Can Diet Reverse Diabetes? Absolutely, yes! Changing your food preferences is the starting point for those who want to prevent or reverse diabetes. If you enjoy fast-food snacks, sugary soda, cookies, candies, and other junk food, it is better to begin making changes right now as these "junk" preference will make things worse.
This doesn’t mean that you should never eat your favorite foods but rather that you should eat a balanced diet from all groups. Making step-by-step dietary alterations shouldn’t condemn you to bland, boring meals as there are a variety of ingenious recipes to utilize for a tantalizing meal without heavy consequences.
| Eat Healthy Carbs
Pick carb-containing foods that are also rich in fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and dairy. Check the glycemic index of your meal and substitute foods with a low glycemic index for high-glycemic foods. Avoid eating simple sugars and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, candies, ice cream, soda, cookies. Processed food often contain added and hidden sugar.
| Choose Fiber Rich Food
Eating plant foods with higher fiber content is one of the ways to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and absorption glucose into the bloodstream. If the process carbs converting into glucose delays, the blood sugar rises gradually preventing blood sugar spikes.
There are two types of fibers: water-soluble and insoluble. Water-soluble fiber in the small intestine forms a gel-like substance that helps lower low-density lipoprotein ("bad" cholesterol) and glucose level in the blood. Soluble fiber is found in all plants food: legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
The recommended daily allowance of fiber intake is 25g for women and 40g for men.
| Choose Lean Proteins Low in Saturated Fat
Made up of 22 amino acids including 9 essential that can be obtained from your food only, protein is important for the immune system, metabolism, cellular repair. Protein is required as a "building block "of all organs, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood cells, as well as it's needed to make hormones and enzymes. For these reasons, protein should be included in your diet. American Diabetes Association recommends includes in the diet:
- Plant-based foods (beans, lentils, peas, edamame, soy nuts, nuts, and nuts spread)
- Meats low in saturated fat and cholesterol (poultry, turkey)
- Fish and seafood
- Eggs, cheese, and cottage cheese.
| Green Tea
Various studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of green tea not only on cardiovascular diseases and obesity but also on type 1 and type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing glucose levels in the blood.
The Japanese study has found that men who consumed a 3% concentration of green tea showed lower values of fasting blood sugar levels than those who consumed a 1% concentration. Other study reported that individuals who drink at least 3 cups of green tea daily had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes.
Other research studies have shown that people with impaired glucose regulation "prediabetic state" have a significantly reduced risk for diabetes mellitus by drinking 16-30 cups of green tea per week.
The scientific research has demonstrated that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) compound reduce blood sugar levels after eating a high carbohydrate meal by blocking an enzyme that breaks down carbs into simple sugar.
Green tea can promote a weight loss in obese and overweight adults with a variety of health problems. The study that conducted among patients with type 2 diabetes reported that after a two-month period, consumption of four cups caused a decrease in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure.
Important! Drinking fresh brewed green tea or taking green tea supplements while eating high-carb meals may protect against post-meal blood glucose spikes.
The powdered form of green tea - Matcha provides the double effects of green tea and fiber. Drinking Matcha you ingest not only brewed water but the whole leaves (fiber and chlorophyll). Besides, Matcha green tea contains more antioxidants, caffeine, and amino acids than other kinds of green tea.
| Fasting-Like Diets Boost Pancreas Activities
Calorie restriction and changes in dietary preference are associated with the insulin sensitivity increase, mitochondrial energy efficiency, and therefore lowering blood sugar level. New researches demonstrated that diet ranging 800 to 1,100 calories per day could reverse diabetes by boosting pancreas activities. The mice which had type 2 and type 1 diabetes were starving for 5 days. When they were put on the normal diet, insulin production in pancreatic cells has been activated.
Another study in the United States found that cycles of the 5-day a fasting-mimicking diet - low in calories, sugars, and protein but high in unsaturated fats beneficially affected in participants. The positive effects were more noticeable for participants who were at the greater risk of diabetes.
The study compared two groups of 100 people. One group followed the fasting-mimicking diet for 5 days each month for 3 months, and another group just maintained their unrestricted diet. The 3 cycles of 5-day fasting-like diet reduced body weight and total body fat, decreased blood pressure, and reduced the insulin-like growth factor hormone, which is implicated in aging and disease. Also, the fasting diet decreased BMI, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol levels, and marker for inflammation C-reactive protein.
Vinegar blocks an enzyme responsible for breaking down carbs into simple sugar. It leads to limited carbs digestion and delays glucose absorption. Using 1-2 tablespoon of vinegar in your salad will help to slow down starch converting into glucose. Use caution, especially if you use insulin; reports have shown a higher frequency of hypoglycemic episodes in individuals with type 1 diabetes who consume vinegar.
| Cinnamon Intake Increases Insulin Sensitivity
The dry spicy bark, Cinnamon has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Phenols, found in cinnamon, such as catechins and polyphenols, have antioxidant properties that play a role in supporting triglycerides and cholesterol level in a healthy range.
Cinnamon bark has been shown to affect blood glucose and insulin signaling. Recent research demonstrated that the bark improves fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and slows the emptying of the stomach without affecting satiety.
| Flaxseed Powder Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibers, lignans, found in flaxseed provide protective properties against diabetes risk. Recent studies have shown that lignan inhibits expression of a gene, which is codes an enzyme responsible for glucose synthesis in the liver.
A few studies have shown, that supplementation of flaxseed powder in individuals with type 2 diabetes for two months. One part of patients consumed 15g flaxseeds daily and another part 20g. At the end of the research period, blood glucose levels of the individuals decreased by 7.9 and 19.1% respectively.
Flaxseed powder can be an excellent addition to your smoothie, baking goods, oatmeal, and so on. Do not take more than one-two tablespoon (10-20g) per day.
• Pick carb-containing foods that are also rich in fiber
• Green tea improves insulin sensitivity and reduces glucose levels
• Calorie restriction is associated with the insulin sensitivity rise
• Cinnamon and flaxseed powder increase insulin sensitivity
• Vinegar and green tea are associated with limitation of carbs digestion and delay glucose absorption.