Many people believe that medication is the only way to manage diabetes. Although that may be the first thing that doctors discuss with diabetic patients, the conversation goes much deeper. You can be much more directly involved in the management of diabetes than simply popping a pill in your mouth. However, you have to understand how the body works to see how you have the power to manage your health.
How Diabetes Develops
Diabetes develops over a long period of time through your food choices. It is a metabolic condition that responds to your daily intake of food. Overconsumption of highly processed, nutrient-poor foods promotes an imbalance in the body making blood sugar levels worse.
For people with diabetes, doctors prescribe more and more medications to keep blood sugar levels within healthy ranges because they rarely discuss diet. The good news is you can make different dietary choices that promote health as opposed to disease.
Anything that comes in a bag or a box and is not fresh fruit, vegetables or meat, provides little to no nutrients for the cells of the body. Actually, they are the culprits behind poor blood sugar stability in the first place.
A diet that consists of low fiber, high carbohydrates like bread, pasta, white rice, cereals, fatty meats and saturated fats promotes maintenance of high blood sugar, high fat, inflammation, more weight gain and poor digestion.
It’s a setup for disease.
Healthy Diet = Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
A diet consisting of high fiber, low carbohydrates, lean meats and polyunsaturated fat (as found in walnuts and sunflower seeds) and monounsaturated fats (like olive oil and avocados) helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and can even bring blood sugar levels into healthy ranges.
Here’s how… When you eat high-fiber with a meal, it acts as a buffer for the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Instead of having your blood sugar levels spike after a meal, there is a slow release of sugar and insulin over the next couple of hours as the food you ate is digested.
A slow release of sugar and insulin prevents the pancreas from becoming exhausted and regulates blood sugar stability. Fiber also retains your body’s ability to utilize insulin. Insulin sensitivity is vital for keeping your blood sugar levels in healthy ranges.
Soluble & Insoluble Fibers
Having both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, creates the optimal internal environment for processing sugar. Soluble fiber, in the form of foods like oatmeal, builds bulk in your intestines, controls high insulin levels and fat distribution while minimizing absorption of sugar.
Insoluble fiber, as found in celery, does not break down by the body, adds bulk to your stool and, additionally, supports the elimination of metabolic waste products. Together, both types of fiber work side by side to normalize blood sugar levels.
Eating foods that have a low glycemic index (meaning foods that make your blood sugar levels rise the least after eating), lowers the demand on your pancreas keeping it in better shape.
A few examples of low glycemic foods are blueberries, celery, and apples. It’s a good idea to keep those foods around since they make good snacks and create an easier environment to eat healthier foods.
The Importance Of A Healthy Diet
Many people have found that ensuring they have a proper diet, along with daily exercise, has helped them return to healthy blood sugar levels.
Some doctors are very open to working with people that want to manage their diagnosis of diabetes through diet. The benefits of a healthy diet far surpass improving blood sugar levels alone. Give it a try and see what happens.