Nearly 30 million Americans have type ll diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes. As serious as this statistic, is that nearly 90 million Americans are pre-diabetic, meaning they have the markers for the probability of developing it.
The good news is that even if you have adult onset diabetes in your family history, meaning you have a genetic propensity toward it, you will only actually GET the disease IF you live the lifestyle that allows it to develop. The good news is that adult onset diabetes can be prevented, can be controlled, and can even be reversed, with simple lifestyle habits of diet and exercise.
I will address the dietary guidelines in this and one other blog in November. The other 2 weeks will be devoted to exercise for diabetes prevention or control or reversal.
First, it is important to understand the stress connection to type II diabetes. Stress can raise your blood sugar. Over time this depletes your pancreas to the point that ultimately it stops producing insulin, the hormone that carries blood sugar-also called glucose-from your blood stream into your cells. For stress, taking a walk, gardening, having a hobby, doing yoga, or meditating, can all help to keep your stress level down, and therefore keep your blood sugar balanced.
Dietarily, here are 3 deceptively simple guidelines to keeping your blood sugar balanced. Interestingly, these are also guidelines that will help you to manage stress. They will also, over time, change how you produce energy, helping you to switch from burning your own muscle, which happens when you run on adrenaline, which many Americans do. You will go back to producing energy the way your body was designed to do- by burning your food with your bodyfat. So, these guidelines are weight loss guidelines in addition to balancing your blood sugar!
First, eat within 90 minutes of getting up. If you exercise in the morning, have a small protein and carb feeding to replete your glycogen, which gets depleted overnight by your liver, as you detox during sleep. This can be half a bagel with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, or a glass of chocolate milk, or a small smoothie with water, 1/3 cup fruit and half a tablespoon of protein powder.
Second eat within every 4 hours of your last ‘feeding.’ If the first time you ate is 7 am, then eat again by 11, then by 3, then by 7. If you are up past 11, eat again around 11.
Third, eat protein and carbs at every feeding. This combination is like putting quality kindling-carbs- into the fire, and then adding big logs-protein, to keep the fire going for up to 4 hours.
For the next 2 weeks, apply these simple principles and notice if your cravings diminish, if you perhaps lose a little weight, if your thinking is clearer, maybe your sleep is better. These are all signs that your blood sugar is beginning to balance.
Next time I’ll give you some favorite protein carb combinations that can make it easy to feed yourself, satisfying for your palate, and balancing for your blood sugar.
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By: Maureen Shortt