5 Diet Strategies to Improve Blood Glucose Control
Diet plays a crucial role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, mostly because the disease affects the carbohydrate metabolism. Here, the malfunction of the normal insulin mechanisms and cells can’t oxidize and utilize carbs.
Carbs are the primary source of energy for the body, so when the body can’t use them, they build up and cause weakness and lack of energy. This means that no matter how much food a person with diabetes eats, they won’t be adequately nourished as their body can’t use the energy in their blood.
To better understand this complex malfunction, here’s one automobile metaphor.
A Car Metaphor for Diabetes
The distributor (the pancreas) delivers the “spark” (insulin), and trigger a series of electrical and chemical reactions that allow the cylinders (the cells) to utilize the gas (glucose or blood sugar), thus enabling the automobile to run smoothly and efficiently.
But, if the insulin (the spark) is too strong or too weak, the automobile will sputter and stall out.
Without carbs and the energy they provide to assists the metabolism, fats, and proteins build up in the blood, slowing down circulation and causing blood vessel damage. This, in turn, can lead to kidney and heart problems, as well as problems with the nervous system, vision, circulation, and permanent organ damage.
Here are 5 diet strategies to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes (people with type 1 diabetes can also benefit from them.)
5 Diet Strategies to Improve Blood Sugar Control
Did you know that if you consume hefty amounts of sugar and fat, you have 5 to 10 times more chances to develop diabetes than those who restrict refined sugars and fats and eat sufficient complex carbs in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables?
Here are five tips that will help you avoid this lifelong disease, as well as keep it under control if you already have it.
Stop consuming refined carbohydrate products and sugar and increase your intake of complex carbs such as oatmeal, rice, whole wheat, potatoes, pasta, and whole-grain breads.
Use these sources of complex carbs along with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to satisfy your body’s requirement for carb fuel. If you have excess weight, try to get most of your carbs from vegetables and fruits.
Stay away from these refined carbohydrate products:
- White bread and rolls
- Soft drinks
- Italian and French breads
- Pasta (except whole grain)
- Most breakfast cereal
- Bagels (except whole grain)
Lower your intake of bad fats and increase the intake of good fats.
Here’s how to lower the intake of harmful fats:
- Cut out red meat from your diet
- Buy organic, non-chemically treated chicken and turkey, and remove their skin before consuming
- Eliminate or limit the intake of dairy products (cream, milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream), and when using them, use nonfat varieties
- Eliminate or limit the intake of “partially hydrogenated” products, including solid vegetable shortening, margarine, cookies, fast foods, frostings, cakes, crackers, pastries, pies, packaged microwave popcorn, and frozen French fries.
- Avoid using the following polyunsaturated oils when cooking: walnut, safflower, sesame, cottonseed, corn, sunflower, and soybean oil. They became unstable when heated.
Here’s how to increase your intake of good fats:
- The best oils for salads and cooking are monounsaturated oils (canola, olive, flaxseed, avocado, and peanut oil). It’s best to use cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil.
- Make sure you consume fatty fish three times a week (sardines, salmon, albacore tuna, bluefish, mackerel, and herring.
- Another way is to take omega-3 fatty acid or gamma linoleic acid supplements.
Number 3 is adding more fiber to your diet. Fiber increases the size of the waste in the intestines, thus allowing quicker and thorough elimination.
Moreover, glucose molecules attach to the fiber, enabling release of sugar in the blood and lowering the chances of sugar overload – a potential cause of diabetic attack.
Do not overeat, as this triggers excess production of insulin, leading to a series of actions and reactions which can develop diabetes in older adults. In addition, if you have excess weight, try to lose some pounds and cut out sugary foods from your diet.
If you need help, consult a health-care practitioner for advice on exercise and diet regimens.
Your body needs sufficient amounts of water to help the kidneys and liver work better and aid the bowels’ efforts to remove waste products.
This is important as diabetes is regarded as a severe yin deficiency, marked by thirst and excessive dryness. Therefore, drink at least eight glasses of fresh, filtered water a day.