Are you or a loved one struggling with Type 2 Diabetes? Are you potentially at risk of this condition? If so, then you have found your way to the right blog!
The information you are about to dive into will give you some practical diet and lifestyle changes that could help to reduce or eliminate diabetes medications, lower your risk of diabetes, and/or help manage symptoms associated with this condition.
What is Diabetes?
Let’s start by covering what Type 2 Diabetes is and how it can impact your health. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body no longer produces enough insulin, or no longer responds to the insulin your body is producing. Insulin is responsible for signaling the cells within the body to take up glucose, which lowers the amount of sugar circulating within the bloodstream. When there is not enough insulin being produced, or your body is no longer responding well to insulin, then too much glucose circulates through the bloodstream. This is referred to as hyperglycemia.
Type 2 Diabetes has been strongly linked to heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney damage, nerve damage, and Alzheimer’s.
Some Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight change
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Blurred vision
- Frequent or recurring infections
- Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and/or feet
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes:
- Being overweight
- Poor diet (diets high in refined sugars can be extremely problematic)
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic stress
What to do now?
- Dietary changes
Cut out added sugars
This is probably the most important change that can be made! The more sugar you consume, the more resistant your body becomes to insulin. This results in less sugar being taken up by your cells and more sugar floating around the blood stream (diabetes). Cutting out added sugars is crucial to manage and potentially reverse diabetes. This means eliminating sodas, candy, desserts, baked goods, and anything with processed carbohydrate and sugars. There are fabulous sweet alternatives that avoid processed sugars. For some ideas, check out our Good To Go Soft Baked Bars, ChocXO Almond Butter Cups, or these Shrewd Food Keto Dippers.
Increase proteins and fats
Proteins and fats are crucial for managing blood sugar, increasing satiety, and losing excess weight. Proteins help to stabilize blood sugar and manage hunger, while fats delay the digestion of foods and promote satiety. Both of these food groups are crucial to keep both your blood sugar and insulin levels stable. Some great protein options include eggs, fish, turkey, chicken, and beef. Healthy fat options include nuts, seeds, avocado, and fruit oils such as avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
In a recent study done at The Intensive Dietary Management Clinic in Toronto, it was found that therapeutic fasting regimens could help reverse type 2 diabetes and minimize the use of pharmacological and possibly surgical interventions in patients with type 2 diabetes. Fasting can help to limit caloric intake and offer hormonal benefits. Fasting is a great way to reverse this disease without the worry of side effects and the financial burden of many pharmaceuticals, as well as the unknown long-term risks and uncertainty of surgery. The most common ways to fast include intermittent fasting in which an individual fasts for 16 hours of the day and eats within an 8-hour window. Alternatively, 24-hour fasts, 2-3x per week have been shown to be beneficial for reversing diabetes.
- Exercise Regularly
Exercise is a great way to improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. It has been shown to prevent and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, as well as improve and/or help to reverse diabetes. Exercise can also help the body shed excess weight and being overweight is a well-studied contributor when it comes to diabetes. Try and move your body for at least 30 minutes daily! This can be a brisk walk, yoga, cycling, swimming, sports, or engaging in your favourite exercise class.
- Manage Stress
Stress can increase inflammation, cravings for sugar, and weight. All of these can directly impact your risk of diabetes or worsen this condition if you are already suffering from it. Stress also increases your blood sugar! It does so by stimulating the release of glucose stored in the liver. This is the last thing we want when suffering from high blood sugar already. Working to manage stress is absolutely crucial. Some common ways to practice stress management include meditation, spending time in nature, journaling, Epsom salt baths, and breathing!
- Consider Supplementation
Supplements can be very beneficial when it comes to managing blood sugar. Ceylon cinnamon, chromium, berberine, vitamin D, and magnesium are a few common supplements for this condition! It is important to consult your doctor or a practitioner before starting any supplementation.
Written by Allison Sherkin, RHN, CHNC
Allison is the in-house nutritionist at House of Wellness. She is a registered holistic nutritionist with experience in weight loss, mental health, hormonal balance, and digestion. She is passionate about helping others elevate their health and truly discover their highest potential! Allison believes in products made with integrity and focuses on effective solutions to help her customers and clients.
Canadian Diabetes Association. (n.d.). Type 2 symptoms. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://www.diabetes.ca/en-CA/about-diabetes/type-2/symptoms
Colberg, S., Sigal, R., Yardley, J., Riddell, M., Dunstan, D., Dempsey, P., . . . Tate, D. (2016, November 01). Physical activity/exercise And Diabetes: A position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/11/2065
Furmli, S., Elmasry, R., Ramos, M., & Fung, J. (2018, October 9). Therapeutic use of intermittent fasting for people with type 2 diabetes as an alternative to insulin. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194375/
Osgood, S., Dr. (2019, February 19). 6 natural strategies for type 2 diabetes. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://grassrootsfunctionalmedicine.com/blog/type-2-diabetes-naturally/