Diabetes is a fairly common lifestyle disease, but while it can’t be cured, it can be controlled. Diabetes arises due to abnormally high blood sugar levels. The insulin produced by the pancreas is responsible for maintaining glucose levels in the blood. Absence or insufficient production of insulin or an inability to properly utilize insulin causes diabetes.
Here are 10 ways to control the disease:
* Remove Refined Carbohydrates From The Diet: “Refined sugar can spike blood sugar levels. Soda, white bread, biscuits, sugar, and honey enter the bloodstream directly and can elevate blood sugar to a great extent,” says Carlyne Remedios, group manager–clinical practices, nutrition and product development.
* Eat Low Glycemic Foods: Instead, diabetics should eat low glycaemic foods such as non-starchy vegetables, stone fruits (peaches, plum, cherries, and berries), nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, and raw pastured dairy. “Apart from controlling blood sugar, low GI food also help in losing weight,” she says. Lean protein foods are also good options, be it egg whites, chicken breast, or turkey breast, which provide satiety and prevent you from snacking later on.
* Don’t Drink: Alcohol may contain added sugars which increase blood glucose levels and dehydrate the body. “Drink occasionally and in moderation. Have no more than one drink at a time,” says Remedios.
* Avoid Smoking: Remedios adds that diabetics must also quit smoking as nicotine promotes insulin resistance. “Along with creating blood sugar related problems, it also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and kidney problems,” she says.
* Avoid Stress: Stress can impact your blood sugar levels. So, a good way to control diabetes is to keep stress levels in check. You can go for long walks, do yoga, or meditate to beat stress, says Remedios.
* Consume Probiotics: Probiotics can help to reduce blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and glucose resistance. “Probiotics promote healthy gut health which helps in glucose metabolism. This helps in improving blood sugar levels, prevents inflammation, and improves glycaemic control, normal lipid profile and blood pressure control in type 2 diabetes,” says Remedios.
* Get Adequate Sleep: A good night’s sleep can improve glucose metabolism. “A single night of inadequate sleep can make the body react in a manner similar to insulin resistance, and may lead to increased blood levels,” says Remedios.
* Substitute Sugar With Natural Sweeteners: Opt for natural sweeteners such as raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, balsamic vinegar, and dates. “They are loaded with minerals and are low in glycaemic load. Such naturally available and easily digestible substances help in managing diabetes effectively.
* Exercise Regularly: Do cardio exercises which improve peripheral circulation, and the utilization of circulating glucose by the muscles. “It has also been found that improved peripheral circulation and muscular activity helps to reduce the insulin resistance by reprogramming the insulin-receptor binding ability,” he says. Other forms of exercise that are good for diabetes are cycling, core conditioning, and swimming.
* Increase The Fibre Intake: A high-fiber diet can slow down sugar absorption. “Along with giving satiety and aiding in digestion, it also helps lower blood glucose levels. You can get your daily dose of fiber from fruits and vegetables eaten with the skin, beans, legumes, and whole grains like barley, quinoa, and oats,” says Remedios.