5 Ways to Control Diabetes Naturally

In 2007, the National Center for Biotechnology Information published an article suggesting that diabetes could very well be the largest epidemic of the 21st century. That prediction couldn’t have proven to be more accurate, especially with the latest data collected by the American Diabetes Association showing that as of 2015 there were 30.3 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes and another 84.1 million adults diagnosed with prediabetes, a condition in which their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is not just an epidemic, it also has a significant impact on the country’s economy. The condition accounted for $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages in 2012 alone. By comparison, diabetes accounted for $174 billion in costs in 2007. All of this for a condition that can be controlled or even prevented.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes or you have a family history of diabetes, there are some things you can start doing now that will help you improve your health and lower your risk of diabetes. Here are five ways to control (or prevent) diabetes naturally.

5 Ways to Control Diabetes Naturally

#1: Reduce the Amount of Starches in Your Diet

A diet that is high in starch will increase your risk of developing diabetes because starch is a highly concentrated form of carbohydrates and after eating it, your blood glucose levels rise. This applies to almost all starchy foods, including breads, pasta, rice, and corn.

That said, some starches can be incorporated into a healthy diet if you don’t desire to eschew them completely. The key is to choose foods that contain “resistant” starch. This is a form of starch that has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Some of the best sources of resistant starch include legumes (lentils, beans), cashews, oats, and barley.

 

#2: Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet

Most people consider diabetes to be a “sugar” disease because of its dependence on the body’s blood glucose level. So, it makes sense that sugar is the enemy for people diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. The simple fact is – the more refined sugar you eat, the higher your blood glucose level will be. Foods you will want to avoid include things like soft drinks, sports drinks, juices, coffee drinks with added sugar, cookies, baked goods, ice cream, and other high-sugar foods.

If you need something sweet, then choose something that’s lower on the glycemic index, like blueberries, strawberries or any other type of berry. You can also enjoy peaches, tart cherries, apples, oranges, pears and kiwi. To sweeten drinks or for baking home-made desserts, you can use a sugar substitute like sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), aspartame (Equal) or stevia, although most experts agree that having frequent sweets, even if sweetened by sugar substitute, can perpetuate your sweet tooth, making you susceptible to overeat.

 

#3: Do Aerobic Activity at the Right Time

Adding aerobic activity, such as walking, dancing, swimming, biking or taking an aerobics class to your lifestyle is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. But, when it comes to exercising and diabetes, the type of aerobic exercise is not as important as the time you choose to exercise.

“Engaging in aerobic activity after a meal is the ideal time to exercise for someone who is diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. William Yancy, Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University. “Exercising within 1-2 hours after eating has been proven to better control daily blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes when compared with engaging in the same activity before the meal,” he added.

 

#4: Do Resistance Exercises to Build Muscle

When it comes to diabetes, your body weight isn’t as important as how much of your body weight is muscle. The reason is because unlike fat, muscle is an active tissue that burns calories and helps increase metabolism. Studies confirm that for every 10% increase in muscle, there is an 11% reduction in insulin resistance. It also produces a 12% reduction in prediabetes. So, even if you start resistance exercise and you aren’t losing any weight, you shouldn’t get discouraged because you are replacing fat with muscle. In this regard, your weight can remain exactly the same but your insulin resistance will continue to drop as you continue to build muscle.

 

#5: Do Stress Reduction Exercises

If you live a life that’s filled with stress and worry, you aren’t doing your diabetes any favors because stress makes it harder for your body to control its blood sugar levels. Therefore, try reducing your stress by adding yoga, meditation, tai chi, massage or other stress reduction exercises to your lifestyle. Listening to some soothing music can also help.

Reducing your stress and calming your mind before sleep is especially important because not getting a restful night’s sleep can have an impact on your body’s ability to tolerate glucose. Ideally, you should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods at night, block out all light and noise in your bedroom, turn the thermostat down to 68 degrees or lower, stop using “blue light” emitting devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, television, etc.) prior to bed, and go to bed at the same time every night so you can start building a natural sleep schedule.

 

A Healthy Lifestyle is the Number One Means to Beating Diabetes Naturally

Diabetes can be controlled, and in some cases prevented entirely simply by living a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right foods, exercising regularly, lowering your stress and getting a good night’s sleep are the keys to living your best life. So, why wait? Start implementing the above changes to your lifestyle today and you will find it much easier to control or prevent diabetes in the most natural way possible.

 

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