If you are diagnosed with insulin resistance or prediabetes, your doctor might want to put you on blood sugar-lowering medication as the first line of “defense“ against developing Type 2 diabetes. We urge you not to go down this slippery slope right away. The official medical protocol calls for physicians to try diet and lifestyle modification before drugs (except in emergency situations).
Merely lowering blood sugar by forcing the pancreas to churn out more insulin (as these drugs do) isn’t the solution. Your cells don’t need more insulin; they need to become more insulin sensitive, which means they need to be better trained to use the insulin already being produced. Drugs can’t accomplish this. Only a combination of reducing your consumption of “fast carb“ foods (those which convert quickly into glucose) and increasing your physical activity (which lowers the amount of insulin your body requires) can achieve this. That’s exactly what Type 2 diabetes natural remedies helps you achieve.
Numerous studies confirm that diet and lifestyle modification, are twice as effective as the drugs in lowering blood sugar. More importantly, only diet and physical activity can reverse insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, while protecting you from the onset of diabetes’ deadly complications.
What is type 2 diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (formerly adult-onset diabetes) is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose due to insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. This is in contrast to diabetes mellitus type 1, in which there is an absolute insulin deficiency due to destruction of islet cells in the pancreas.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes
The classic symptoms are excess thirst, frequent urination, and constant hunger. Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90% of cases of diabetes with the other 10% due primarily to diabetes mellitus type 1 and gestational diabetes. Obesity is thought to be the primary cause of type 2 diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. Rates of type 2 diabetes have increased markedly over the last 50 years in parallel with obesity: As of 2010 there are approximately 285 million people with the disease compared to around 30 million in 1985.
Why drugs are not the complete solution
Drugs have the ability to lower your blood sugar count, which will make your doctor very happy. But your pancreas won‘t be as pleased. It will continue to wear itself out until every one of its insulin-producing beta cells is destroyed unless you improve your eating and lifestyle patterns and heal the damage that inflammation has already caused. It is important to note that everyone loses beta cells as a natural pan of the aging process, but for most people this loss isn’t critical. However, it‘s a different story for a person with Type 2 or insulin resistance. Scientists now know that insulin resistance is the primary killer of insulin producing beta cells and thus speeds the development of diabetes and worsens its consequences.
Why do we flood our food with sugar?
When scientists want to give lab animals Type 2 diabetes in order to perform medical research, they usually feed them the basic components of the typical Western diet: Sugar and refined carbohydrates. It doesn’t take very long for the disease to develop. That’s because these so-called “foods” lack their natural fiber which has been destroyed by the refining process. This increases their shelf life considerably, because there’s nothing left “alive” that can cause the product to spoil. Unfortunately, these lifeless foods cannot sustain health or life.
Role of the low fiber foods in type 2 diabetes
One of the most important components of food in its natural state is its fiber. This is their “roughage” content, which slows the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into glucose during digestion (which is why they’re sometimes referred to as “slow carbs”). With the fiber mechanically processed out of these foods, our digestive systems have nothing left to do. Processed “fast carbs“ move quickly from stomach to bloodstream, instead of spending several hours slowly being digested and releasing their sugars over time. Add a flood of sweetened beverages – which zoom into the bloodstream even faster and you’re shifting the insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas into overdrive. And, over time, all that insulin makes your cells resistant to it.
Type 2 diabetes natural remedies
As research has shown repeatedly, you can reverse your cells‘ resistance to insulin by minimizing foods that create this rush of blood sugar.
Quit fast carbs
Quitting fast carbs such as sweetened drinks, breakfast cereals, and white-flour products and replacing them with whole foods that still have their natural fiber intact causes energy to be released slowly, over time and taken up perfectly by your body for fuel. Decreasing your intake of fast carbs results in better insulin activity – and insulin resistance clears up all by itself‘ without the need for drugs. This improvement kicks in as soon as you begin. In a matter of a few days, you’ll notice your strong desire for fast carbs, sweets and processed foods will decline dramatically – because you’ll be breaking the vicious cycle of “carbohydrate craving.” Your blood chemistry will begin to balance itself naturally and you‘ll reduce overall cholesterol and triglycerides. This is the perfect recipe for reversing diabetes and improving your overall health.”
Add some exercise or physical activity
Add a little extra physical activity and your cells become more sensitive to insulin, so your body needs less of it. A lovely byproduct of this is weight-loss.
Avoid processed foods
The global pandemic of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes is caused directly by our modern diet and its highly-processed foods. These include high-carbohydrate/low-nutrient junk, overly-processed refined foods and melabolism-distressing ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, refined vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners.
Add whole foods
A catastrophic absence of high-fiber, nutrient-dense whole foods is a major cause of diabetes. Add fresh fruits and vegetables, specially the ones with low glycemic index to your diet. Whole grains and beans and humanely-raised, hormone-free meat, eggs, fish, and organic dairy products can also help avoid type 2 diabetes. Cutting out sugar, desserts, junk food and refined carbohydrates and eating loads of‘ wonderful fresh vegetables, organic chicken, fresh fish and upped activity level by doing yoga daily or working out in the gym can greatly help. You need to pay attention to everything that could affect my blood sugar level including diet and exercise and stress.
Eat low Glycemic load index (GL) foods
Know how fast your food becomes glucose. The secret to making good food choices is becoming aware of how quickly your body breaks down those foods into glucose. There are a couple of tools you can use to do this:
- Glycemic index (GI). This is a numerical rating of how quickly foods are metabolized into glucose. Foods with a high GI, such as refined carbohydrates and sugars, are rapidly turned into glucose, driving up blood sugar levels just as quickly. On the other hand, vegetables, legumes, and most fruits cause a slow, sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream. They’ll keep your blood sugar (and your insulin level) from spiking and provide a sustained source of energy.
- Glycemic load index (GL). Glycemic load is based on the same concept as the GI, but it takes into account the quality and quantity of a food. It’s determined by the GI of a food plus the amount of available, or net, carbohydrates (fiber excluded) in a standard serving.
Which is better? Let the glycemic load be your guide
Some foods with a high GI actually have minimal effects on blood sugar levels when eaten in normal quantities, while others with a low GI are potentially problematic.
For example, a large carrot and a cup of spaghetti have similar GIs. Yet that carrot contains only 5 g of available carbs (it’s mostly water), while the spaghetti contains 38 g, giving them GLs of 2 and 16, respectively. Therefore, they have dramatically different effects on blood sugar.
Carrots, watermelon, pineapple, and other fruits with a high GI once thought to be inappropriate for those minding their glucose levels turn out to be acceptable, while the GL confirms the need to cut out pasta, bagels, and other starchy, carbohydrate-dense foods.
Low GL meal planning tips
To help you get started with your meal planning, refer to this GI/GL table of common foods.
|Food||Glycemic Index (GI)||Serving Size||Glycemic Load (GL)|
|Rye Pumpernickel Bread||41||1 large slice||5|
|Kidney Beans||28||1 cup||7|
|Wheat Tortilla||30||1 medium||8|
|All-Bran Cereal||38||1 cup||9|
|White Bread||70||1 slice||10|
|Ice Cream||61||1 cup||10|
|Low-Fat Yogurt||33||1 cup||16|
|Raisins||64||1 small box||20|
|French Fries||75||? cup||22|
|Vanilla Cake With Frosting||42||1 small slice||24|
|Plain Bagel||72||1 small||25|
|Baked Potato||85||1 medium||28|
|Potato Chips||54||4 oz||30|
|Macaroni and Cheese||64||1 serving||30|
|Snickers Bar||55||1 bar||35|
You can quickly lower your glycemic load by eating more salads, green vegetables, beans, and legumes. And another small secret is that eating a modest amount of healthy fats and moderate portions of lean protein with each meal can help to “cancel out” high glycemic foods, even in a single dish!
Here are some additional dietary “Dos and Don‘ts” for controlling blood sugar levels and reversing diabetes:
- Increase fiber
- Enjoy dark chocolate
- Use cinnamon
- Use apple cider vinegar
- Eat saturated or trans fats
- Consume starches or sugars
- Overindulge in alcohol
Take natural supplements and multivitamins
In addition to a multivitamin, make sure you are getting the following nutrients. Many are included in multivitamins, but not always at the recommended dosages. If your multi comes up short, supplement with additional doses of the specific nutrients until you’re taking the recommended amount.
- B-Complex Vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Banaba Leaf Extract
Eat aloe vera
Two small controlled human trials have found that fresh aloe vera, either alone or in combination with the oral hypoglycemic drug, effectively lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Take Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant. Preliminary and double blind trials have found that supplementing 600 to 1,200 mg of lipoic acid per day improves insulin sensitivity and the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. In a preliminary study, supplementing with 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid per day for 18 months slowed the progression of kidney damage in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Take American or Asian Ginseng
In a small pilot study, 3 grams of American or Asian ginseng was found to lower the rise in blood sugar following the consumption of a drink high in glucose by people with type 2 diabetes.
Because oxidation damage is believed to play a role in the development of diabetic retinopathy, antioxidant nutrients might be protective. One doctor has administered a daily regimen of 500 mcg selenium, 800 IU vitamin E, 10,000 IU vitamin A, and 1,000 mg vitamin C for several years to 20 people with diabetic retinopathy. During that time, 19 of the 20 people showed either improvement or no progression of their retinopathy.
People who wish to supplement with more than 250 mcg of selenium per day should consult a healthcare practitioner.
Add Basil leaves to salads
Preliminary studies on holy basil and hairy basil have shown that the leaf and seed may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. While the action-mechanism of the leaf is not understood, the seed may work by providing dietary fiber, which helps prevent rapid blood sugar elevations after meals.
Anthocyanosides, the flavonoid complex in bilberries, are potent antioxidants. They support normal formation of connective tissue and strengthen capillaries in the body. Anthocyanosides may also improve capillary and venous blood flow. Bilberry may also prevent blood vessel thickening due to type 2 diabetes.
Add Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper contains a resinous and pungent substance known as capsaicin. Numerous double-blind trials have proven topically applied capsaicin creams are helpful for a range of conditions, including nerve pain in diabetes (diabetic neuropathy).
Take Chromium supplement
Chromium has been shown to improve glucose levels and related variables in people with glucose intolerance and gestational, steroid-induced and type 2 diabetes. Improved glucose tolerance with lower or similar levels of insulin has been reported in more than ten trials of chromium supplementation in people with varying degrees of glucose intolerance. Chromium supplements improve glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes, apparently by increasing sensitivity to insulin. Chromium improves the processing of glucose in people with prediabetic glucose intolerance and in women with diabetes associated with pregnancy. Chromium even helps healthy people, although one such report found chromium useful only when accompanied by 100 mg of niacin per day. Chromium may also lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (risk factors in heart disease).
Test tube studies show that cinnamon can augment the action of insulin. However, use of cinnamon to improve the action of insulin in people with type 2 diabetes has yet to be proven in clinical trials. you can add cinnamon to your diet. A soothing cinnamon tea is often recommended to boost immunity.
Biotin is a B vitamin needed to process glucose. When people with type 2 diabetes were given 9 mg of biotin per day for two months, their fasting glucose levels dropped dramatically. Biotin may also reduce pain from diabetic nerve damage. Some doctors try 9 to 16 mg of biotin per day for a few weeks to see if blood sugar levels will fall.
Eat Bitter Melon
At least three different groups of constituents in bitter melon have been reported to have blood-sugar lowering actions of potential benefit in type 2 diabetes. These include a mixture of steroidal saponins known as charantin, insulin-like peptides, and alkaloids. It is still unclear which of these is most effective, or if all three work together. Some clinical trials have confirmed the benefit of bitter melon for people with diabetes.
Apply Evening Primrose Oil
Supplementing with 4 grams of evening primrose oil per day for six months has been found in double-blind research to improve nerve function and to relieve pain symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
One human study found that fenugreek can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with moderate atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that fenugreek helps improve blood sugar control in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.