Diabetes is a disease that many people suffer from, affecting over 415 million people around the globe. The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive. (Diabetes? and health, 2022)
- Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. (Diabetes? and health, 2022)
- Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. This type of diabetes goes away most of the time after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes. (Diabetes? and health, 2022)
Diabetes can be controlled naturally by eating healthy, managing your weight, and exercising often. Here are some tips on how to naturally control diabetes.
Lose weight by eating less and exercising more
When your doctor tells you that you have diabetes, one of the first things they’ll probably talk about is weight loss. Why? Because being overweight is a major cause of type 2 diabetes, and losing 5-10% of your body weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
If you are overweight, losing even 5 pounds will be good for your health. Losing 10 pounds has significant health benefits, especially if you’re 100 pounds or more overweight. If you’re 200 pounds or more over your ideal weight, losing just 10-20% of your total body weight will likely result in significant improvements in blood glucose levels and overall health. You should aim to lose 5-10% of your current weight over 6 months (slow, steady changes are best). Remember that every pound lost makes a big difference!
Avoid saturated fats
People who consumed higher amounts of saturated fats and animal fats were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who consumed a lower amount. Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods like beef, pork, poultry, full-fat dairy products, eggs, and tropical oils like coconut and palm. Because they are typically solid at room temperature, they are sometimes called “solid fats.” You should try to avoid saturated fats as much as possible when following a diabetic diet.
Choose healthy carbohydrates
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is by eating lots of high-fiber, healthy-fat foods with a low glycemic index. We call these kinds of foods’ slow release’ because they help keep your blood sugar levels steady. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruit are all slow-release carbohydrates, which means they’re great for you! The carbohydrates in these foods are broken down more slowly, helping to keep your blood sugar levels stable. These foods tend to be higher in fiber and lower in fat, so choose natural whole foods over processed foods as often as possible and aim for at least 5-8 servings of vegetables and fruits every day! The food you eat has the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. When you know which foods are healthy, you can plan meals that have the nutrients you need to help keep your blood sugar at a safe level.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
One of the most important things you can do to control diabetes naturally is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day will help your body maintain proper insulin levels and prevent weight gain. If you have sleep apnea or other issues that keep you from getting a full night’s rest, talk to your doctor about managing this issue.
In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to follow good sleep hygiene habits:
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine for at least four hours before bedtime.
- Stick with a regular bedtime routine to avoid disrupting your internal circadian rhythm, even on weekends and holidays.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
Diabetes is a serious condition, and the sooner you take control of the condition and learn to manage it, the better. Diabetes can be managed using a combination of diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. However, diabetes is a lifelong condition and should be monitored regularly to avoid complications such as kidney disease, strokes, or heart attacks.