Americans today are afflicted with three times more type 2 diabetes than they were in the 1980s, and, by 2050, the prediction is that one in three in the country will be affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effects of diabetes range from mild (slight insulin resistance and weight gain) to severe (heart disease, cancer and death). The good news is that this prognosis is preventable if an individual makes a few small nutrition and lifestyle changes. Sugar is the toxin that feeds the development of diabetes; based on statistics, every American eats about 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour (which is converted into sugar by the body) per year. If and when a person becomes more conscious of what he or she puts into the body, healing can occur quickly.
1. Eliminate sugar
Sugar and refined carbohydrates, once converted into sugar in the bloodstream, contribute to high insulin levels, eventually causing diabetes. High levels of insulin for protracted amounts of time also cause inflammation, high blood pressure, fatigue and depression in humans. Simply reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet can be very helpful.
2. Eat whole foods
Eating whole, unprocessed foods will balance your blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and improve the workload of the liver – preventing and/or reversing insulin resistance and diabetes. This could include fruit, green vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 fats, like olive oil, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
3. Enhance with supplements
The correct vitamin and mineral supplements make cells more effective sugar and fat metabolizing engines. In addition to healthy eating, they can help prevent and combat diabetes. One can start by adding vitamin D3, omega-3, alpha lipoic acid, chromium polynicotinate and PGX to a daily regimen.
A daily 30-minute exercise session will help to lower insulin levels in the blood. No matter what kind of exercise you choose, make sure that it gets the heart rate up to 70% of its maximum capacity for at least 60 minutes, a few times a week. For the more serious, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has been shown to directly combat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
5. Sleep well
A lack of sleep or improper sleep negatively affects one’s metabolism, blood sugar levels and carb cravings. Everyone should be getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
6. Reduce stress
Ongoing stress causes spikes in levels of insulin, cortisol and cytokines – all bad for you. This imbalance in the blood is the villain behind metabolic maladjustment that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance and, eventually, diabetes. Reducing stress as much as possible is as important as a healthy diet when it comes to diabetes management. Tried and true techniques include meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, massage and exercise.
Studies show that people who keep track of their progress tend to lose double the amount of weight as those who don’t. Fill a journal with the changing stats for your weight, waist size, body mass index and blood pressure, as well as your sleep times and food intake. Often, progress on paper can be a strong motivator.