5 Dietary Strategies to Treat and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Blood glucose disorders such as hyperglycemia i.e. high blood glucose, and hypoglycemia, i.e., low blood glucose are actually rasing at an alarming rate. Many researchers think that the reason behind this is the Western diet.
People who have big amounts of sugar and fat in their diet, which is typical for the Western diet, are actually from 5 to 10 times more likely to develop diabetes.
The fact is, the average American eats 32 tsp. of sugar on a daily basis. In one year that is around 125 pounds of sugar, which we all have to admit that is a lot.
But, how food actually works in the body?
How Food Impacts The Body
The glucose sets off an alarm in the pancreas that releases the hormone insulin in order to remove the surplus sugar from the blood.
When the insulin is pumped into the bloodstream, what happens is that it gets rid of excess glucose and carries the blood glucose to the cells, which leads to a drop in the blood glucose levels.
That in turn, causes low blood glucose or hypoglycemic reaction. Hypoglycemia causes a craving for sweets, fatigue, and irritability.
Since the glucose is vital for the body to function and for normal functioning of the brain, the low blood glucose might cause emotional and cognitive issues.
Those issues might range from headaches all the way to mood swings, depression, irritability, blurred vision, memory deficit, and foggy thinking. Then one will probably reach for foods such as pastries, cookies, and candies.
What Will Happen Next?
Then after consuming sugar-saturated foods such as those above mentioned, our blood glucose will rise, and for an hour we will feel much better.
However, soon the pancreas will release addition insulin, and our blood glucose will drop, and we will be at the same place where we started.
This might go on and not only our blood glucose, but our emotions will fluctuate as well. But at some point that can lead to the development of insulin resistance.
This is a condition in which the cells don’t get insulin, and that leads to high blood levels of insulin and sugar. Then the pancreas releases insulin to the high blood glucose levels, and that can lead to the development of diabetes.
The Importance of Diet
All people should be very well aware that the diet is a significant cause of the development of type 2 diabetes, which is also known as adult-onset diabetes.
However, the diet can also serve as a treatment. In order to treat or prevent this disease, we need to follow these 5 steps.
#5 Dietary Strategies
The most crucial rule in the treatment and prevention of this disease is to stop consuming refined carb and sugar products.
In order to satisfy the need of our body for carb fuel, we need to increase the intake of complex carbs such as potatoes, whole-grain pasta and bread, whole wheat, oatmeal, and rice. Also, we need to consume fresh vegetables and fruits.
In case we want to keep a healthy weight, or we want to lose a few pounds then it is best to get most carbs from fresh vegetables and fruits.
Refined Carb Products
- Most breakfast cereal
- White rolls
- White bread
- Pasta (expect whole grain)
- French and Italian bread
- Bagels (expect whole grain)
Step #2 Increase the Intake of Fiber
The fiber bulks up in the intestine and therefore eases the elimination of waste products.
In addition, the sugar molecules latch on fibrous material and in that way they allow a gradual release of the glucose in the bloodstream and lower the risk of a glucose overload, which might activate a diabetic attack.
Step #3 Lower Harmful Fats in the Diet
There are simple ways to increase good fats and lower bad fats in our diet.
Ways to Lower Bad Fats
- Remove the skin from the turkey and chicken (buy organic meat)
- Remove the red meat from the usual diet
- Eliminate or at least reduce the intake of dairy products such as yogurt, milk, cheese, ice cream, cream, and butter. Whenever we need to use dairy products, we can use non-fat varieties
- Don’t use polyunsaturated oils in cooking such as walnut, safflower, sesame, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and sesame. These oils might be chemically unstable when we heat them
- Don’t use partially hydrogenated products such as packaged microwave popcorn, margarine, frozen french fries, cookies, fried fast foods, frostings, cakes, solid vegetable shortening, crackers, pastries, and pies
Ways to Increase Good Fats
- Consume fatty fish such as albacore tuna, salmon, bluefish, mackerel, herring, and sardines 3 times per week
- In case we don’t like fish, we should take GLA, i.e., gamma linoleic acid and omega-3 supplements
- We can find the supplements in health food stores, as long as we follow the direction on the label of the product
- Use monounsaturated oils such as flaxseed, peanut, olive, canola, and avocado in salads, and for cooking use cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Step #4 Don’t Overeat
Overeating actually activates production of excess insulin, which initiates the series of reactions and actions that cause type 2 diabetes.
In case we need help to become fitter and to avoid foods which are high in sugar, we must consult our doctor for advice on exercise and diet regimens.
Step #5 Drink Plenty of Water
On a daily basis, we need to consume from 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water. We should know that this chronic disease is seen as a severe yin deficiency condition, which is marked by excessive thirst and dryness.
Water helps the kidneys and liver to work more efficiently and helps the bowels get rid of the waste products. Another beneficial thing about water is the fact that is a natural appetite suppressant.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol, since they drain the energy from the body. Add garlic and onions to food. They contain sulfur compounds and might help lower blood glucose levels.