Diabetes is a condition that affects the way the body processes sugar. The additional health problems that type 2 diabetes can cause can be extremely dangerous and detrimental to a person’s quality of life. Continue reading for a quick guide on managing and reversing type 2 diabetes.
Choose your food wisely
If type 2 diabetes is a sign that your blood is too sugary and you aren’t able to process sugar properly then the priority for food is to reduce sugar consumption. The most obvious foods to avoid are sweets, chocolate, biscuits, cakes and ice cream. However, sugars are in many foods including white refined carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, crackers, and cereal so replacing these with more fibrous whole foods is key too.
It’s important to avoid ultra-processed foods and trans fats as they are inflammatory and contribute to insulin resistance and high cholesterol. Don’t ditch all fats thought as healthy fats are vital in the diet and foods like nuts, seeds, oily fish and olive oil are recommended. Check out our blog on the Mediterranean diet and how that can improve your blood sugars.
It’s also advisable to increase the daily consumption of leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach. Studies show those who eat green vegetables regularly are less likely to have type 2 diabetes.
Create a meal plan/diary
It’s challenging to change your food habits but with a meal plan, it becomes much easier. Use the food guidance above and in our other blogs to make a list of foods and recipes you love. Think about how you can adapt family favourites to include more veg and swap refined carbohydrates for other foods.
When you’re shopping, always read food labels and get comfortable with spending more time planning, shopping and cooking food. In the modern-day world, we leave such little time for meals but it’s at the core of how we function and our health. If you are seeking type 2 diabetes support, you can find more information online for guidance.
Whatever your choice of exercise it’s important we all find something that gets us moving daily. For people with type 2 diabetes, it’s even more important as it can support weight loss and help blood sugar balance. Certain exercises can improve insulin sensitivity which is the aim. Before a workout, check your blood sugar levels to be safe; any highs or lows may leave you feeling quite unwell.
It is recommended to drink 2 litres of water throughout the day to remain well hydrated, support nutrients moving around your body and top up as the body tries to eliminate sugar through urine (frequent urination and UTIs are a symptom of diabetes). If you struggle with drinking water, add some freshly squeezed citrus to the water and get a bottle so you have something with you all the time.
Be conscious of food portions
A well-balanced meal will have a variety of ingredients and nutrients on a plate at a suitable size for our size. Dinner plates have grown in size from 25cm in diameter in the 1950s to 28cm in diameter today. We eat a lot more mindlessly these days and tend to fill our plates rather than consider our needs. There’s also the tendency to eat everything on the plate without checking in on your hunger levels. You may not want to be rude or wasteful but unnecessary consumption of food is still wasteful – and potentially harmful.
A healthy lifestyle is paramount, not only for those with type 2 diabetes but for everyone in general. It’s valuable to remember that whilst taking care of physical needs, you’ll also be taking care of your mental health too as the brain and body are intrinsically connected.p