5 Top Natural Nutritional Tips for Type 2 Diabetes Management
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is worryingly becoming more and more prevalent in Ireland, with over 200,000 people living with the condition today. Unlike type 1 diabetes, a person with type 2 diabetes is often still able to produce insulin, however this insulin does not deliver the desired effect.
In a normally- functioning pancreas, insulin is produced after we eat food and once this gets into our circulation, it communicates to our cells that they need to absorb the sugar from this food to make energy. Insulin also has a protective function, as circulating sugar can be very harmful if left in excess.
Ultimately, type 2 diabetes is considered to be a lifestyle disease, which is the culmination of many factors, such as hereditary cases, physiological changes and, most importantly, diet.
- Reduce foods with a high-glycemic load. Instead, opt for low-glycemic load foods, such as oats, wholegrain rice and lentils, which may increase insulin sensitivity, help with weight loss and lower blood lipids.
- Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids have very beneficial protective and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Increase foods rich in water-soluble fibre, like legumes, psyllium husks, green apples and most vegetables. These will prevent rapid blood sugar rises as they help to slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrate.
- Having a little protein with snacks will also control any blood sugar spikes. Some almond or hazelnut butter with sliced green apple makes for a delicious snack.
- Cinnamon is a super spice to include in everything, from your morning porridge, smoothies or sprinkled over sweet potato wedges. Its insulin-mimicking effects on blood sugar levels are very positive. Also available in supplement format.
Small changes often reap the biggest rewards to your health!
This article was kindly submitted by Caroline Punch. Caroline graduated in Nutritional Therapy from the College of Naturopathic Medicine. CNM trains students for careers in a range of natural therapies, including Naturopathic Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Naturopathy. There are CNM colleges across Ireland, the UK, and in the US. www.naturopathy.ie