Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are progressive conditions for which, currently, there is no known medical cure. However, there are natural treatments that have been known to cure. People with either form can usually lead normal lives by managing their condition appropriately. The primary factor in helping to control one’s diabetes is sticking to a proper diet.
Listen to Anjana Srivastava, GNLD’s (International Vice President of Science and Technology) comment of where we are with diabetes: Diabetes – The new Epedemic!
Type 1 diabetes (Insulin-dependent diabetes, Juvenile onset diabetes and Childhood diabetes) is a type where the cells of the pancreas produce little or no insulin. This leads to a build up of glucose in the bloodstream and without insulin, the body unable to use it to produce energy as it usually would. Eventually, the body is unable to produce any insulin. Although people with Type 1 diabetes don’t have a choice but to take daily insulin injections, they can better manage their disease by making dietary changes in addition to the insulin treatments.
Studies have shown that the amount of carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber) consumed will have a significant effect on the amount of insulin needed and the maintenance of blood sugar control in Type 1 sufferers. They need to maintain a balance between the carbohydrates intake, insulin, and physical activity to maintain the proper levels of glucose (blood sugar). When these elements are not in balance, glucose levels can, and will fluctuate quite a bit. Therefore, people with Type 1 diabetes who take fixed doses of insulin every day should make sure that the carb content of their daily meals and snacks is consistent as well. Furthermore, they need to be aware of the effect of physical activity on this balance.
Type 2 diabetes is different to Type 1 in that it is related to how the body responds to insulin, rather than a problem with the production of insulin itself. Type 2 diabetes is usually linked, to a lack of exercise and excess body weight. Therefore, the nutritional goals for those with the Type 2 diabetes are different. Here, the main focus should be on losing and controlling body weight. Research indicates that 80-90% of Type 2 diabetes sufferers are overweight. Some are even obese. Meal planning should focus on reducing calorie consumption, eliminating or reducing intake of foods high in saturated fat, a good balance of carbohydrates, and replacing some carbohydrates high in saturated fat with healthier mono-unsaturated fats like peanut butter, almonds,and other types of nuts. Apart from helping with weight control, this also helps to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
Changes in eating habits and increased physical activity will reduce insulin resistance and enhance blood sugar control. Primarily, the carbs consumed should be in the form of whole grain breads or cereals, pasta, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables. Occasionally, if a Type 2 Diabetes sufferer eats foods containing a lot of sugar, such as birthday cake, candy or other sweets, the usual daily intake of carbs like rice, pasta or potatoes must be adjusted accordingly. This will help maintain the proper balance of calories and carbs.