Preventing or Reversing Diabetes
Unfortunately, the number of people with diabetes is growing every day. Worse yet, younger and younger children are developing Type 2 diabetes, once thought of as an adult onset disease. How could this happen?
Diabetes: What Is It?
Diabetes mellitus is actually a group of diseases that disrupt your body’s ability to process glucose in the body. It all starts with insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas into your blood stream to control and distribute the right amounts of glucose to your cells. Your diet and your liver are the sources of the glucose. If you have too much glucose circulating in your blood, your insulin levels go up while the insulin’s effectiveness goes down. When you have too much glucose in your blood stream, your liver and pancreas are adversely affected and you develop diabetes.
There are several types of diabetes, but Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes is the subject here.
The most common contributing factors to Type 2 diabetes include high blood pressure, age, race, family history, physical inactivity, and excess weight. Developing research indicates diet also plays a role, and that a change in diet and exercise levels can put Type 2 diabetes into remission.
Dietary and Behavioural Changes
Dietary recommendations for avoiding or reversing some forms of Type 2 diabetes include adding whole foods and whole grains to your dietand avoiding highly processed carbohydrates. If you suspect you are on the road to Type 2 diabetes, make some additional dietary changes as well. Get rid of sugar-filled juices and sodas, and drink more water, coffee and tea. Load up on foods that are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Avoid food with trans fats at all costs — that means, no fast food restaurants. Focus on nuts, poultry and fish, and avoid red and processed meats altogether.
You can increase your chances of avoiding Type 2 diabetes simply by leading a healthier lifestyle. If you’re a smoker, take steps to quit right away. If you’re a couch potato, put on your walking shoes. If you walk already, walk more. Develop some new cooking skills — learn how to make healthy dishes for yourself and your family. Get rid of all the junk foods and highly processed foods in your cupboards, and replace them with tastier and healthier alternatives! Replace white rice with brown, white bread with whole grain, traditional pasta with julienned zucchini. You can make very convincing mashed potatoes from cauliflower, and great smoothies from fresh fruits and almond milk.