A Holistic Approach to Diabetes
If present trends continue, as many as 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes in 2050. This is a staggering number!
Diabetes is not just an adult issue, it’s an issue for kids as well.
Here is how you can help your family dodge this disease and prevent diabetes from hitting home.
What Does Blood Sugar Have to Do With It?
A February 2013 study directly correlates sugar intake to higher rates of diabetes. The study was conducted by four researchers, including Dr. Robert Lustig, presenter of the 2009 “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” talk that became a YouTube sensation at more than 7 million views.
Indulging in sugar cravings can lead to inconsistent blood sugar levels, a major contributor to type II diabetes. Keep your energy stable throughout the day by adopting a few key rules:
- Forget simple and go for complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains over simple carb counterparts (cookies, chocolate, cakes, soda, white pasta/rice/bread).
- Don’t skip meals; throughout the day, eat balanced snacks and meals, spaced no more than 2-3 hours apart.
- Pay attention to protein (from vegetable or animal sources) as this helps slow the release of glucose into your blood. In addition, make sure each meal includes some form of fiber (found in fruit and vegetables) and heart-healthy fats (found in flaxseed, olive oil, avocado, and nuts).
What is the keto diet? Simply put, it’s a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat.
When you are on the keto diet, ketones are formed when your body is using fat as its energy source. When a diet is high in carbs, and not fat, the carbs are the energy source. So the ketone diet forces stored fats to be used for energy. This is called ketosis and helps to balance blood sugar by blocking the glucose receptors.
Now you may be wondering why a diet high in fats can be beneficial for diabetes. But the keto diet doesn’t mean you should load up on saturated fats. Heart-healthy fats are the key to sustaining overall health. These include:
- Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel
- Olives and olive oil
- Nuts and nut butters
And since the keto diet limits your carbohydrate intake, it helps diabetes patients because carbohydrates turn to sugar and can cause blood sugar spikes.
Read about a real-life story of a woman who got control of her type 2 diabetes with the keto diet.
Natural Ways to Balance Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands. It’s responsibility is to “regulate energy by selecting the right type and amount of substrate (carbohydrate, fat, or protein) the body needs to meet the physiological demands placed on it. When chronically elevated, cortisol can have deleterious effects on weight, immune function, and chronic disease risk” (source).
Diabetes is one chronic disease linked to disturbances in cortisol rhythm (digestive conditions and cancer are two others).
Here are natural ways to balance your cortisol levels:
- Get enough sleep (ideally 7-9 hours)
- Don’t skip meals
- Avoid processed foods, poor-quality fats, and a high-sugar diet
- Enjoy your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime
- Manage stress
- Avoid caffeine later in the day
Type 2 Diabetes IS Preventable and Reversible
Although your genes influence the development of type 2 diabetes, they don’t trump behavioral and lifestyle factors. Studies suggest that type 2 diabetes can be attributed to: excess weight, lack of exercise, a poor diet, smoking, and abstaining from alcohol.
Fortunately, data from several clinical trials strongly supports the idea that type 2 diabetes is preventable and reversible. Here are the main things to focus on:
- Controlling your weight: Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold.
- Getting active (and turning off the television!): Every two hours you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the chances of developing diabetes by 20 percent.
- Tuning up your diet: Choose whole foods over processed foods, skip sugary drinks, and limit red meat intake.
- If you are a smoker, try quitting: Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers.
- Indulging in alcohol occasionally: Some studies indicate that limiting alcohol consumption decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Essential Oils for Diabetes
Essential oils are plant-based medicine that work on a cellular level. Essential oils essential oils can be used to help with many health conditions, including diabetes.
Here are the essential oils I recommend:
- Coriander – an extract from coriander seed was found to reduce blood sugar in test subjects.
- Lemon – also beneficial for blood sugar levels.
- Clove – research has found that using clove oil reduced levels of certain enzymes in the pancreas that are believed to be linked to diabetes.
- Black Pepper – contains antioxidants, and helps to block certain enzymes in the body that may contribute to diabetes and high blood pressure
- Helichrysum – reduces inflammation, but also helps with weight loss.
- Lavender – helps to balance high blood sugar levels and protect the body from the oxidative stress that causes complications in people with diabetes.
Bottom line, diabetes won’t miraculously go away with one of these recommendations. It takes a balanced program of diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, and possible medical treatment options. Please speak with a health practitioner for what can specifically work for you.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.