A plant-focused but non-vegetarian diet will enable most type 2 diabetics to control their blood glucose levels. But what do you do if your readings are nevertheless rising inexplicably?
To prevent type 2 diabetes destroying our bodies, we diabetics need to control the glucose floating around in our bloodstream.
For most of us, a plant-focused that is low in fat, sugar and salt, and which is high in fibre will do the trick.
Occasionally however a plant-focused diet does not work as well as we would wish and our blood sugar readings rise for reasons we cannot fathom easily. What can we do in these circumstances?
Here are two things we can do to reduce our glucose readings:
- switch to a vegan diet, and
- add cinnamon to our diet.
If your plant-focused diet is not controlling your blood glucose very well, you should be able to improve things by switching to a low-fat vegan diet.
A plant-focused diet may include meat provided it is ultra-lean. A vegan diet by comparison is strictly plant-based. This means that a vegan does not eat any meat, fish, eggs or dairy products of any sort at all.
People with type 2 diabetes who switch to a vegan diet have better blood sugar control, according to several studies.
In one particular study, 99 people with type 2 diabetes were randomly divided into two groups. The first group followed a low-fat, low-sugar vegan diet, while the other group followed the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
After 22 weeks, 43% of participants on the vegan diet but only 26% of those on the ADA diet were able to stop taking some of their medications for diabetes or lower the doses. In other words, the outcomes from the vegan diet were 66% better compared to the ADA diet.
The vegan dieters also lost 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds) on average while the ADA dieters lost about half of that (3.1kg (6.8lb)).
In addition, the haemoglobin A1c levels of the vegans fell by 1.23%, while those on the ADA diet only managed a drop of about one-third of that (0.38%).
The vegans also lowered their cholesterol and improved their kidney function more than the ADA dieters.
In addition to these superior outcomes, the vegans said that their diet was easier than most other diets, including the ADA diet, because they did not have to measure portions or count calories.
Though more clinical research is needed to confirm the value of a vegan diet for diabetes, it’s worth a try if you are having problems keeping your blood glucose under control.
Cinnamon is a brownish highly-aromatic spice with a very distinctive flavour that is added to both sweet and savoury foods. The spice is actually the inner bark of cinnamon trees.
Sprinkling cinnamon on your food can add flavour without adding salt, carbs, or calories.
Cinnamon is used in traditional medicine to treat various conditions. Some modern studies suggest it can also improve the body’s ability to use insulin and may lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. More research is needed to confirm this.
When I was first learning how to beat my diabetes, I discovered that you can use cinnamon to cheat on the blood glucose test for diabetes in which you take a sugary drink to see how well your body keeps your blood sugar under control. To blunt the glucose spike, all you have to do is to consume two teaspoons of cinnamon up to 12 hours before the test.
I researched the matter further and found that cinnamon can cut fasting glucose levels by up to 30%, according to well-conducted clinical trials. So I began sprinkling it on my porridge (oatmeal) in the mornings.
Within a few days, my average glucose levels on awaking had dropped by nearly 0.5mmol/l (9mg/l) or about 8%, quite a bit short of 30%.
Nevertheless it was a significant drop, and it seems to me that this spice, in the form of ground powder you can buy from your local supermarket, can help you control your blood glucose levels.