Absolute cure for Type 2 diabetes may not exist, but the 10 things discussed below would put up a good fight against it.
People with diabetes who drank 5 oz of wine with dinner (while on a Mediterranean diet) had lower cholesterol and some improvement in blood glucose levels, compared with those who drank water, in a recent trial. (They were probably happier, too, but now we’re just guessing.) Ethanol in alcohol may help control glucose; other good stuff in red wine (antioxidants!) has benefits, too. Diabetes rates are 52% lower among older adults who eat a Mediterranean diet including olive oil, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Walking After Eating
Working muscles soak up glucose better than sedentary ones do, so physical activity—especially right after eating—helps regulate blood sugar. Get your daily 30 minutes of movement after meals, and think “exercise in disguise”—getting up during TV commercials, walking during phone calls, taking the dog out, or working in the garden.
Acid in vinegar seems to control blood sugar by slowing your body’s absorption of carbohydrates and dulling hunger so you eat less. Eating 1 or 2 Tbsp (say, on a salad) with a carb-heavy meal has been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes by a quarter to over a third.
Healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil have been linked to lower diabetes risk. But don’t add it in without trading out your butter or mayo; cutting both dietary and body fat is a diabetes-treatment cornerstone because it boosts the body’s sensitivity to insulin, the hormone that helps cells use blood sugar for energy.
Save your dinner roll for dessert: Eating protein, vegetables, and fat before carbs resulted in significantly lower postmeal blood sugar readings in a recent study. And make lunch your biggest meal, since research finds that blood sugar control is worse in the evening than earlier in the day.
Studies find that people who regularly get 5 or fewer hours of sleep are more than twice as likely to have diabetes. Shorting your z’s throws off body rhythms that help control blood sugar and boosts stress hormones that make it harder for the body to use insulin.
The go-to drug, metformin (Glucophage, Riomet), effectively lowers glucose and promotes weight loss. Plenty of other meds stock the arsenal, too, including GLP-1 receptor agonists (Byetta, Trulicity), which enhance the body’s ability to release insulin, and the newer SGLT2 inhibitors (Farxiga, Jardiance), which help the kidneys excrete blood sugar in urine.
Lately doctors have started suggesting synthetic insulin (Lantus, Humalog U-200, Toujeo) a bit earlier in treatment because it’s a reliable and easily adjustable way to keep blood sugar levels stable 24/7. It’s available in short-and long-acting forms and now can be dispensed in handy pen injectors.
About 70% of people with diabetes who have surgery see the disease go into remission. The weight loss causes hormonal changes that keep blood sugar even. Consider it if your BMI is over 35 and drugs and habit changes haven’t done the trick.
Written by RICHARD LALIBERTE on Prevention