November may be known for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and men (and women) abstaining from shaving for No Shave November. But, this is also the month of “World Diabetes Day”, which is today the 14th of November. You can easily manage diabetes if you screened for it early on and are well informed about the type of diabetes you have. Diabetics usually focus on medication to control their blood sugar. However, you can’t rely on your meds 100% if your lifestyle and dietary habits contradict what your meds are trying to do.
What is Diabetes?
In a nutshell, diabetes is a disease where your body’s blood sugar levels are too high or sometimes too low. Your body deals with the sugar in your blood with a hormone called “Insulin”. Diabetics bodies either don’t release enough Insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or it doesn’t know how to use the insulin it releases well (Type 2 Diabetes).
Type 1 is usually found in younger people while Type 2 (the more common one) is found in older ages. Without the proper use of insulin, the glucose in your blood won’t have anywhere to be stored or used for energy. This can cause serious problems, like eye, kidney or even nerve damage. This is why it’s crucial Diabetics and prediabetics (those with blood sugar that is higher than normal but not diabetic level) keep their blood sugar under control.
Regular exercise, watching your weight and most importantly paying attention to what you eat is the best way to control your diabetes. Alongside your medication, of course. There is no “best meal plan” for all diabetics. A good diet plan is one that is rich in fiber, protein and a healthy amount of carbohydrates.
Some studies show that cinnamon works well to curb blood sugar because it lowers insulin resistance. This makes cinnamon great for Type 2 Diabetics. One study showed that half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon cut blood sugar levels by 24%. Cinnamon is also a natural sweetener. You can make a very sweet drink out of cinnamon too (recipe) with ZERO calories at the same time.
Half a cup of this cruciferous vegetable contains 2 grams of fiber when cooked. Your body takes a while to digest fiber. This slows the absorption of sugar, which is great for diabetics. Brussel sprouts are linked to keeping blood sugar levels steady, due to its alpha-lipoic acid and antioxidants.
Fish high in Omega-3 Fatty acids, in general, are great for your heart health and to help balance blood sugar levels. That’s why fish is hugely found to be diabetes-friendly food. Salmon, in particular, is considered to possibly protect diabetics against kidney problems.
Dark leafy greens are one of the best ways diabetics can quickly keep their blood glucose (sugar) in check. One cup of spinach has 6% of your Magnesium daily value. This is great news for diabetics since a lot of patients (especially type 2 diabetics) suffer from low levels of magnesium. And seeing as how this mineral helps regulate your blood sugar, having low levels of magnesium could be bad news.
Because most dairy products have a low glycemic index ( how quickly your body absorbs carbohydrate-containing food), they are ideal for diabetics. Diabetics can choose a low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt that will help heal their gut (because of the probiotic content). A healthy gut helps people with diabetes avoid complications and keep their blood sugar under control.
Share this with anyone you know who is fighting diabetes and wants a quick way to healthify their diet to better suit their life. Make sure to always incorporate a healthy diet plan with exercise and a positive outlook on life. Everything happens for a reason, and if it wasn’t this it would have been something else. Stay strong.