We have all heard of or know someone with diabetes. You might say ‘it’s a problem with their blood sugar levels’, but this is only partly true.
Diabetes is linked to insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone released to help lower the blood sugar levels after a meal (for example) and move the sugar into the cells of the muscles and the brain where it is stored. However with long-term elevated levels of blood sugar, insulin becomes less effective at its job because the cells become unresponsive or ‘resistant’ to it.
It is the same principle as drinking alcohol. As an accustomed drinker in our adulthood we need far more to reach ‘tipsy’ compared to when we first started drinking at the ripe age of 18 (or there abouts!)
This can happen with high blood sugar. When The reduced effectiveness of insulin means blood sugar is not taken up in the cells and blood sugar rises.
So to control the diabetes we are given medication that reduces blood sugar. However, there are things that you can do to help lower your blood sugar levels.
Here are some ideas you can employ at home to prevent and even reverse type 2 diabetes…
- Avoid or limit ALL refined carbohydrates as these cause blood sugar spikes and increase insulin release. This includes breads, cakes, rice and pastas. Use food labels on the side and front of food packaging to understand the nutritional value of what you are eating
- Avoid ALL added sugar.
- Avoid ALL sweet drinks and squashes. Try water with mint leaves, fresh lime or lemon juice to provide that kick of flavour. Tea and coffee is OK without added sugar but water is better.
- If you need to eat between meals try having small healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, olives or dried fruit instead of sugary snacks.
- Fat is not all bad! Saturated and transfats should be limited but unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils are healthy.
- Incorporate a variety of colours and shapes of vegetable into your diet to get the best mix of minerals, vitamins and fibre which keeps your gut bacteria healthy and has been linked to reducing risk of diabetes. Eat them raw, steamed or lightly boiled to keep the nutrients in them. Why not use your cut offs to make a light healthy stock: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1908762322709741&id=1795995010662381
- Exercise Spend 5-10 minutes a day of light activity or better still get out for a walk! Visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/forestfootandhealth) for a variety of exercises to work your lower and upper body.
If you take on board these ideas and incorporate them into your lifestyle, you will be helping to take control of your diabetes, and may even reverse some of the side effects of the disease, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Tomorrow in our last article during National Diabetic awareness week 5 things you didn’t know about Diabetes