Managing diabetes is about more than just monitoring your insulin levels. As with many things, your diet can play a significant part in maximizing your health.
Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium – in addition to playing a major part in the breakdown of carbohydrates – probably influences the release and activity of insulin (a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels). People with type 2 diabetes are often found to have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Several studies (listed below) have recommended that those with diabetes eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods. Common sources include spinach, almonds, broccoli, lentils, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Don’t skimp on omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are perhaps most commonly taken (as supplements) in fish-oil capsule form; and have a number of benefits for everyone. A number of studies have also found Omega-3 fatty acids to have a favourable effect on triglyceride levels in those with type 2 diabetes. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water oily fish, fish-oil supplements, walnuts and freshly ground flaxseed.
Eat a low GL diet!
Minimise sugar, choosing slow-releasing carbohydrates such as oats, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, apples and pears. As with the Omega-3 fatty acids above, a low GI diet (GI = Glycemic Index) can help to lower triglyceride levels. Other general benefits of a low-GI diet include a lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels whilst increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Specific benefits of a low GI diet for diabetics include lower blood glucose levels (resulting in a lower HbA1c) and potentially the need for less insulin. There is a wealth of information available on low GI eating; and common sources include beans, oats, lentils and whole-grain breads.
Keep the carbs complex – no need to go high protein!
Complex carbohydrates take a bit more work to break down than their simple counterparts, and offer a range of health benefits for diabetics and others alike. Examples of complex carb foods are wholegrain food products, quinoa, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Get your fiber through loads of fruit and vegetables. According to several recent studies high-fibre diets both help to balance blood sugar levels and reduce LDL cholesterol levels; particularly in those with type 2 diabetes.
A Spoonful of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been used for many years in traditional herbal medicine for treatment of type-2 diabetes. The active ingredient in cinnamon, MCHP, mimics the action of the hormone insulin, which removes excess sugar from the bloodstream…
Recent clinical trails have shown that cinnamon can significantly reduce blood sugar levels by up to 29% (almost 1/3) and cholesterol levels by up to 26%. However to achieve these results you would have to take large quantities of regular table cinnamon on a daily basis, which in the long- term could cause irritation of the stomach and excess bleeding. It is safer to use a water-based cinnamon extract (ZN112) such as Diabecinn. It contains all the active ingredients of regular cinnamon, and none of the oils that can cause stomach irritation and excess bleeding. Diabecinn is also easily absorbable and because it is an extract of cinnamon it is highly concentrated and comes in an easy to use capsule form. It helps reduce sugar levels in the blood stream by improving insulin resistance, in other words it helps your insulin work better. It also assists in the process of changing sugar into glycogen. This gives you energy.
Exercise is beneficial!
People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise regularly for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this is that muscles which are working use more glucose than those that are resting. Muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels. Additional benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, better weight control and stress management.