Diabetes–it is a terrible disease, as it can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, poor circulation leading to needing an amputation–all very horrible. However, contrary to popular belief, it can be cured. But prevention is the best medicine, and the best way to prevent diabetes is through life style changes; dietary changes and regular exercise including strength training. What dietary changes are needed? The first thing to eliminate in all it’s forms is sugar. This includes high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, and all the artificial no calorie sweeteners because they do exactly the same thing in the body as sugar does–they cause your body to make too much insulin. The problem with all the diet sweeteners is that people are tricked into thinking that they can eat more and so calorie intake increases considerably, this also increases insulin. Over time the pancreas gets worn out and produces less insulin. Other carbs that important to eliminate are those that get converted to sugar easily, such as wheat products (bread, cereal, pasta, pancakes, waffles, bagels, etc.), rice products, and white potato products. Replace these carbs with those that take longer to digest, such as those with complex carbohydrates and protein. Most legumes fit this category–chick peas, kidney beans, blackeye peas, navy beans, white and black beans, mung beans, and pinto beans. Of course it is important to include a lot of fresh organic vegetables as well. A vegetable that is very helpful is bitter melon. Fruits that are less likely to contribute to increasing the blood sugar are the berries–blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and others.
The second thing that helps is strength training, because this helps your muscles to utilize the calories more efficiently so that your sugar levels do not spike as much, and it helps get the insulin with the sugar into the cell where it can be utilized by the cell. What does strength training involve? Well, you have to do things that will improve muscle strength–lifting weights and gradually increasing the weights that you use, and resistance bands work well too. Aerobic exercises do not work as well for blood sugar control. Shorter times ( 15-20 min ) of high intensity workouts have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Obviously it is important to check with your doctor before you begin any form of vigorous exercise.
Now there are some spices, herbs and minerals that are also important for blood sugar control. These include chromium, vitamin D3, magnesium, berberine, alpha-lipoic acid, vanadium, curcumin, and milk thistle.