There is a nation-wide concern with the increasing number of diabetic patients in Singapore, and the number continues to rise year after year.
Lifestyle plays a major role in the risk of diabetes. Diet is a major part of our lifestyle. Making healthier food choices and introducing physical exercise greatly reduces the risk of the disease.
Fortunately, there are ways to reverse the risk of diabetes. Certain foods can negatively affect your blood sugar levels. Raised blood sugar leads to inflammation and triggers immune responses.
The first step to reversing the risk is by removing these foods from your diet:
- Read Labels for Refined Sugar: Refine sugar hides behind many different names. Sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose dextrose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, cane crystals and corn sweetener all indicate the presence of refined sugars. Refined is the culprit that rapidly spikes blood glucose. These can be commonly found in soda, local coffee, packaged fruit juice and other readily packaged snacks & foods. Consuming these products allows sugar to enter the bloodstream rapidly, causing extreme elevations in blood glucose.
- Limit Natural Sugar: Although natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup are better options, consuming these on a regular basis can still affect blood sugar levels. Enjoy these foods on occasion.
- Know Your Grains: Grains such as rice, wheat, millet etc. Especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, contain large amounts of carbohydrates that break down into sugar within minutes of consumption. Gluten has been known to cause intestinal inflammation, which may affect hormones like cortisol and leptin. This can lead to spikes in blood sugar. Removing grains from your diet can help your body adjust and heal.
- Hydrogenated oils: Vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil are hydrogenated oils. These oils should be removed from our diet because they are processed, and treated at very high temperatures. The processing method uses bleaching agents and artificial dyes which has been linked to many health issues.
- Conventional cow’s milk: Dairy products should be eliminated, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. Dairy products can harm the body, triggering similar gluten-like immune response.
- Alcohol: Beer and sweet liquors are especially high in carbohydrates and should be avoided. Carbohydrates break down into glucose which will affect our blood sugar. Alcohol can also lead to liver toxicity.
2nd Step: Introduce These Foods to Treat Diabetes
- High Fiber Foods: High fiber foods helps to slow down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, regulate blood sugar, and promotes detoxification. Vegetables, nuts, berries, and avocado are some foods that are high in fiber.
- Low Glycemic Load Foods: Foods with high glycemic index, converts into sugar quicker than low glycemic foods. Stick to low glycemic foods like non-starchy vegetables, stone fruits, and berries, nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut products
- Fats, Healthy Fats: Medium-chained fatty acids found in coconut oil can help to balance blood sugar levels. Using coconut milk and ghee also provides the fatty acids needed to fuel your body instead of fueling it with sugar.
- Magnesium-rich Foods: Magnesium plays a role in metabolizing glucose. Therefore, it can help regulate blood sugar levels. Magnesium-rich food such as spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and black beans, can improve type 2 diabetes symptoms.
3rd Step: Follow a Healthy Eating Plan
Consistency is key to a lifestyle change in reversing diabetes. Focus on consuming plenty of clean protein, healthy fats, and fiber into every meal. Plan your meals using the above guide on food.
Create a list of food that is available to you for your meal planning and drink plenty of water. You can also look at Cookit's weekly menu for inspiration.
Exercising can help reverse diabetes naturally. Many studies have shown that exercising can improve blood glucose level and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Exercising can also positively affect your blood pressure, heart health, cholesterol levels and quality of life. Exercise naturally supports your metabolism by burning fat and building lean muscle. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Walking for 20 to 30 minute every day, can be extremely beneficial, especially after meals.
Ty interval training such as HIIT, or weight training three times a week for 20–40 minutes. Besides naturally increasing insulin sensitivity, these training can also help you burn up to three times more body fat than traditional cardio.
Follow these steps to reverse diabetes naturally, and make a positive lifestyle change.