Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or do you think you may be in danger of developing it? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
This guide provides an outline of the necessary information for managing and eradicating type 2 diabetes. Our other aides can inform you further on the indications of diabetes, and also give special knowledge on type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes.
A great number of individuals with diabetes or at risk of it have seen an increase in their wellbeing with alterations in their dietary habits. You can too! Possibly by enacting these alterations, you may be able to minimize or eliminate your reliance on diabetes medication in addition to supporting you in shedding pounds.
Gain an understanding of how habits and behaviors affect type 2 diabetes so that you can make well-considered choices concerning your wellbeing.
What is diabetes?
In a nutshell, diabetes is a condition that involves abnormal glucose and insulin levels in the blood. In diabetes, there is an issue related to the production and/or utilization of insulin, which is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas and helps reduce the concentration of glucose in the blood by transferring it from the bloodstream to the body cells.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by the pancreas becoming damaged and unable to produce insulin due to autoimmune or other rare causes. This type of diabetes typically appears in youth, but can also be seen in adults.
In type 2 diabetes, both insufficient amounts of insulin produced by the pancreas and the body’s failure to use it efficiently contribute to the condition. Once the harm caused to the pancreatic insulin-generating cells proceeds to the point that the pancreas can’t naturally release sufficient insulin to overpower the body’s opposition, blood glucose levels will increase.
Having an overabundance of glucose in the bloodstream can be detrimental because it can damage the vascular system. Furthermore, the cells cannot proficiently use glucose as fuel since an overabundance of it remains in the bloodstream rather than going into each individual cell. It is essential to understand that elevated glucose concentrations are the result of a complicated process that has been occurring over a long period of time before the blood sugar level rises.
The great thing is that following a healthy diet and physical activity can reduce the insulin resistance and overweightness that often come with diabetes, which could even lead to the condition no longer being present.
Testing blood sugar
This guide can provide you with knowledge regarding issues related to both high and low blood sugar. This guide concentrates particularly on the elevated blood sugar levels that are seen with diabetes.
What are the signs of having an excessive amount of sugar in one’s bloodstream? It is not difficult to figure out and you can do it quickly, whether in your doctor’s office or by purchasing a cheap blood sugar meter.
Compare your own blood sugar reading with the ranges below:
- Normal blood sugar: Less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L ) after fasting overnight, and up to 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L ) two hours after a meal
- Prediabetes: Between 100-125 mg/dL (5.6-7.0 mmol/L) after fasting overnight, or higher than 140 2 hours after a glucose tolerance test
- Diabetes: 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher after fasting overnight, or higher than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) at any time
Remember not to rely on glucometer readings exclusively when determining if someone has diabetes or pre-diabetes. If your blood glucose reading is elevated on a glucometer, request your physician to take a blood sample to corroborate the diagnosis. Typically, it won’t be enough to use a single irregular blood sugar measurement to diagnose diabetes; two or more are needed to meet the criteria set out in most instructions.
If you’re already following a low-carb diet and you’re concerned about your readings, discover how a low-carb eating pattern affects blood sugar readings.
Food & Diabetes
Individuals with diabetes experience difficulty in regulating their blood sugar levels within an average range. The blood turns “too sweet” as glucose levels rise.
The two sources of sugar present in your blood are food that you consume and your liver. You cannot influence how much sugar your liver produces, however, what you consume can be regulated by you.
There are three distinct categories of macronutrients (major nutrients) accumulated in food: carbs, proteins, and fats. Foods usually can be classified based on whether they are mostly a source of carbohydrates, proteins, or fats, although many dietary items contain a mixture of two or all three of these macro-nutrients.
Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar
Carbs are often derived from starches or sugary substances, and when consumed, are broken down into glucose. Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is created when glucose enters the bloodstream.
Eating more carbs in one meal causes more sugar to enter the bloodstream, which leads to higher blood sugar levels.
Although not many people would accept that sugar-laden foods are beneficial to one’s health, certain items that are generally perceived as “healthy”, like fruit, can contain a hefty amount of sugar. Many people are unaware that starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes are converted quickly to sugar when you break them down in your body.
For some individuals, ingesting a potato could be just as detrimental to their blood sugar as consuming nine teaspoons of sugar! It is difficult to determine the exact manner in which an individual’s blood sugar level will react, as this is likely decided by their inherited characteristics and the starting level of their insulin reaction.
Protein-containing foods include eggs, poultry, meat, seafood and tofu. People may have varying reactions to proteins, but eating sensible amounts of protein generally does not raise blood sugar levels.
Eating fat does not cause a change in blood sugar levels. However, we seldom eat fat all by itself. Cheese is largely composed of protein and fat. It is unlikely that these foods will have a great impact on your blood sugar level.
Other foods such as doughnuts and French fries are mostly composed of carbohydrates and fat. These foods are likely to cause a sharp surge in your blood sugar because of their high levels of carbohydrates and fat. Checking your blood glucose levels prior to having a meal and then again in 30-minute intervals for two hours can help you understand how certain types of food influence your blood sugar. The results may surprise you!
1. Weight loss reverses fatty liver
Experts suggest that diabetes may be caused by storing too much fat which a person’s body is unable to handle. In 2013, scientist Roy Taylor introduced his “dual cycles” concept to explain this occurrence. He demonstrated that when individuals acquire adipose tissue above a certain point (known as their ‘particular fat edge’), it boosts interior fat around their liver and pancreas. When this fat accumulates in the abdomen, it’s an important issue because it causes the organs in the body to become unable to respond to insulin.
Your cells do not react correctly to insulin, preventing the absorption of nutrients, thus causing your body to manufacture greater amounts in order to cope. In typical situations, insulin signals to the liver to cease generating unnecessary glucose. However, having an excessive amount of belly fat prevents the hormones from conveying their message correctly, causing the liver to keep on releasing glucose, causing the level of glucose in the blood to become too high. At the same time, the fat build-up in the pancreas disrupts the production of insulin by the beta-cells, meaning that there is no way to stop blood sugars from climbing. Through time, this builds up and results in significant diabetes complications such as heart issues, sightlessness, or even limb removal.
Studies indicate that losing a considerable amount of weight can decrease the levels of intra-abdominal fat and thus, reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes. The COUNTERPOINT study, a noteworthy document, reveals the effectiveness of weight reduction as a treatment for diabetes sufferers. After spending two months on a program to shed pounds, individuals averaged a decrease of 15kg in weight. Their insulin levels and blood sugars decreased to the normal range, which was linked to the changes in their abdominal fat. The levels of HbA1c, which is an indication of the amount of AGEs found in their blood, dropped to the standard amount. A further investigation showed that preserving weight loss typically leads to permanent improvement of diabetes, as people who kept off the pounds did not need to keep taking medication for the ailment.
2. The best diet is the one that helps you lose weight
Navigating nutrition as a diabetic can be difficult, as there are numerous opinions about which foods are acceptable for them to consume. Experts in particular place much importance on reducing carbohydrate consumption, as carbohydrates have more of an effect on increasing insulin and blood sugar compared to any other nutrient.
Carbohydrates can have an effect on diabetes but the majority of studies have exhibited that shedding pounds, particularly fat, is the most substantial factor in reversing type 2 diabetes. This can be done by utilizing diverse techniques.
Studies have highlighted that losing weight can lead to a decrease in both blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that choice of food, proportion of macronutrients, and timing of meals have no substantial impact. If you are anxious about the possibility of diabetes, start by considering how many calories you are eating and the nutritional value of your food.
3. Exercise improves diabetes via enhanced glucose uptake and storage
It’s no wonder that regulars workouts and strength training are key parts of diabetic management, due to exercise being one of the most effective lifestyle habits to promote good health. Studies have consistently shown that those who engage in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis have a lower risk of developing diabetes.
Exercising is about more than just burning calories, it can also be beneficial for people with diabetes by helping them lose weight. Exercising makes your muscles act like glucose absorbers, enabling them to draw in sugar from your bloodstream much more effectively for up to two days after training. It is established that diabetics should do some physical exercise, such as taking a walk, after eating. This is due to a mechanism called insulin-independent glucose uptake, which helps to regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream.
Continuing to exercise over a prolonged period of time can result in an increase of carbohydrates safely stored in your body. The capacity for internally keeping glucose as glycogen can be up to 500g for a lot of people, but if the size of their muscle mass is expanded, their ability to accumulate glucose increases. This increases the space to store sugary substances that would otherwise amass within the bloodstream. Over time, strength training will improve your long-term capacity for storing and utilizing glucose.
Any type of physical activity can help enhance glucose metabolism, but strength training is especially powerful. It is way and above the best way to grow and sustain muscle volume and enhance body shape.
4. Sleep is a critical component of diabetes management
Getting enough sleep might be the most disregarded technique for bettering health in people with diabetes. A report from 2012 found that individuals who get five hours of shut-eye or below each night have twice the chance of developing diabetes in comparison to people who snooze for seven hours or more.
A lack of sleep is associated with diabetes, and studies have determined that it heavily impacts cortisol levels, a hormone found in times of distress. When you feel something is demanding, your body releases hormones cortisol and adrenaline so that you can react to and adapt to our regularly changing environment. The body is usually capable of dealing with short-term stressors efficiently, but long-term stress can cause continuously heightened levels of cortisol.
Specific stages of sleep (known as short-wave sleep) block the creation of cortisol, allowing the body to relax and restore itself. Essentially, when you don’t get enough rest, it is impossible for your body to reduce the amount of cortisol it releases, meaning you stay in a constant state of stress.
Cortisol plays a role in diabetes by signaling to the body to produce glucose to power muscles and other body organs. It is necessary to take the necessary steps if the circumstances are appropriate, such as getting ready for a difficult lift in the gym. Under sustained stress, cortisol causes the body to make too much glucose and chop down its store of glycogen. The consequence of not getting enough sleep over a long period of time is higher blood glucose levels.
A further way that cortisol affects diabetes is that ongoing strain inhibits the proper functioning of insulin, causing an escalation in blood glucose levels. Insulin is a hormone that functions to transfer glucose from the blood stream into the body’s tissues. Your body responds to a stressful situation by releasing glucose to provide energy and holding back storage so that all energy can be directed towards handling the issue. Nevertheless, long-term stress such as not getting enough sleep can cause blood sugar levels to stay consistently high.
A shortage of rest can be an underlying factor making it more likely to put on weight by increasing appetite and desiring specific items. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep helps to stimulate the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for generating hunger. Research reveals that when a person sleeps only two to three hours less than normal each night, they consume approximately 350 additional calories. Eventually, this could cause a substantial increase in body weight. If you are worried about your blood glucose levels, then getting enough sleep should be your top priority as it is linked to body fat levels and the risk of diabetes.
- Weight loss reverses type 2 diabetes in overweight individuals by reducing liver and pancreas fat content.
- Exercise helps you manage type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and your body’s glucose storage capacity over time.
- Diet’s primary role in diabetes is to facilitate weight loss through a calorie deficit.
- Sleep loss is a form of stress that can impact your blood sugar levels by increasing glucose production and reducing insulin sensitivity.