If you are prediabetic or have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you probably know that keeping your blood sugar levels under control is critical for your health.
Many people with diabetes understand that this means limiting or avoiding carbs, sugars, and foods that cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
While this is undoubtedly an essential part of managing your diabetes, a growing body of evidence indicates that we can go beyond diabetes care toward diabetes cure.
Type 2 diabetes was formerly believed to be an incurable, progressive disease. But now it’s clear that remission is possible. Instead of merely managing the symptoms, diabetes may be reversed by targeting the underlying drivers of the disease, particularly insulin resistance.
Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Are High
Diabetes is characterized by elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. If these levels remain high over time, they can damage your nerves and blood vessels and cause serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and even amputation.
This is why people with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels carefully.
Usually, your muscles, tissues, and organs absorb glucose from your bloodstream, using it for energy. Insulin is the key that allows this to happen. Insulin is a hormone that signals the body’s cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream, almost like a key that opens the cell doors so the fuel (glucose) can get in.
People who are type 2 diabetic or prediabetic have reduced insulin sensitivity. This means that the keyholes (insulin receptors) are clogged, so your tissues take up less glucose, and blood sugar levels stay high.
Type 2 diabetics will often be given doses of extra insulin to help increase glucose uptake by the cells. But treating diabetes (as opposed to managing it) means increasing insulin sensitivity so that the insulin you already have is more effective.
Reversing Insulin Resistance
The pathway to increased insulin sensitivity involves healthy eating and physical activity.
Exercise stimulates the uptake of glucose into your muscles and helps to improve insulin sensitivity. It also contributes to weight loss, another key factor in reversing insulin resistance.
The type 2 diabetic’s diet should be based on whole, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods – fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. These foods are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients essential for good health.
The insulin receptors are clogged with saturated fats and trans fats (from dairy, meat, and processed foods), so eating fatty, greasy foods will likely worsen the problem.
By removing the foods causing insulin resistance and blood sugar spikes (sugary foods) and adding in a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods, you can start to reverse your type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your doctor about a plan that’s right for you, and get started on the path to a healthier, happier life today.