- In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin, which is necessary for energy. Those with type 2 diabetes do produce insulin but the body resists the actions of insulin into the cells, resulting in vascular damage and many other health complications.
- Diabetes cannot be cured; the resulting high blood sugar levels can only be controlled. It is crucial to learn how to manage the disease to avoid its inevitable damage.
- Those with type 1 diabetes must take insulin. Those with type 2 diabetes are usually given oral medication and/or insulin to control high blood sugar. However, there are many harmful and severe side-effects of diabetic medications, including weight gain.
- Managing body weight and blood sugar levels through a non-medicinal approach, such as a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be far safer than the typical medicinal treatment of diabetes.
- Your doctor can diagnose diabetes through a fasting blood test. With a simple glucometer, a quick blood test at home can be used to help guide you in the controlling of your blood sugar. You may also obtain average blood sugar results from a standard fasting A1C blood test.
- Diet should be the first place to look for the prevention and control of high blood sugar. The diabetic-friendly formula of the Almased dietary supplement supports healthy blood sugar levels and helps you lose weight without hunger.
- Check out these 10 best foods to lower blood sugar levels and 5 useful bonus tips to guide you to a new, healthier and slimmer you!
The Two Types of Diabetes
In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What's worse, from 2001 to 2009, the incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 10-19 rose by 30 percent! Before getting into causes and treatments for diabetes, let’s clarify the variance between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease. In this form of the disease, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed, so the body can’t produce any insulin.
Only 5% of people with diabetes have the type 1 form of the disease.
With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn the techniques of managing blood sugar levels and live long healthy lives.
Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body's foremost source of fuel.1
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing normal and sometimes excess amounts of insulin.2,3 The problem is not with the pancreas; the problem is that the cells throughout the body have become resistant to the actions of insulin. This resistance results in less sugar entering the cells and more sugar remaining in the blood.
The body needs sugar for energy and produces it by breaking down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose. A molecule of glucose carries a packet of chemical energy just the right size for transport and uptake by cells. In your body, glucose is the “deliverable” form of energy, carried in your blood to each of your 100 trillion cells.4
But without the hormone insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream, unable to gain access into the cells of the body. Glucose molecules have sharp edges, which nick the walls of blood vessels as it circulates, causing damage and over time, vascular disease.
High glucose levels also reduce nitric oxide in blood vessels, a shortage that increases the risk of high blood pressure and eventually narrows down the vessels.5
For type 1 and type 2 diabetes, learning how to manage blood sugar is crucial.
Common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are low energy levels, weight change, thirst, and frequent urination as the body tries to deal with too much glucose in the blood. Even though you may not feel any symptoms of diabetes, the damage occurs progressively, and you will, in time, be dealing with the results. The organs most at risk from blood vessel damage include the heart, brain, eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
Organ damage, sustained because of unchecked high blood glucose levels, is referred to as a diabetic complication.
Managing Blood Sugar in Type 2 Diabetes
The successful management of blood sugar depends upon the active balancing between diet, exercise and if needed, medication. The regularity of all three is crucial as you must match up your insulin needs to the amount of food you consume and your body's energy output through exercise. Stress and sleep play a significant role, too. Change any of these factors, and your insulin needs change as well.
Know the basics: The food you eat, especially carbs, raises your blood sugar levels. Exercise and medicines for diabetes lower your blood sugar levels.
For a person without diabetes, blood sugars tend to stay between 70 and 100 mg/dL. After a meal, blood sugars can rise to 120 mg/dL and will typically fall back into the normal range within two hours. You can easily measure your own blood sugar at home with a glucometer.
Low Blood Sugar: Less than 70 mg/dL
This is hypoglycemia, and when your blood sugars drop below this level, you may begin to feel hunger, shakiness, or racing of the heart. Your body is starved for sugar.
Normal Blood Sugar: 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL
In this range, the body is functioning normally. In someone without diabetes, most of the time is spent in the lower half of this range.
Elevated Blood Sugars 140 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL
The body can function relatively normally in this range. However, extended periods of time in this zone put you at risk for long-term complications.
High Blood Sugar: Above 180 mg/dL
At this range, the kidneys are unable to reabsorb all the glucose in your blood, and you begin to spill glucose in your urine. Your body may start to turn to fat for energy and release ketones in your urine.
Normal Blood Sugars Chart After Meals (or Post-Prandial Blood Sugar)
The chart above compares post-meal blood sugars in a typical person with diabetes and someone without diabetes. Most diabetes organizations recommend keeping your post-meal rise below 180 mg/dL.
The average blood sugar level is measured by a fasting blood test called “Hemoglobin A1C” and is the gold standard for judging long-term control with medication. It is not a test for diagnosing diabetes. A normal level is considered below 6%. These laboratory results are accurate but reflect only your average for the past 2 to 3 months.6
In some ways, the Hemoglobin A1C test is like a baseball player's season batting average; it tells you about a person's overall success. Neither a single day's blood test results nor a single game's batting record reveals the same big picture.
Some ways the Hemoglobin A1C test can help you manage your diabetes are by 1) confirming self-testing results or blood test results by the doctor, 2) judging whether a treatment plan is working, and 3) showing how healthy choices can make a difference in diabetes control.7
The non-medicinal approach to blood sugar management is strongly recommended by Dr. John McDougall for his patients. In his report, McDougall states: “The use of diabetic medications today, including insulin, do not cure diabetes, they are used only to control it. Diabetic medications are approved by the FDA for sale to the public based on their abilities to lower patients’ blood sugars, not based on their ability to reduce the risk of dying or diabetic complications…in part, because the medications lack these benefits. This failure to improve patients’ lives is compounded by the fact that treatments for type-2 diabetes harm people…”8
McDougall goes on to say: “Drug therapy has consistently failed patients with type 2 diabetes, and their well-intentioned doctors, making the search for an alternative treatment imperative.”
“Since the rich Western diet is agreed to be the cause of this epidemic, should diet not be the first place to look for the prevention and the cure?”
Several published studies demonstrate how those with type-2 diabetes can stop insulin and get off oral diabetic medications with a change in diet.9
An effective way to support your blood sugar, as well as, insulin levels and end the struggle with those unwanted pounds is to consume foods that are high in protein, low in carbs and have a low glycemic index. Note that high insulin level has a serious effect on weight. The higher insulin level overtime, the higher the weight gain. Aim to find ways to manage insulin and blood sugar levels for more effective weight loss. Almased is a great solution.
Almased10 is a unique dietary supplement with an ideal 2:1 protein and carb ratio and a low glycemic index of 27. This diabetic-friendly formula supports healthy blood sugar levels and helps even those of us who have had difficulties in the past to finally reach the weight they’ve always wanted.
For over 25 years, the effects of Almased on the metabolism, weight loss, and blood sugar levels have been researched at international institutions and results have been published in renowned scientific journals. To help you lose weight without hunger and support healthy blood sugar level, learn about “The Almased Weight Loss Phenomenon”11 at www.almased.com.
A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan that's naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Essential elements are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In fact, a diabetes diet is the best eating plan for most everyone.12
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that people with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else but, to plan your meals to better manage your diabetes. The ADA offers a handy interactive tool to help you create endless meal combinations easily. “Create Your Plate”13 lets you still choose the foods you want but changes the portion sizes, so you are quickly able to interchange larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and smaller portions of starchy foods.
The 10 best foods to lower blood sugar levels:14
- Resistant Starch - lowers blood sugar levels after meals. Some are oats and other grains, bananas, and potatoes. Resistant starch greatly improves insulin sensitivity.
- Ceylon Cinnamon - appears to prevent the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, minimizing blood sugar spikes. It may also dramatically improve insulin sensitivity.
- Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries – rich in antioxidants yet do not lower blood sugar. But, because they're low in sugar, it helps to eat them instead of other sweeter fruits.
- Cashews, Almonds, and Spinach – an excellent source of magnesium, which seems to improve insulin response and lower blood sugar levels. Low magnesium levels are associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Green Tea - contains powerful antioxidants and catechins that benefits many aspects of health… including metabolic health and blood sugar control.
- Fenugreek – also a good source of soluble fiber, this herb appears to significantly improve blood sugar control in diabetics.
- Japanese Shirataki Noodles – made from the konjac yam, are low in carbs and high in fiber which may help with blood sugar control and other aspects of metabolic health.
- Cocoa in Dark Chocolate - the chocolate must be really dark, typically 85% cocoa or more. Anything less is too high in sugar.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – an ancient folk remedy for many issues. Research and strong evidence suggest vinegar taken before or during meals may increase sugar uptake from the blood into cells. Although any vinegar will do, apple cider vinegar is the most popular.
- Stevia – a better sugar alternative found to lower both blood sugar and insulin levels.
Useful Bonus Tips
1. To avoid blood sugar levels from spiking up or dropping too low, stay consistent in your eating patterns.
Establish reasonable snack and meal portions and stick to regular eating times. It may be best to eat smaller portions of food throughout the day, rather than larger amounts at one sitting.
2. Don’t skip meals and don’t go hungry as this works against you.
Snack selectively. Instead of choosing chips or a candy bar, grab a bag of nuts or a piece of fresh fruit. They have fewer calories than the average packaged snack and more nutrients. Plus, the fat in the nuts, the water in the fruit, and the fiber in both will make you feel full longer.
3. It makes sense to limit your carbohydrate intake and favor healthy carbs with a lower glycemic index.
The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods is helpful in keeping blood glucose under control. To find the best foods to lower blood sugar, check this out: The glycemic index.15
4. Exercise is fundamental for regulating blood sugar levels and promoting good health.
Routine strength workouts at home or the gym are excellent and regular cardio in any form keeps you fit. Regularity is vital, and it could be as easy as taking up a new sport. That doesn’t mean you have to go rock climbing or train for a marathon. Choose something you enjoy, and it won’t feel like a chore. Pick something you’ll look forward to.
Though many diabetes therapies are medicinal, this may not be the best alternative for your health.
A targeted lifestyle change can help patients achieve a significant improvement without the risk of unwanted side effects. Part of this intervention is losing excess weight.
Targeted lifestyle intervention to support blood sugar levels does not have to be difficult. Almased is the intelligent solution to achieve the necessary changes quicker and easier to fight excess weight. And, you don’t have to go hungry!
The Almased Shake16 is a diabetic-friendly meal replacement powder for weight loss, weight management, and overall wellness, supported in over 15 years of scientific research. It's made from 3 high-quality ingredients: non-GMO soy, yogurt, and enzyme-rich honey combined in a unique fermentation progress. The exclusive, natural formula contains NO artificial fillers, flavors, added sugars, preservatives, colorants or stimulants.