Diabetes Management
The Natural Way

When using a well planned diabetes management plan it is simply a case of determination. Be determined that you will get it under control and you will live a happy and healthy life

Millions of diabetics manage their condition every day and are quiet successful at it. And NO it is not always going to be easy but remember it IS essential

The following is a global idea of how managing diabetes the natural way can work. It is a combination of Diabetes Diet, exercise and other ways to keep Diabetes under control



The diabetes management essentials

Diabetes can result in heart disease, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, nerve damage, infection, blindness, and slow healing. Each individual will react differently to diabetes. What is good for 1 diabetic might not be for another

This means that even though there are many natural ways to keep diabetes in check, you as a diabetic should always be under a doctor's care and be constantly monitored. We can not mention it often enough


The goals

Your goal with diabetes management is to reduce or even get rid of the symptoms and keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible

The 3 crucial points in this are nutrition or diet, weight control and exercise. They all work together to manage and control Diabetes

So carefully follow the path you and your doctor, dietitian or diabetes coach have set and get your diabetes management on the right track



So consider the following:


Keep yourself to the diet that you and your doctor have chosen. Whatever you choose stick to itSelf testing of blood glucose levels. Your doctor can inform you best how it works best for youWeight control. You can do this through a combination of your diet and exerciseExercising. More in the exercise partFoot care. Diabetes can damage the nerves so you don't feel pain as easily. The feet are especially vulnerable to this. Consider this:


  • When necessary try to lose some pounds so your feet don't have to carry that much weight
  • Inspect your feet a couple of times a day
  • Keep them clean, dry and warm on cold days
  • Maintain them well
  • Make sure your shoes fit well, running or walking shoes are best
  • Wear good socks
  • Relax and try to reduce stress. Good for everybody not only diabetics, does this need extra explanation?
  • Stay up to date with vaccinations and get a flu shot every year in the fall
  • If necessary use medication or insulin
  • Involve your family and friends let them know what it means and how they can help
  • At all times keep in contact with your doctor
  • Treat yourself every now and then to the more non food pleasures in life, buy yourself a gift, go to the movies, just simple nice things for yourself


Besides all these points here are also some skills you need to learn

These basic skills will complete your diabetes management and will hopefully help prevent the need for emergency care



Learn:

  • How to recognize and treat low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
  • To plan your meals, what and when
  • Learn how to test and record your blood sugar
  • How to test urine for ketones (type 1 diabetes only)
  • How to adjust insulin or the food you eat when changing exercise and eating habits
  • How to handle sick days
  • Where to buy diabetes supplies and how to store themHow to take insulin or oral medication


Also take a look at our natural remedies for diabetes. There are some wonderful diabetes management ingredients which could be of very much help




Diabetes Diet




A diabetes diet is actually not more than a normal healthy diet for everybody. The rules are actually quiet simple, the only problem for a few is sticking to them



"The Good Stuff"

For some it will be a bigger change or challenge than others but there's simply nothing more important than your health. We should get rid of all the bad habits and eating the "good stuff" we got so used to

What is seen as a good diabetes control diet is of course also a good prediabetes diet. In case of pre diabetes such a diet may prevent, slow down or sometimes even reverse the development of diabetes

The whole idea behind any diabetes diet but especially a type 2 diabetes diet is basically a diet with:


  • Low carbohydrates
  • High complex carbohydrates like wholegrain breads, oats, muesli and brown rice (they are the "good guys" in the carb family)
  • A lot of raw foods (vegetables, fruit etc)
  • High fiber
  • Low fat
  • A lot of fruit
  • No refined sugar!


All the "good stuff" we talked about are most of the times the ones with refined sugar in them like: ice-cream, candy, pastries, pies, cookies, pizza, boxed cereal, cake, all soda-pops, alcohol, honey. Try to forget about them there is no place for them in a diabetes dietthey really mess up your whole blood sugar management




Typical diabetes food stuffs:

  • Whole legumes
  • Vegetables (steamed is best)
  • Wholegrain breads
  • Oats
  • Muesli
  • Brown rice (steamed is best)
  • Salads (without the fatty dressings)
  • Fruits (as recommended by your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator)
  • Lean meat
  • Poultry
  • Fatty fish (the good fat!)


Also Include heart-healthy fats, such as:

  • Trans fat-free margarine
  • Olive or Canola oil
  • Nuts and seeds



Keep in mind...

For all diets but especially for a diabetes control diet some things you have to keep in mind:


  • It is also best not to eat fruit with your meals but 2 hours before or after a meal
  • Also try to eat something with protein every meal
  • Use very little oil, clarified butter or normal butter
  • Try to avoid bottled fruit juices (they are too rich in concentrated fruit sugars, unless of course freshly made.) Also avoid dried fruit and when you eat fruit eat it with the skin if possible
  • Be careful of hidden fats like in whole milk, egg yolk and red meats
  • Don't eat fried foods


The main thing to do in a diabetes control diet or any diabetes management plan is to avoid blood sugar highs and lows, it is best to balance it out



More diabetes specific tips you need to consider:

Time your meals and snacks it is very important. Try to eat them at the same time every day or as close as possible

Instead of eating 3 big meals a day eat 5 or 6 smaller ones. (e.g. every 2–3 hours) Keep yourself to your serving dimensions (2 fist size portions normally work well)

Take a snack when exercising or when your blood sugar is low

Bed time snacks are good to prevent the side effects of low blood sugarwhile you sleep. It should contain: carbs, fats and proteins. (for your specific needs contact your doctor, dietitian or diabetes coach)



A Natural Cure for Diabetes?

What is more promising however is a rediscovering of an old and proven method of what some call a natural cure for diabetes. Although scientifically it's not a cure it DOES structurally lower your blood sugar level through diet

Some diabetics who used this method could sometimes completely stop medication. Although this is not guaranteed for everybody it is interesting enough to give it a shot

Not everybody, especially in the medical establishment, seems to agree on it but the "cured" diabetics swear by it. It is a diet which eliminates almost all carbohydrates. Simple yet very effective


Dr. Joslin

The method was developed by Dr. Joslin around the 1900's. He found out that when diabetics stopped eating carbohydrates the blood sugar levels dropped within normal ranges and stayed there

After 1921 when insulin was introduced people and especially doctors "forgot" about the diet because of this wonder drug insulin. Don't get us wrong insulin can still be very useful but it pushed the whole basic idea of natural self treatment without drugs to the back. Wrongly so if you ask us

It will structurally lower your glucose levels and there is a possibility that you can lower or even get off the medication; no guarantees but it might just do the trick for you


Does this mean that you will have to drastically change your meal planning for ever? Probably yes!

So it's the closest thing to a natural cure for diabetes, no miracle solution but a structural change in eating habits


Low & no carb meals

This specific diabetes diet says that you should lower or cut out carbohydrates from your meals and eat vegetables at every meal. Especially vegetables with less than 5% carbs like:


  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Aubergine/ egg plant
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Gherkins
  • Gourd
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Mushroom
  • Okra
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Sweetcorn
  • Turnip
  • Watercress


Joslin’s guideline essentials
(as by the Joslin Diabetes Center; they are shown as approximate percents of daily calories):


Carbohydrate: 40% from carbohydrates, including at least 20-35 grams of fiber. Best carbohydrate/high-fiber sources: fresh vegetables, fruits, beans and whole-grain foods. Eat less or no of these carbs: pasta, white bread, white potatoes and sugary cereals


Protein: 20-30% from protein (unless you have kidney disease). Best protein sources: fish, skinless chicken or turkey, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, tofu and legumes (beans and peas)


Fat: 30-35% from fat (mostly mono- and polyunsaturated fats). Best fat sources: olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish like salmon


Like all diets this only really works when it is combined with lifestyle changes. Exercising is one of the most important parts. Exercise regularly (including cardiovascular, stretching and strength training) most days of the week


But always remember that all people are different as are all diabetics, what works for one does not necessarily work for another


Take a look at the interesting things the Joslin Diabetes Center has to say about food and diabetes



Stay in touch...with your doctor

So we can never remind you enough that in all these cases before you want to try any new diabetes management plan or change the one you have, talk to your doctor, dietitian or diabetes coach to see how it can work best in your specific situation

Also remind yourself that a diabetes diet is not a punishment and treat yourself every now and then to the more non food pleasures in life



Diabetes and Exercise


Besides your eating habits one of the most crucial aspects of diabetes management is exercising. Regular exercise helps insulin work better; it improves the circulation of your blood and keeps your joints flexible

But more important it can lower your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, and at the same time it lowers the chance of heart disease and stroke. Doing all the exercises will relax you more and take away the stress while you strengthen your heart muscles and bones...all sounds pretty sound to us



Before exercising there are some things to think about:

  • Make sure you have the right footwear, ask your doctor
  • Before, during, and after exercise drink extra sugar free fluids
  • Monitor blood glucose levels before and after exercise
  • Try to exercise every day, with an average of 45 minutes and if possible at the same time of day
  • Medium intense cardiovascular training like walking, jogging, swimming or biking work very well. Whatever exercise you choose, make sure it's one you really like and fits your current fitness level
  • Strength or weight training also work but don't over do it. Too intense training makes your blood pressure and sugar levels rise
  • When exercising always take food that has a fast acting carbohydrate in case you become hypoglycemic during or after exercise
  • Stretch before and after exercise
  • Take a cell phone and your diabetes identification card in case of emergency
  • Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program


If you're looking for more tips about exercising when you have diabetes, take a look at the Joslin Diabetes Center's diabetes and exercise tips



Is there a Cure for Diabetes?

Like we said, medically the answer is still: No, there's no cure

There are however promising results in studies on curing type 1 diabetes. But that's it, promising results, no cure still yet

The only thing is diabetes management, manage your blood sugar level and your own health through a good diabetes management plan which includes among others a diabetes diet and exercises



How to prevent diabetes

Can diabetes be prevented? And if so, how? Take a look at our how to prevent diabetes page and see what you can do with all the information from this diabetes management page and the natural remedies section




Final Note

For the last time we want to remind you that before you make any change in your diabetes management plan first contact your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator



Dig into our Diabetes pages





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