Diabetes type 2 prevention
The best way to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent diabetes (i.e. reduce demand on the Pancreas for insulin output) is through diet and exercise, that might seem like an over simplistic formula, but it does work. The less compliance on these things then the more support will be needed in supplementation and herbal medicinal plants.
Therefor the quantity of food eaten, the timing of the food, and the quality of the food are all important. Within this triad is the constitution of the individual, this includes all aspects of self, relationships to food, daily stresses, cultural considerations.
Chew food well (until liquid), this is especially important for carbohydrate rich meals as they start to be digested in the mouth rather than the stomach (as with proteins).
Do not skip meals
Allow at least 3 hours between meals
Stop eating for 3 or more hours before sleeping
Fast for minimum of 12 hours overnight (optimal is 14-16 hours 1)
If you are prediabetic, based on symptoms and blood work (fasting glucose levels, HbA1c levels ), then look at the following .
Calorie reduction 10% each month until 20% below recommended intake for your age.
Avoid drinking fluids with your food as they will encourage swallowing before food is properly chewed and will also dilute your digestive juices, and absolutely avoid cold water while eating.
Stop eating before full or the stomach is distended in any way, the stomach should be composed of the following.
- 33% Liquid consumed before or after the meal.
- 33% food
- 33% Air (stomach should not feel full at the end of the meal)
Some people may require the support of a medical herbalist or a nutritional therapist to gain a clear informed understanding of what foods to eat and why.
Include apple cider vinegar in your diet (Braggs brand is best). Benefits include
Improved digestion, improved breakdown of fats, protects arteries from oxidative damage, anti-glycaemic properties which support healthy blood sugar levels, acetic acid in vinegar improves absorption of vitamins and minerals from your diet.
Note if you have reflux issues, start low and go slow with the introduction of apple cider vinegar.
How to take it:
1 tablespoon in 200-250 ml of warm water before a meal, can also be sipped between meals.
Vegetables: Lightly cooked, steamed, baked, broiled or sautéed in water
Meats: can be cooked in parchment paper to seal in natural juices and avoid excess oil usage
What to eat?
Leafy green vegetables and vegetable juice
Lean proteins grilled or raw
Moderate consumption of vegetable fats; nuts, seeds, olive, coconut oil
High fibre foods
High fructose foods: apples, berries (blueberries are especially helpful), honey
- Fructose has to be converted in the liver before it can affect glucose concentrations in the blood2 it is a more beneficial form of sugar for prediabetics. High fructose corn syrup is not good for your health and should be avoided in foods.
Raw or fermented full fat dairy products
- Research suggests that full fat is better for glycaemic control, this is because the fat in the milk slows down the metabolism of the sugar aspect (lactose) in the milk product, therefore this would suggest that skimmed milk is a less favourable choice for those with poor blood sugar control3. This is a wonderful demonstration that the natural product is perfectly balanced in its original form!
For improved blood sugar control also avoid the following:
Refined grains, bread, pasta, Artificial sweeteners, corn, peas, watermelon, pears, fruit juices.
If you have not exercised in some time start slow and be practical here are some guidelines, these are progressive suggestions
- Stand up and walk around for 5 minutes every 55 minutes
- Park further away from your car to the entrance of your work
- Take the stairs in your building or wherever possible
- Walk for 15 minutes 3 times a week before food
- Walk 20 minutes 3 times a week swinging arms at a moderate pace before food
- Look at moderate weight training either in your home or supervised
High intensity training: there is some evidence that short bursts of exercise 60 seconds at 90% of your best effort cycling followed by 90 seconds low effort just 3-4 times a week can improve insulin sensitivity by 30 %. This type of training is not for those who have been very sedentary as you would aim to get your heart rate up to 150 beats per minute, ensure you have a check with your GP or qualified fitness instructor.
1.Marinac CR, Natarajan L, Sears DD, et al. Prolonged nightly fasting and breast cancer risk: Findings from NHANES (2009-2010). Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention: a publication of the American association for cancer research, cosponsored by the American society of preventative Oncology 2015:24(5):783-9.doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1292
2.Mills KE et al . Fructose replacement of glucose or sucrose in food or beverages lowers postprandial glucose and insulin without raising triglycerides: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Aug;106(2):506-518. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.145151. Epub 2017 Jun 7.
- Mohammad Y. Yakoob, Peilin Shi, Walter C. Willett, Kathryn M. Rexrode, Hannia Campos, E. John Orav, Frank B. Hu, Dariush Mozaffarian. Circulating Biomarkers of Dairy Fat and Risk of Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among US Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohorts Circulation. 2016;CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018410, originally published March 22, 2016