In reality, Type 2 diabetes itself is no big deal. Other than roller coaster blood sugar levels making your head spin, diabetes isn’t a dangerous or life-altering disease in and of itself.
However, Type 2 diabetes and out-of-control blood sugar levels wreaks absolute havoc on nearly every one of your body’s systems. The likelihood of cardiovascular disease, cataracts and amputations shoots up in individuals with diabetes.
Obviously, the best way to keep these complications at bay is to manage your blood sugars as closely and as well as humanly possible. Research in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” found that diabetics who kept tabs on their blood sugar had half the rate of diabetic complications compared to those who simply let their blood sugar go wild.
In addition to that crucial strategy, here are some ways to limit the damage diabetes does to your body:
Olive Oil It: Olive oil is the flavorful oil that Italians and Greeks seem to put on just about everything. Research in the “Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences” found that olive oil had the unique ability to lower blood sugar levels in an animal model of diabetes. Also, olive oil is bursting with antioxidants that can reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
You can use olive oil as part of homemade salad dressing or to lightly sprinkle over grilled vegetables.
Fill Up on Fiber: If you’re diabetic, fiber is your friend. This doesn’t mean that you should simply “eat more” fiber. If you’re serious about cutting down your risk of diabetic complications then you need to dramatically increase your fiber intake. Research in “Diabetes Care” found that diabetics who ate 50 grams of fiber per day dramatically reduced their blood sugar levels.
Important for this discussion, the fiber also reduced blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol – risk factors for diabetic complications like end stage renal disease and stroke. Fiber-rich foods to start eating today include black beans, broccoli and apples.
Get Enough Vitamins: With all the talk of fats and carbs, it’s easy to forget that vitamins and minerals are important for health and for controlling blood sugar levels. Certain vitamins and minerals, like chromium, magnesium and vitamin C, have been shown to boost insulin sensitivity. A study in “Diabetes Care” found that many diabetics with out of control blood sugar levels were deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral.
Also, vitamins like vitamin A and E are important for the health of your eyes – reducing the premature vision loss often found alongside diabetes.
You don’t need to mega dose on vitamins to notice a benefit. Simply eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and take a simple one-a-day vitamin.