Nutrition and Diabetes

Today 14th December is world diabetes day.  There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 are very different. The bad news is that the most common form, Type 2 is increasing rapidly both here in NZ and worldwide. The good news is that Type 2 is the type that responds most to changes in diet and lifestyle. In fact the “news” is not so new at all; however I find more and more people have Type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes and are not aware of the diet and life-style changes they can make to help or prevent Type 2 diabetes.  I am always rather shocked when people say they are “managing their diabetes with diet rather than medication” yet have not been informed about what changes are needed. The changes necessary are not simply losing weight. While weight loss will generally reduces blood sugar levels if you are merely eating les of the sorts of food and drink that triggered the diabetes, you will still have high blood sugar levels, and those foods will still put a strain on your pancreas.

In diabetes the pancreas either no longer produces insulin (type 1 ) or does not produce enough insulin (type 2). Without enough insulin blood sugars rise to levels which damage the body the long term effects can be profound such as  loss of sight, legs or life. 

Changes to diet, supplements of nutrients and herbal medicine help reduce blood sugar levels, and support the body especially the pancreas. There are studies showing supervised extreme dietary changes in people with type 2 diabetes, can bring blood sugar levels back to healthy levels so diabetes was not present(Lim, Hollingsworth et al. 2011). In such situations the person would need to have a diet for life which does not put a strain on the pancreas; in fact we all need to eat such in this way. 

Micronutrients especially helpful to improve blood sugar levels are GTF Chromium, Magnesium and B Vitamins, all of these are low in the typical diet which triggers type 2 diabetes. Of the macronutrients, a very high carbohydrate diet can trigger diabetes, whereas a high quality fat and high quality protein diet will help stabilize blood sugar levels. Contact me to find out more about nutrition, herbal medicine and diabetes. If you use supplements I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State supplements for optimum absorption.

Original Article November 2013
Copyright Jaine Kirtley