Only a short time ago, health authorities warned that if current trends continued, half of the adult American population would be diabetic or pre-diabetic by 2050.
Well, we didn’t have to wait that long. In 2015 (35 years earlier than predicted), about 30 million people were living with diabetes and another 84 million with pre-diabetes, according to a national report card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Diabetes was listed as a cause of death on 252,806 death certificates that year, including 79,535 that identified diabetes as the primary cause of death.
These rising statistics are disheartening, mainly because 99% of diabetics can control (and often reverse) their condition with natural lifestyle modification. Read our article on 10 natural remedies for type 2 diabetes according to science.
The following are the 3 steps we believe all diabetics must make in order to live longer, healthier lives.
1. Go Low-Carb
This is the #1 most important lifestyle change that any diabetic can possibly make.
To the body, carbs are sugar. In fact, carbs turn to sugar during the digestive process. So even though you might be limiting your sugar intake, eating too many refined carbohydrates can still fuel your diabetes.
Here is how food manufacturers (notice I didn’t say food “growers”) are scamming you and quite possibly destroying your health:
• You buy some sugar-free cookies (or virtually sugar-free anything that comes in a wrapper, bag, or box) at the grocery store. You’re proud of yourself for choosing a snack that isn’t going to pummel your blood sugar levels. But you didn’t notice the 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving the cookies contain which is the equivalent of 5 spoonfuls of sugar!
If you want to do yourself a favor, stop looking at the sugar content of the foods you buy and start looking at the “total carbohydrates.” (Sugar will be included in this category.) If your snacks or sweets (or whatever) are labeled as “sugar-free,” chances are they’re LOADED with carbs, and that’s definitely NOT how you control type 2 diabetes.
Read our article on how a low-carb diet can change your life.
It seems too easy an answer, doesn’t it? But the fact is that hundreds of scientific studies have illustrated the benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetes, mainly because exercise makes our cells more insulin sensitive. This is a good thing, because it means you’ll need less insulin to maintain blood sugar levels.
• A review of available scientific literature showed that about 30-50% of all cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and many cancers can be prevented by 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day. For those suffering from chronic disease, that means simply walking at a pace greater than 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes.
There is no longer any debate: regular exercise is one of the least expensive and most effective methods for preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
See our article on the 10 best exercise for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
3. Eat Real Food
The problem in type 2 diabetes is not high blood sugar, it’s high insulin. Prolonged and repeated insulin spikes are at the core of a great many health problems (especially type 2 diabetes) because all other hormones in the body are affected by insulin. It is for this reason that diabetics must eliminate insulin spikes by eating the right foods.
Eating real food, and by this I mean food that grows from the earth, is the best way to keep insulin levels low. That’s not to say that carb-heavy vegetables like potatoes and beans are acceptable in large quantities, because they’re not. In order for this guideline to be effective, a person must eat a wide variety of fresh, whole foods without focusing on one or two high-carb favorites.
As a simple rule, my advice to my diabetic patients is usually to just eat plants and animals. Another solution is to avoid consuming more than 10g of net carbs in any one sitting when eating.
Science Says These Supplements Help
1. Vitamin D3, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the most important essential nutrients to human health. Every single person should have their Vitamin D levels checked and supplement if deficient. Vitamin D3 is one of the simplest, least expensive, and most scientifically supported methods for preventing dozens of chronic diseases.
With regard to type 2 diabetes, correcting a Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to:
- Increase Insulin Sensitivity (1)(2)(3)
- Improve Insulin Resistance (4)
- Reduce Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes (5)
- Slow the Progression of Type 2 Diabetes (6)
- Lessen Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Infancy (7)
- Slow the Progression of Type 1 Diabetes (8)
Vitamin D is also necessary for good immune function, controlling inflammation, and the proper function of muscles and nerves. This is one essential nutrient type 2 diabetics should not overlook.
2. Lack of magnesium in the diet has been strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (9). Diabetics are also known to lose magnesium in their urine as a side effect of insulin resistance. These two factors combined make magnesium supplementation one of the most important steps to longevity in those suffering from type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
Studies show that type 2 diabetics who supplement with magnesium:
- Have Lower Insulin Levels (10)
- Have a Lower Fasting Glucose Level (11)
- Improve Glucose Parameters (12)
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity (13)(14)
- Have Lower hsCRP Levels (15)
- Improve Metabolic Control (16)
Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those that support the immune system and heart. If you regularly eat foods that come in wrappers, bags, and boxes, there’s a good chance you’re magnesium deficient like 70% of the population.