Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or you’re determined to avoid future health problems, it’s important to realize that natural lifestyle choices and diet can help you achieve health and wellness.
Although it’s true that type 2 diabetes is a dangerous disease, a growing number of informed researchers and health practitioners agree that type 2 diabetes is both preventable and in many cases, reversible.
The 2017 National Diabetes Statistics report revealed that more than 30 million Americans, or nearly 10% of the population, have been diagnosed with this disease.
The type 2 diabetes epidemic certainly paints an ugly national health picture. It’s one of the leading causes of death in the United States, accounting for more than 250,000 deaths in 2015 alone.
If you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important that you take immediate action to control of your symptoms.
Just How Do You Get Type 2 Diabetes?
While type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas, type 2 diabetes is a dangerous metabolic condition caused by elevated blood glucose levels.
Although your body will respond to high blood glucose levels by producing more insulin, failure to institute recommended lifestyle and dietary changes substantially increases the odds that you will develop type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetics are inefficient at responding to and even releasing insulin after a meal that includes sugars, carbohydrates or fats.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to assist with the conversion of sugars into fat and energy. If you have diabetes, your blood cells have lost the ability to respond properly to insulin. The unfortunate result is insulin resistance and abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Prediabetes and Diabetes Related Complications
Aside from the growing number of people that are confirmed diabetics, nearly 34 million American adults had prediabetes in 2015. You may be diagnosed with prediabetes if your blood glucose level is abnormally high, but somewhat below the accepted threshold for type 2 diabetes.
People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within a decade unless crucial lifestyle and dietary changes are implemented.
Patients with type 2 are regularly diagnosed with serious cardiovascular complications, including stroke, diabetic ketoacidosis, ischemic heart disease and lower-extremity nerve damage.
It’s difficult to calculate the negative effects that type 2 diabetes has on your digestion, weight, energy, vision, sleep and much, much more.
The development of type 2 diabetes can generally be attributed to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Among the factors that can help trigger type 2 are:
- poor diet
- high inflammation levels
- sedentary lifestyle
- excessive stress
- family history of diabetes
- high blood pressure
- history of heart disease
- hyperthyroidism or other hormonal condition
- toxins, viruses and chemicals
- disruptive medications
Food and Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled, but it generally won’t happen overnight. The first step is to watch what you eat. The following foods raise blood glucose levels and contribute to its development:
- refined sugars
- soda, juice and other sugary beverages
- grains and grain products
- processed foods
- factory farm dairy products
- hydrogenated oils derived from vegetable, cottonseed, soybean, and canola sources
Diabetes Friendly Foods
The following friendly foods can help you lose weight while you aim to prevent type 2:
- fiber rich foods
- foods high in chromium
- healthy fats
- low glycemic load foods
- raw pastured dairy
- organic and pastured meats and eggs
The foods listed above can help control blood glucose levels and shed pounds, two important strategies for managing this condition. Low glycemic load foods are beneficial to people with diabetes and prediabetes.
Sugary, processed and starchy foods are quickly converted into glucose in the bloodstream. Stick to low glycemic foods such as stone fruits, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, coconut, seeds, berries, avocados, free-range eggs and wild-caught fish.
Following a structured diabetes friendly eating plan is a great way to lose weight and attain remission. A health friendly diet and lifestyle can also reduce the need for medications and the undesirable side-effects they impose.
Your body will respond positively to a diabetes friendly diet and other natural lifestyle changes. In addition to diet and exercise, there are many supplements that have been shown to help fight type 2 diabetes.
Research studies indicate that adding 200 micrograms of chromium picolinate to meals three times daily improves insulin sensitivity.
Chromium picolinate has been shown to significantly improve glycemic control while substantially reducing both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Other benefits include a significant reduction in triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Especially Ceylon cinnamon, can lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Research indicates that the daily consumption of cinnamon is a reliable way to decrease glucose, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels.
Cinnamon also raises HDL cholesterol levels. It’s so easy, not to mention tasty, to add Ceylon cinnamon or cinnamon extract to your food, smoothies, tea or other refreshing beverages. You can even mix cinnamon oil extract with a carrier oil and massage the concoction into your skin, especially your wrists and abdomen.
Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha lipoic acid is a prolific antioxidant that has demonstrated the ability to convert glucose into high-octane fuel for your body. Not only does alpha lipoic acid improve insulin sensitivity, it minimizes diabetic associated neuropathy symptoms, including pain, weakness, numbness and other nerve related damage.
It should be noted that your body makes some alpha lipoic acid, but increasing the amount of alpha lipoic acid circulating in your bloodstream is a good idea, especially for type 2 diabetics and anyone with prediabetes.
Certain foods are also good sources of small amounts of alpha lipoic acid, including spinach, broccoli and tomatoes.
Bitter melon extract is another supplement that type 2 diabetic sufferers should think about adding to their daily dietary regimen. Bitter melon extract is a natural way to improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.
Bitter melon has also been shown to improve heart, kidney, blood vessel, eye and hormone damage attributable to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes fighting foods, exercise and natural supplements can help you balance your blood sugar and avoid medications. Fortunately, the amount of useful information and number of natural strategies is vast.