Food as medicine? You bet. In fact, the right diet is such powerful medicine that, for people with type 2 diabetes, it could actually reverse the course of your disease. If you take insulin or other medication, it could help you reduce your dose or even eliminate your medication. For people with type 1 diabetes, the right diet can help you better manage your condition.
Fortunately, your food prescription doesn’t have to taste like medicine. If you think having diabetes means a no-fun “diabetic diet” of flavourless meals, and all your favourite foods forbidden, think again. The truth is, a healthful diet for a person with diabetes isn’t very different from a healthful diet for anybody else. Although for many years the medical establishment recommended restricted diet for people with diabetes – especially when it came to sugar – research has shown that sugar is not the villain it was once thought to be. In 1994 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) loosened its dietary recommendations and expanded the options for healthful eating. The emphasis now is on choices – and some choices are better than others, whether you have diabetes or not.
From the exercise point of you: Physical activity helps to prevent type 2 diabetes and manage the condition of those with diabetes, along with a healthy diet and weight maintenance. That’s what the experts like the American Diabetes Association confirm. Weight training and strength training is an important part of the exercise mix in this prevention strategy. Weight Training Helps Reduce Blood Glucose Exercise helps reduce abnormal blood glucose by using it from the blood and muscle as fuel and by making insulin more sensitive and efficient at storing glucose in a form called glycogen in muscle and liver. Strength training has a particular role to play because when we lift or push weights the main fuel used is that stored as muscle glucose. Building extra muscle also provides us with a larger storage area for glucose, so the combination of these two factors — increased muscle and regular emptying of these muscle stores — improves the body’s glucose processing, a factor crucial in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. Aerobic exercise helps by burning glucose and fats and assisting with fat loss, while strength training also assists with weight management by expending energy and building muscle. Weight reduction is particularly important in preventing pre-diabetes from progressing to a full-blown diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, which is generally not reversible.
Are you suffering from diabetes?
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