN, KimHY, Park JH,Yokozawa T. Therapeutic potential of 20(S)-ginsenoside Rg(3) against treptozotocin-induced diabetic renal damage in rats. Eur J Pharmacol.2008;591:266–72.

Kheterpal I, Scherp P, Kelley L, Wang Z, Johnson W, Ribnicky D, Cefalu WT. Bioactives from Artemisia dracunculus L. enhance insulin sensitivity via modulation of skeletal muscle protein phosphorylation. Nutrition. 2014 Jul-Aug;30(7-8 Suppl):S43-51.

Kim S-H, Jo S-H, Kwon Y-I, Hwang J-K. Effects of onion (Allium cepa L.) extract administration on intestinal α-glucosidases activities and spikes in postprandial blood glucose levels in SD rats model. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12:3757–69.

Kumari K, Augusti KT. Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of Smethyl cysteine sulfoxide isolated from onions (Allium cepa Linn) as compared to standard drugs in alloxan diabetic rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002;40:1005–9.

Liu C, ZhangM, Hu M-Y, Guo H-F, Li J, Yu Y-L, et al. Increased glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion may be involved in antidiabetic effects of ginsenosides. J Endocrinol. 2013;217:185–96.

Martínez-González MÁ, De la Fuente-Arrillaga C, Nunez-Cordoba JM, Basterra-Gortari FJ, Beunza JJ, Vazquez Z, Benito S, Tortosa A, Bes-Rastrollo M. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study. Bmj. 2008 Jun 12;336(7657):1348-51.

Padiya R, Khatua TN, Bagul PK, Kuncha M, Banerjee SK. Garlic improves insulin sensitivity and associated metabolic syndromes in fructose fed rats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jul 27;8:53. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-53. 

Perez Gutierrez RM, de Jesus Martinez Ortiz M. Beneficial effect of Azadirachta indica on advanced glycation end-product in streptozotocin-diabetic rat. Pharm Biol. 2014;52(11):1435–44.

Perez-Gutierrez RM, Damian-Guzman M. Meliacinolin: a potent alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitor isolated from Azadirachta indica leaves and in vivo antidiabetic property in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced type 2 diabetes in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2012;35:1516–24.

Ponnusamy S, Haldar S, Mulani F, Zinjarde S, Thulasiram H, RaviKumar A. Gedunin and Azadiradione: human pancreatic alpha-amylase inhibiting limonoids from Neem (Azadirachta indica) as anti-diabetic agents. PLoS ONE. 2015;10:e0140113.

Post RE, Mainous AG, King DE, et al. Dietary fiber for the treatment of type 2 dia- betes mellitus: a meta-analysis. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012;25:16–23.

Ravikumar P, Anuradha CV. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 1999;13:197–201.

Reynaldo R, Ricardo F. An inquiry into the hypoglycemic action of Momordica charantia among type 2 diabetic patients. Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine 2001;39:213–216.

Shishehbor F, Mansoori A, Shirani F. Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. diabetes research and clinical practice. 2017 May 1;127:1-9.

Thomson M, Al-Qattan KK, Js D, Ali M. Anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant potential of aged garlic extract (AGE) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jan 19;16:17.

Tosh SM. Review of human studies investigating the post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley food products. European journal of clinical nutrition. 2013 Apr;67(4):310-7.

Uemura T, Hirai S, Mizoguchi N, Goto T, Lee JY, Taketani K, et al. Diosgenin present in fenugreek improves glucose metabolism by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010;54:1596–608.

Vitale M, Masulli M, Calabrese I, Rivellese AA, Bonora E, Signorini S, Perriello G, Squatrito S, Buzzetti R, Sartore G, Babini AC. Impact of a Mediterranean dietary pattern and its components on cardiovascular risk factors, glucose control, and body weight in people with type 2 diabetes: a real-life study. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 10;10(8):1067.

Wang L, Clardy A, Hui D, Gao A, Wu Y. Antioxidant and antidiabetic properties of Chinese and Indian bitter melons (Momordica charantia L.). Food Bioscience. 2019 Jun 1;29:73-80.

Yang N, Chen P, Tao Z, Zhou N, Gong X, Xu Z, et al. Beneficial effects of ginsenoside-Rg1 on ischemia-induced angiogenesis in diabetic mice. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin. 2012;44:999–1005.

Yin J, Xing H, Ye J. Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2008;57(5):712–7.

Zhou J, Chan L, Zhou S. Trigonelline: a plant alkaloid with therapeutic potential for diabetes and central nervous system disease. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19:3523–31.