In a previous post, we addressed type 1 diabetes, including the symptoms and how to properly manage the disease successfully. Type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 diabetes in that it’s completely preventable and caused by lifestyle choices and factors.
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, the favorable news is that it’s manageable, and when you work alongside a doctor, it’s even reversible! Browse our online health supplement store and find products that support your blood sugar levels!
The Meat Of Type 2 Diabetes
The numbers of Americans living with type 2 diabetes is as alarming as it disheartening. The numbers speak loudly: two out of three adults are overweight or obese, and one in three adults have prediabetes — and of this group, nine out of 10 didn’t even recognize they had it. The number of people with fully expressed type 2 diabetes is 29 million, with a steady three million increase from 2010.
Being overweight or obese with chronically high blood sugar levels not only puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, but it makes you extremely vulnerable to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
So, where is our disconnect?
Our culture faces a food industry with an abundance of refined carbohydrates — think bread and pasta — and refined sugars (high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose), so really, there is no questioning why the statistics reveal what they do.
How does the problem start?
The origin or inception of where our food system began to vere is a subject in and of itself, but type 2 diabetes begins when we continually consume a diet high in starchy carbs and sugary foods. Both are rapidly digested into our bloodstream and gives our blood sugar a big boost. In order to lower blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases insulin and can lower blood sugar levels lower than what they were before the spike, creating a dangerous cycle. When the blood sugar is lowered, it can create hunger cues where the solution is to eat more of these harmful foods. The ups and downs of insulin throughout the day creates what is called “insulin resistance,” and in time, type 2 diabetes.
Are there clues to prediabetes or diabetes?
The body is generous in giving you clues to your overall health, so it’s important to listen and observe.
Belly fat - The hormone insulin is a fat-storing compound, and when your levels becoming increasingly high, it begins to accumulate around the belly.
Carb demands - If you feel like you’re constantly craving carbs, especially the refined type, this may be a result from a drop in blood sugar levels.
Feeling tired or sluggish after a meal - Your blood sugar levels can spike when you eat too much or if you eat a high-sugar or high-carb meal. This leads to fatigue and poor concentration.
Healthy Eating Tips
Controlling and managing prediabetes and diabetes is greatly found through a healthy diet. Most commonly recommended is to consume a whole-food and unprocessed diet generous in vegetables and some fruits.
You can begin to build each meal focusing on a protein and high-fiber veggies. You can add small amounts of other food groups, like carbs and dairy, but focus the bulk of your calories on protein and veggies.
A sample meal might look like:
- Salmon filet (seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper)
- Salad (dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, as well as radishes, carrots, peas, and tomatoes topped with help hearts)
- Rice or sweet potato (a very small amount)
- Water or unsweetened tea
Supplements Helpful In Blood Sugar Balance
There are many supplements that help with blood sugar modulation and support balanced blood sugar levels.
- Calcium and vitamin D - These nutrients are crucial in so many of our biological processes, including normal insulin functioning. In a study that looked at how the two effected people over a three year span, those who took them daily had no increase in blood sugar levels, compared to those who were given a placebo.
- Fiber - Fiber is wonderful for regulating blood sugar levels, appetite, and insulin levels. It slows the absorption of glucose and helps keep you full and satiated.
- Silymarin - Silymarin is an active compound in milk thistle, and research has indicated an efficacy in reducing blood sugar levels.
Managing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may seem like an impossible feat, but when you start making small lifestyle changes, things will begin to manifest. Your body may indicate a blood sugar issue with weight gain (especially in the midsection), increased hunger and cravings for starchy and sugary foods, and fatigue following a meal. To reverse the chronic cycle of blood sugar levels rapidly increasing and then dropping, consider changing your eating habits from highly processed and refined foods to one that is centered around whole, unprocessed foods. For additional blood sugar support look into calcium and vitamin D, fiber, and silymarin.