How to bounce back from Diabetes into a healthy state— life style factors that could impact Insulin?

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Factors that could impact Insulin — key to handle Diabetes

Diabetes type 2 which is the most common form of Diabetes can go into remission (a diabetes free state). Insulin resistance which is the main cause of Diabetes type 2 is the outcome of high level of insulin. Understanding the factors that could affect the level of insulin is the key to achieve a healthy diabetes free state.

Dietary factors: Understanding of a good nutritive diet is essential to manage type 2 diabetes. Generally, a carbohydrate free diet which constitutes a variety of diabetes friendly vegetables, moderate proteins, good fats, nuts, and sugar free full fat dairy product is consider an optimal diet for diabetes patients. Similarly, avoidance of an inflammatory diet and its understanding is crucial.

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A good diet for diabetes is one that is rich in nutrients and that keeps a person full to avoid temptation to nibble and as a result avoiding the release of Insulin.

Say no to carbohydrates

Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar higher and more quickly than any other nutrients therefore they are discouraged, especially the refined carbohydrates.

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Cut down sugars of all kinds: even brown sugar, agave, white sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, muscovado sugar and anything that has these sugars like soda, sauces, sweetened tea, or sweetened coffee etc.

Avoid rice and refined grains and any food that has white flour (also called all-purpose flour or enriched wheat flour), including bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, biscuits, buns, pizzas, crackers, snack foods and breakfast cereals.

Potatoes are commonly used and high in carbohydrates so must be eluded.

Even high-quality carbohydrates — which include whole grains (wheat, oats, brown rice, barley etc.) as well as starchy vegetables, most fruits, beans, and legumes (though rich in fibre and nutrients) release sugars slowly into blood and eventually aggravate the condition, especially if the diabetes is at its advanced severe stage, and therefore should be avoided.

Say no to inflammatory sources of food

Cut down MSG (monosodium glutamate) — (modified food starch) flavor enhancers as it can increase insulin resistance.

Cut down genetically modified oils: Cut oils: soya, corn, canola, cotton seed as they are highly inflammatory.

Cut down Tran fats (hydrogenated): basically, anything with a long shelf life as it causes insulin resistance.

Refined flour and things made from it as they are also highly inflammatory.

Eat lots of vegetables

Preferably vegetables that grow above the ground. Vegetables that grow below the ground are (roots) which are rich in carbohydrates and consumption should be limited. All non-starchy vegetables, including Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Cucumbers, pickles, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Greens, all types, green onions, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Okra, Olives, Onions (small amounts), Parsley, Peppers, Pumpkin (unsweetened), Radishes, peas Spring onions, Spinach, Tomatoes, Zucchini etc could be consumed.

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Eat moderate proteins

Even non-carb foods can trigger some insulin so don’t eat too many proteins, eat a moderate number of proteins. Get good quality fat rich proteins and avoid low-fat proteins. So, all types of good quality fatty meat: lamb, beef, chicken & turkey. Eat organs: like heart, liver, kidneys, and brain, cod liver and cod liver oil. All varieties of sea food especially fatty fish high in omega 3, prawns, shrimp, crab etc. Canned fish like tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, eggs, and tofu.

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Include good fats in your diet

Omega 3 rich salmon-cod-mackerel & avocados, butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and ghee.Walnuts, cod liver and cod liver oil, chia seeds, flax seeds & basil seeds. Cream cheese, coconut milk & coconut cream (unsweetened). For cooking: use coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, butter, and ghee.

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Full-fat dairy (not skimmed or semi skimmed): All kinds of cheese, full cream milk, full fat yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, butter, cream & cream cheese.

Other dietary tips

Mineral & vitamins: According to Dr. Eric Berg (DC is a chiropractor and health educator), Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can also set you up for insulin resistance. Lack of potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc (which is vital to support the cells that create insulin), chromium, vitamin B1, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Calcium excess can also cause insulin resistance so should be monitored.

Eat more Healing foods: Turmeric, vitamin E, omega 3 fats, lots of greens, sunshine and vitamin D3 etc.

Which flour for diabetes: Use Diabetes friendly flour options like Walnut flour, almond flour, flax seed flour, coconut flour, Ragi (finger millet) and chickpea flour to make your own bun, bread, pizza dough, desserts etc.

Rice replacement: Shredded cauliflower can replace rice.

Noodles replacement: Get vegetable spiral cutter to make noodles like zucchini noodles.

Mashed potatoes replacement: Mashed potatoes (a very common side dish) can be replaced by boiled mashed cauliflower when blended with cream, salt, and butter.

Desserts: Make your own keto friendly deserts

Super foods for diabetes: Apple cider vinegar at night 2Tbsp in one glass water. Dana methi (Fenugreek), cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, bitter melon — bitter gourd (Karela), Jambu fruit (jamun) etc

A handful of Nuts & seeds: Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, coconut, pecans etc. Flax seeds, chia seed, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and basil.

Condiments: all herbs and sugar free spices, pickles, fermented vegetables, sauces, salsa, full fat sugar free mayonnaise.

Drinks: Sugar free Tea, coffee, infused water etc

Life style’s other important factors: Stress, intermittent fasting, exercises & the role of medications.

Stress

Causes inflammation and triggers the release of insulin which could then contribute to insulin resistance and exacerbates diabetes type 2. Lack of sleep, lack of good exercises like Yoga, and not keeping oneself busy in good activities could all aggravate the health condition. So avoiding stress is the key, keeping busy with things that bring us joy is vital.

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Intermittent fasting

Every time we eat triggers insulin so practising intermittent fasting could play a very powerful tool in the management of diabetes. Fasting & intermittent fasting is outside the scope of this article and is discussed in greater depth in the upcoming article.

Exercise

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Staying active helps consume the food. When we are active, our body uses and burns sugar. We can exercise to help lower our blood sugar and manage diabetes. Exercise also can help us lose weight and stay at a healthy weight. If you use medicine, you may find you need less of it when you increase your exercise. Over time, exercise helps some people stop using medicine.

Medications

According to Dr. Eric Berg, Diuretics, Blood Pressure medication side effects include insulin resistance. Statins (a cholesterol medication) also causes insulin resistance which exacerbates insulin thereby increases cholesterol. According to Dr. Jasun Fung, it is surprising that even Insulin medications are basically feeding into the cycle. The real problem is high insulin level so how could any thing that is contributing to further high insulin be good for a diabetes patient? It is therefore vital to discuss your medications with your doctor if you suffer from diabetes.

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The good news for diabetes patients is that they could go into remission (a healthy state) if they follow a healthy life style regime. Unfortunately, the medicines that we take treat only the symptoms and are not fixing the real cause, in fact they are feeding into the vicious cycle. Diabetes is a life style related disorder and therefore only healthy life style changes can make a big impact.

The purpose of this article is to increase health awareness, ALWAYS consult your Physician before making any changes to your health regime.

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MBBS, MSc, PGDip Public Health, (UK)

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MBBS, MSc, PGDip Public Health, (UK)

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