In Part I of this series, I described what diabetes is and how it can be managed. To read Part I, please click here. In Part II, I will discuss the diet that I follow which enables me to control my condition without meds. I will also cover the importance of weight management, drinking lots of water, exercising, managing stress and getting enough sleep in controlling Type 2 diabetes.
Ideally, diabetics should aim to have between 30-50 grams of carbohydrates per meal three times daily, plus 10-15 g of carbohydrates snacks in between. Not everyone would agree with me about how much carbohydrate I should be consuming as a diabetic. Remember that everyone’s bodies process sugar differently and you need to learn what works for you through trial and error. Mum and I both find that we’re able to control Type 2 diabetes naturally without recourse to any medication such as insulin or metformin by structuring our diet around the 30-50g of carbohydrate per meal rule. This is really all thanks to mum who is a retired nurse and has a very good understanding of health and the human body.
Remember that as a matter of overall health, we all need some carbohydrate in our diet, whether we have diabetes or not. In my personal opinion, it’s best to opt for carbohydrates in moderation which are found naturally in fresh vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and corn. They keep your blood sugar level rather than consuming highly processed packet foods which are filled with sugar and will cause your blood sugar levels to spike dangerously.
Mum and I have both eliminated sugar from our diet as it has the effect of increasing our blood sugar. There are traces in foods such as bread, crackers etc but this is generally fine.
We drink alcohol only very occasionally as it does affect our blood sugar.
The owner of a previous gym who has Type 1 diabetes suggests that diabetics avoid peas and corn, as they tend to increase your blood sugar. I find that I am able to have these occasionally, in moderation.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight if you have diabetes
Drinking lots of water helps flush sugar out of the system and maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Try to get some exercise every day. Go to the gym, for a walk, run or swim at your local pool. It really does help lower blood sugar levels, not to mention help with overall weight management
Stress can have the effect of increasing your blood sugar levels. Try to relax. Meditation can help. I took Les Mills Body Balance classes (a mix of pilates, tai chi and yoga) on a regular basis at a gym I used to go to a few years ago. It took a long time for me to learn how to relax but eventually I could see the progress. Be patient. You’ll get there in the end too.
Try to get enough sleep. I aim for at least 8 hours every night.