November is American Diabetes Awareness Month

Type II diabetes, or adult onset diabetes is a preventable illness. The following should provide a guideline for those who currently have a diagnosis of Type II diabetes, as well as preventative information for those who may be at risk of a future diagnosis. The key elements to living with diabetes are, blood sugar balance, exercise and reduce stress.

Food + Lifestyle = Balanced blood sugar
Food + Lifestyle = Stress Management
Food + Lifestyle = Smart Weight Loss

Eating healthy means eating low fat and low cholesterol foods; foods rich in monounsaturated fats and foods high in complex carbohydrates.

Blood Sugar Balance

The help regulate blood sugar balance; you should eat foods with a low glycemic index.  The Glycemic index or GI measures the impact that food has on your blood sugar.  A food with a low GI will have less impact on blood sugar than a food with a high GI.  The goal is to eat foods with a ranking of <55 on the Glycemic index. To learn more about the GI, please go to the following link:

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

The sequence in which you consume your food will also have an impact on blood sugar.  The goal is to eat in such a way that you slow the digestion process, thereby slowing the release of glucose into your blood stream.  Some suggestions for sequence to eat your food:

Eat Fiber and Protein together:  feel full faster for longer; fiber and protein slow down digestion allowing blood sugar to rise more slowly.

Drink 20 minutes before a meal or one to two hours after a meal, not during a meal.  When you drink during a meal, you are liquefying your digestive juices, thereby, stopping the digestive process.

Eat veggies & protein together or;

Eat veggies & starchy carbohydrates together:

AVOID eating protein with starchy carbohydrates:  because lipase breaks down protein, and amylase breaks down starches; when we eat starch and protein together, the body will digest the starch first (immediate sugar) and quickly use it for fuel.  Unfortunately, the fuel created will be used in the body within 30 min, making you feel hungry again; during this process the protein (which fuels body for longer) will be broken down and stored as a fat.  Amylase and lipase are constantly competing to utilize either protein or starches.  The competition between amylase and lipase is what makes you feel bloated.  This is because your digestive system is working overtime and cannot break down the food effectively.

Eat fruit alone: traditional fruit salad with many varieties of fruit is too acidic for the stomach.  Too much acid in the stomach overwhelms digestion, because we don’t often have enough digestive acids in our stomach to efficiently break down the fruits.  The other issue is that eating too much fruit at once can cause a blood sugar spike.  Stick to high fiber fruits such as apples, pears, and berries and eat these 30 minutes before a meal or 45 minutes after a meal.

Food Combining is important.  If you are eating too many different foods at once, then slower digesting foods may get in the way of faster digesting foods and cause problems with fermentation which leads to gas, bloating and heartburn.

The nourishment we get from our food is based on what we assimilate, not necessarily by the type of foods that we eat.  The way we eat our food is equally important as the food we eat.  Learning how to combine our foods properly will help relieve digestive distress, and ultimately help us maintain blood sugar balance.

As a rule of thumb, your daily intake of food should look like this: 40% carbohydrate, 35% protein, 25% fat.  Eaten in proper combinations to maximize the nutrient benefit of your food.

“Let thy food be your medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

 

Exercise

Strength training makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose.  It helps to maintain & build strong muscles & bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn:  even when your body is at rest.

The recommendation is to do some type of strength training at least 2x per week in addition to aerobic activity. Examples of strength training:

Weight machines or free weights

Use resistance bands

Use your own body weight (pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, wall sits, planks)

Weight training or resistance training helps aid metabolism. Aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better, makes heart and bones strong, relieves stress, improves blood circulation and reduces risk for heart disease by lowering blood glucose & blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.

The recommendation is to perform 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise – spread out over at least three days; try not to skip more than two days in a row.

Talk to you healthcare practitioner for help and advice to start a strength-training plan that is right for you.

Reduce Stress

People under stress may not take good care of themselves.  They may drink more alcohol or exercise less.  May forget or not have time to plan good meals.  Stress hormones can directly alter glucose levels.  People with Type II diabetes have increased blood sugar levels with mental stress.

Food preparation can be a helpful way to alleviate the stress.  Keeping plenty of healthy foods and snacks on hand will ensure that you are getting proper nutrition rather than eating the first thing you see.  Keeping snacks with you on busy days will ensure that you have a balanced blood sugar; not allowing more that 2 to 3 hours to go by without a healthy nutritious snack.  A handful of almonds, an apple or pear with natural peanut butter, or turkey and lettuce roll ups are all easy portable snacks that you can keep on hand.

Take time for yourself.  Getting outside for a walk will satisfy your daily exercise goal as well as give you the opportunity to relax and unwind at the end of the day.  Treat yourself to a bath with essential oils; get a massage, read a book.  There are a myriad of ways to help relieve tension and stress, find what works best for you.

Be Kind to your body!!

When the body is not working efficiently, as is the case with type II diabetes, we need to be conscious of the way we treat ourselves. Our bodies are working hard to

Food is information, not just in the way the nutrients affect our cell membranes and DNA, but also through the stories we tell ourselves when we eat.

Navigating the literature and recommendations can be daunting.  What is best for someone else may not be best for you.  Individualized consideration of your needs is going to be your best option to achieve your optimum health and wellness.  Please feel free to contact our office to help you cater a food, exercise and stress management program that fits your lifestyle, your budget, and your unique needs.

Health and Happiness,

Cura’ Naturale

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