Diabetes is a condition that is characterised by abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream.
There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1: which usually begins in childhood due to a lack of insulin secretion by the pancreas.
- Type 2: which usually begins in adulthood due to the cells failing to respond to insulin, even though the pancreas makes adequate amounts of insulin hormone.
Insulin has several functions in the body, primarily involving the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
In today’s modern world, there is an increasing number of Type 2 diabetes being diagnosed in younger adults, even teenagers and those in their 20s.
Type 2 diabetes is often considered a lifestyle dis-ease with a variety of risk factors, most commonly: overeating, especially when coupled with obesity and lack of regular exercise.
From our perspective, prevention is always a preference to ‘cure’, recognising the signs and symptoms early and making lifestyle changes to improve overall health and wellbeing.
Improving the manner in which your cells react to insulin is key, to stabilise blood glucose levels.
The following pragmatic tips not only are an effective way to help in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, but are excellent tips for overall holistic health and wellbeing, regardless of whether you’re at risk or not:
Modify your diet to include fresh, seasonal organic whole foods, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and fibre.
Swap conventional cereals for oats which are a good source of soluble fibre that helps to slow the rate of glucose absorption and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Eat an apple day, not only for the source of soluble fibre, but the multitude of other health benefits. There is truth in that old adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’
Swap conventional white breads, white rice for rye bread, brown or basmati rice. And ideally limit the amount of these grains, due to the manner in which our grains are grown, harvested and processed in today’s modern world.
Include good sources of protein such as grass-fed (pasture-raised) meat that is free from added hormones, free-range eggs, oily wild-caught fish and unpasteurised, unhomogenised dairy.
Exercise is extremely important in the prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes. It not only helps to control body weight, exercise also helps the body metabolise carbohydrates more efficiently.
Regular weight lifting has been shown to be beneficial for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.
Dr Gabrielle Lyon, an integrated physician, talks extensively about how loss of muscle mass as we age is linked to many chronic dis-eases, including diabetes, and why skeletal muscle is key to longevity with muscle being the largest site for glucose disposal. Dr Mark Hyman concurs with this, stating:
“your hormones and biology are regulated by your muscles. So, if you lose muscle, your cortisol levels go up, your stress goes up, your growth hormone goes down, your testosterone goes down, your insulin goes up, your blood sugar goes up, and yet this is not something that doctors talk about.”
Furthermore, Stan Efferding - an American IFBB professional bodybuilder and World Record Holding Powerlifter - advocates a 10-minute walk after each meal to effectively manage blood glucose levels. He states that:
“healthy populations have been walking after meals for centuries, but somehow we have lost sight of this incredibly important and effective method of exercise. Ten minute walks after meals improve digestion and reduces bloating, and help control blood sugars. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that 10 minute walks can be twice as effective as Metformin for preventing type 2 diabetes, by decreasing the peak and the duration of glucose in the bloodstream after meals.”
Stan studied Exercise Science at the University of Oregon and has been training high school, Collegiate, and Professional athletes for over 25 years.
Stress management and reduction is also key for helping to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, as chronic stress encourages the release of stored carbohydrates.
Read our 7 Simple Steps to Reduce Stress
Whilst supplements should not replace a healthy diet, intelligently formulated supplements can most certainly enhance hormone health and overall wellbeing.
STAIT Supplement for Men and STAIT Supplement for Women contains a combination of herbs that have been proven in human clinincal trials to assist in the relief of stress, mild anxiety and irritabilty.
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study*, the intake of affron® (a specific source of Spanish Saffron) for 4 weeks showed signs of improved mood, alleviated stress or tension related anxieties and associated fatigue.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha® has been clinically proven~ to help reduce stress, anxiety, cortisol levels and stress-related food cravings.
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* Kell G., et al. Complement Ther Med. 2017 Aug; 33:58-64
~ Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255.