Type 2 diabetes continues to reach epidemic levels in America, doubling the risk of stroke and sudden death from a heart attack. This insidious disease attacks the body’s vascular system, causing metabolic imbalances which reduce quality of life and increase mortality from all causes.
New cases of diabetes are skyrocketing with diagnosis in children becoming all too common, predisposing them to a lifetime of suffering and a shortened lifespan. For the vast majority of people, Type 2 diabetes is a problem caused by poor food choices, and is best prevented and treated through a natural multi-step approach to diet and lifestyle.
Step 1. Monitor Post Meal Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by excessive sugar circulating in the blood. The cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, and sugar uptake becomes inefficient leading to high blood sugar levels especially after eating. Research indicates that it is the surge of blood sugar after each meal which leads to metabolic dysfunction and ultimately to full blown diabetes. Further, the risk of devastating complications associated with diabetes increases as post meal blood sugar levels rise. Keep blood sugar readings 1 hour after eating below 140 mg/dl and 2 hour readings below 120 mg/dl to reduce disease risk.
Step 2. Eat Healthy – Eliminate Refined Carbs
Poor diet is the primary cause of Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, it’s the excessive amount of refined carbohydrates most people eat throughout the day. All types of breads, pasta and wheat-based starches begin to break down into sugar in the mouth and cause blood sugar levels to spike dangerously. The sugars in most vegetables are closely bound to fiber, and release very slowly, making leafy greens a natural anti-diabetic food. Other good choices include lean cuts of meat (avoid charring or overcooking), nuts and seeds. Be sure to include a raw fat source with each meal, as this will slow the breakdown of sugars and ensure the fat-soluble nutrients in your food are properly absorbed.
Step 3. Lose Weight
Regardless of your starting point, losing as little as 7% of your total body weight can have a dramatic effect on the metabolic factors which drive diabetes. Aiming for a sustainable weight is more important than targeting an unrealistically low weight. Losing weight stimulates a cascade of metabolic functions which exert positive control over blood sugar, insulin resistance and blood lipids. Following a healthy diet will cause natural weight loss with little effort.
Step 4. Begin an Exercise Regimen
Studies show that walking the equivalent of 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of diabetes by half. Exercise allows the cells to naturally accept sugar from the blood as it helps to reverse the effects of insulin resistance. Blood sugar levels are kept at lower levels and are much less likely to lead to diabetes or cause damage to the eyes, kidneys and extremities.
Step 5. Targeted Natural Supplementation
There are a handful of natural supplements which are used by the body to assist blood sugar metabolism. Minerals such as zinc, magnesium and chromium are critical to the proper breakdown of carbohydrates and fat, assisting the body to properly respond to the effects of insulin. Vinegar and cinnamon have been shown to assist the breakdown of carbohydrates to sugar, resulting in improved post meal blood sugar response.
For most people, Type 2 diabetes is a direct result of poor food choices. Many resort to prescription medications which are minimally effective in reducing blood sugar and many have been shown to increase heart disease risk. A growing number of people have been able to prevent and treat diabetes through a natural approach to diet, exercise and lifestyle, leading to dramatically improved health and extended lifespan.