Managing Diabetes Naturally
Carbohydrates are a major contributor to higher blood sugar levels. Most people eat a diet that is too high in carbohydrates and too low in healthy foods. Not all carbs are the same, which complicates the process of determining what to include in a diet. For example, potatoes are a common staple. Yet, they are extremely high in carbs. An alternative would be sweet potatoes. They have more health benefits and they are lower in carbs. They are lower in calories and carbohydrates, but slightly higher in fiber. Making the most of the carbohydrates consumed is a crucial step in natural diabetes management.
Following a low GI diet is one way to help control blood sugar naturally. This plan shows how quickly certain types of food convert to glucose. The higher the point value, the quicker it is likely to shoot the blood sugar levels up. It's best to choose foods that will gradually raise the blood sugar rather than those that shoot it up quickly. However, the GI values change based on how the foods are prepared. Find the healthiest ways of preparing meals to get the best results. Be careful about what is put on the foods. Often, it's what we use to flavor food that causes the most problems with diabetes, not the food itself.
Protein is important. If a diet consists of more carbs than protein, the numbers will be higher. Carbs raise the blood sugar quickly to give energy and then drops it back down. Protein causes a gradual rise in the blood sugar levels, and takes longer for the body to digest. The two work together to provide the energy necessary for the body to function without overloading it with sugar. Planning meals so that there is one or two proteins to one carb works great to keep the numbers lower. Choose lean meats, peanut butter, eggs, nuts and seeds or yogurt for easy sources of protein. Whey protein mixes are helpful when one doesn't feel like eating other sources. It's quick and has a high level of protein in each scoop. Avoid meats that have a high fat content or are processed.
In busy lives, it's hard for most people to get three meals a day, let alone to eat more. For the diabetic, it's important to eat every 2-3 hours. Keeping food in the system prevents the body from going into starvation mode and hoarding sugars in the cells. The meals are smaller than typical meals so that the calories are the same or even less. They are just spread out through the day. It's recommended to eat three typical meals plus a snack between each meal and one before bedtime. This can be accomplished by eating a simple snack such as a few crackers with peanut butter or cheese or raw vegetables with a dip made from Greek yogurt and favorite seasonings. The idea is to keep something in the stomach to avoid dips in blood sugar.
Portion control has a huge impact on controlling diabetes. Many people eat portions that are meant for more than one meal. Learning to keep the portions small will prevent overeating and spikes in blood sugar. You will realize that you won't be as hungry because you are eating more frequently. This makes learning to use the proper portions much easier. For example, a portion of rice is 1/3cup. Half of a banana is a serving, not a whole banana. One slice of bread, 2-3 ounces lean meat, or ½ cup cooked dry beans are all proper portions.
There are many types of supplements and tricks that people have used to help keep diabetes under control. One of the most helpful is cinnamon. It can be used in many recipes, or it can be consumed in capsule form. When combined with chromium it works with double strength to fight sugar. It also helps with yeast overgrowth to cut down on cravings for the wrong types of food. It has many benefits and should be included daily.
A multivitamin is important because high glucose levels flush the body out, much like a diuretic. This causes the body to lose important nutrients that need to be replaced. This will deplete energy, causing a lack of interest in exercise or an inability to concentrate. Many of these nutrients help with conditions that result from diabetes, such as nerve damage, infections or kidney function. A good vitamin will provide B vitamins, magnesium and vitamins C, D and E. Co-enzyme Q10 and essential fatty acids have been shown to naturally control blood sugar levels while lowering blood pressure.
When blood sugar levels are too high, medication is necessary. However, it is possible to keep diabetes under control during the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. Always consult with a physician before making dietary changes and make sure you chart any changes when adding a new regimen.