If you are scouring the internet for answers as to can we reverse diabetes or not, you have probably chanced upon a lot of suggestions about how diabetes can be reversed by any number of given practices. However, the bottom line is that your (spiked/higher than normal) blood sugar levels can be reversed but your diabetes itself cannot be driven out of your system.
The truth about reversing diabetes
When people say we can reverse diabetes what they are essentially saying is that we can reverse blood sugar levels to the point that the so-called diabetic can lead a largely normal existence without suffering the ill effects of being diabetic and without other linked lifestyle illnesses creeping in.
Of course, there is a caveat, or a catch: one needs to improve one’s lifestyle. The question, can we reverse diabetes is essentially, can we live a healthier lifestyle? Can we exercise daily or at least five times a week? Can we steer clear of foods that have concentrated sugar? Can we minimise or intake of deep fried foods? Can we replace our empty carbs with good carbs?
We need not breathe a heavy sigh and feel like our lives are over if we have diabetes. With modest and minor lifestyle adjustments, we can reverse diabetes in as little as a few weeks. And by maintaining our healthier lifestyle in the long term, we can keep that reversal in place and prevent our blood sugar levels from going awry again.
Reversing high blood sugar levels is not the only feat at hand – staying committed and maintaining those blood sugar levels by maintaining the diet and exercise that enabled the reversal is also key.
Equally important is remaining positive in your mindset: saying we can reverse diabetes with no trouble is half the battle won. Avoid adopting a negative mindset and allowing yourself to become miserable every time you see an ice cream ad (or your teenage niece drinking a whole hot chocolate while Netflixing). Instead, pack your house with diabetic-friendly foodstuffs, and get into the habit of selecting tasty foods and beverages that either lower blood sugar or do not impact it at all. There is a wide variety of such options and no matter what your tastes, you are sure to find something to suit your palette.
The rule book to reversing diabetes
We can reverse diabetes, or more specifically high blood sugar levels by consuming some foods in higher quantities and other foods in lower proportions; some need to be eliminated altogether. And then there is exercise. There are also some myths and misunderstandings that you must get out of the way immediately.
Let’s start with the myths
- All grains are bad: Wrong. Refined grains are bad for diabetics but whole grains help lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels and promote better digestion
- Green tea is good: Wrong, green tea need not necessarily be good for diabetics
- If you don’t have time for fruits have fruit juice: ABSOLUTELY WRONG and one of the biggest healthy eating myths. Fruit juices will send your blood sugar through the roof because a pulped fruit loses its fibre that is essential to maintain blood sugar levels.
- Choose cereal for breakfast and snacks to slim down quickly: Cereal consists of plenty of sugar, sugared fruits, salt and refined grains, none of which should be consumed by diabetics.
Beneficial foods for diabetics
- Anything with a low glycemic index is good for a person with diabetes.
- Nuts and seeds – flax seeds, walnuts, peanuts in moderation can be consumed by themselves or added to salads or healthy vegetables (without oil) to add some flavour
- Whole grains – switch over to whole grain bread, brown rice, black rice or purple rice
- Extra virgin olive oil – as a garnish or in small quantities to sauté food
- Apple cider vinegar – as a garnish
- Garlic – as a taste enhancer for anything that doesn’t taste as good now that it’s not deep fried
- Avocado – millennials rejoice
- Greek yoghurt – for a nice refreshing beverage or snack
Harmful foods for diabetics
- Concentrated sugary beverages like colas and sweetened tea
- Concentrated sugary foods including but not restricted to candy and cereal
- Foods with a high glycemic index
- Foods that digest too quickly, because they usually result in a spike in glucose
Exercise for diabetics
Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day and at least 5 times a week is absolutely essential. It is advisable to choose an activity you enjoy doing so that you feel more encouraged to exercise. Some people find yoga soothing and relaxing but others might find it boring and painful. Dance is a good option for nearly everyone. Weights are a great option for those with a competitive streak. Resistance band training and calisthenics can be great if you are strapped for time. Stair climbing works if you want a high intensity workout but are strapped for time
Sleep on time and make sure to eat your meals at regular intervals. Try to keep your meal times fixed and standard. Erratic eating habits are a huge no-no for diabetics. Maintaining low stress levels could help because you will be less likely to crave for unhealthy foods and beverages.
The answer to can we reverse diabetes is a resounding yes, but there is also the need to maintain the blood sugar levels at optimal levels once they have been reversed. Countless people around the globe live with diabetes only the background – never suffering its ill effects – by simply living a healthy lifestyle.