During the creation of our diabetes guide, we scanned hundreds of diabetic forums and blogs and noticed many believed that diabetes is a permanent disease. We constantly saw people claiming that once you develop diabetes, you will have the disease for the rest of your life. This is unfortunately true for those that have type 1. As an autoimmune disease, the body is unable to produce insulin on its own. Until a cure is found, type 1 diabetics will be dependent on insulin. However, those with type 1 only make up 5% of the diabetic population. Close to 95% of those with diabetes have type 2, which is brought on by genetic and lifestyle factors.
There is a very strong correlation between being overweight or obese and developing type 2 diabetes. Once you develop the disease, the doctor might start you on insulin to help keep blood sugar levels in line. Contrary to popular belief, once you start using insulin, it doesn’t mean that you will be dependent on it for the rest of your life. Shedding the excess weight will help you reduce, or completely eliminate your need for insulin. A healthy diet and exercise program that promotes weight loss can help you achieve this goal.
The first step in your endeavor to fight back against diabetes is to completely overhaul your diet. There is a common misconception that there are “special diabetic foods” that people with diabetes need to eat. If you have diabetes, your diet should be high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This diet should also avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar. It’s also important to avoid drinks high in calories and sugar, including soda. Does this sound like a diet that is special for those with diabetes? In fact, anyone who wants to lose weight to get back in shape should aim for a diet that follows these guidelines.
This diet should also include a wide variety of power foods. Power foods contain the highest amount of nutrients and the least amount of calories. They also help to decrease the risk of developing heart disease. A few different types of power foods include:
- Sweet potato
- Black Beans
Improving your diet is essential to reducing or eliminating insulin dependency, but it’s also important to live a more active lifestyle. There are simple lifestyle changes that you can take to keep yourself more active. Examples include parking a few spaces further away or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In addition to these lifestyle changes, it’s important to try and exercise every day. If you can’t find the time to exercise every day, aim for at least 5 days a week. It’s important to include cardio as part of your workout, but don’t rely solely on cardio. Including weight lifting into your workout routine can help you shed the pounds quicker, even if it’s a light weight lifting session. Your metabolism will be at a higher rate for a longer period of time when your routine includes weight lifting and cardio over cardio alone.
Should you develop type 2 diabetes and require insulin, don’t think that you have to take all of those medicines and/or injections for the rest of your life. Make the decision right away to get back into shape and lose your excess weight. You’ll feel better while reducing or eliminating your dependency on insulin!