The term diabetes refer to several metabolic disorders which if left untreated for long can result in abnormally high or low levels of glucose or sugar in the blood.
Type 1 Diabetes happens when the Pancreas ceases to produce significant amounts of the hormone insulin. This normally happens due to autoimmune destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the Pancreas.
Type2 Diabetes happens because of autoimmune attacks on the pancreas and/or insulin resistance. The pancreas of a person with type 2 diabetes may be producing normal or even abnormally large amounts of insulin.
The main goal of diabetes management should be to maintain healthy blood sugar levels in the body. To achieve this goal, individuals with deficiency of insulin require insulin replacement therapy which can be administered with the help of injections or pumps. As against this Insulin resistance can be corrected with the help of dietary modifications and exercise.
Here are some useful tips on how to control diabetes without medication
Weight management or maintaining ideal body weight is the first thing diabetics must aim to achieve. In case you are diabetic and overweight, losing weight should be your first priority. How can you lose weight? Losing weight will call for both physical activity as well as eating healthy.
Start initially with kind of physical activity for 30-45 minutes every day. Keep a dairy to note your weight and track your body weight on a weekly basis. Combine exercising with healthy foods which are low in calories. Maintaining a dairy for the foods you eat to record the date, time and calories intake is another thing which research has indicated is useful for people keen to lose weight.
After exercising regularly for a month or so and eating low calorie foods if you weight remains unchanged or if there is only a negligible reduction, you may have increase your level of physical activity to 60-75 minutes per day and at the same time reduce your calorie consumption further.
Any diet plan for diabetics must be aim to keep a check on the amount of carbohydrate intake. It is important to keep a close watch on portion sizes. Reducing or limiting the intake of trans-fats and saturated fats is another aspect which a good diabetics meal plan must ensure.
Ideally 50-60% of our total calorie intake should be in the form of carbohydrates or energy giving foods. In case of diabetics simple carbohydrates (sugar, refined flour and processed sweets) which are capable of causing spike in the insulin levels real fast must be totally avoided. Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, unpolished rice, oat etc which are high in fiber content) should therefore be the main source of energy giving foods for diabetics. This type of food releases glucose in the blood from the intestines real slow thus regulating the blood sugar levels.
Here it is important to understand that switching over to a very low carbohydrates diet is a strict no for diabetics. This type of diet can do more harm than good. This type of diet cannot be a balanced one and will therefore not provide the body with the essential minerals, vitamins and fiber required for overall well being.
25 to 30 percent of our daily calorie intake must comprise of fats. Mono-saturated fats (olive oil, groundnut oil, Canola) and omega 3 fatty acids (found in walnuts, fish, flaxseeds etc) are the ideal for people with diabetes. It is best to avoid foods rich in saturated fats like red meat and butter.
Proteins should make up for 10 to 15 percent of our daily intake. Typically to arrive at the exact amount of proteins a diabetic must consume, body weight should be taking into consideration. Healthy food sources of proteins suitable to diabetics include fish, egg white, chicken, soya, pulses, whole grams and low fat dairy products.
A good diabetic diet plan should include 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of fresh seasonal vegetables. Although raw food intake is good for people with blood sugar problems excessive fruits intake is not recommended as it may lead to high blood sugar levels.
People with diabetes should also have small meals at regular intervals instead of having 3-4 heavy meals in a day. For example you could have breakfast, mid morning snack or fruit, lunch, evening tea, early night snack or fruit, and dinner.
Although diet and exercise is not a magic wand which will keep blood sugar levels in control, it can indeed go a long way to ensure that diabetics remain healthy. To summarize the key to managing blood sugar issues is to
a)Keep a check on portion sizes
b)Have 5-6 small meals spread throughout the day instead of 3-4 large ones
c)Ensure that your intake includes a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
d)Exercise or engage in any form of physical activity for 30-45 minutes everyday
e)Do not compromise on your sleep- if you sleep too less or too much your hormones can get disrupted. This in turn will lead to an increased appetite, increased hunger, excessive eating and perhaps enhanced blood sugar levels too.
Finally please bear in mind that despite switching over to eating healthy and following an active lifestyle your sugar levels may not be stable. It is not always be possible to control diabetes without medication. You may have to consider other remedies or medicines for keeping a check on your blood sugar levels in consultation with your health care provider.