The body needs sugar to function, and it does so by breaking down food. When sugar—or glucose—is released into the bloodstream, blood sugar rises, prompting the pancreas to produce insulin.
What diabetes does is inhibit the production or consumption of insulin, negatively affecting the body’s sugar consumption for energy. As a result, too much sugar remains in the blood.
As of 2018, 34.2 million adults in the United States have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, the country’s total medical cost for diabetes in 2017 was $237 billion. Some patients reduce these costs by looking for ways on how to control diabetes without medicine.
These natural remedies are easily accessible, and a big part of it is getting used to a healthy diet.
Best Foods for Diabetes Control
A diet myth for diabetic patients is that they should avoid sugar altogether to control diabetes. Of course, people with diabetes need to have a healthy diet, but they can eat everything moderately to control their sugar intake. Their diet should include complex carbohydrates, food with a low glycemic index, and high-fiber foods.
Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are easily digested. As a result, sugar is quickly released into the bloodstream. Examples are white rice, refined flour, and honey. This is the kind of carbohydrate that people with diabetes should avoid.
The other kind, complex carbohydrates, are the opposite. They are not digested easily. Therefore, the sugars from them take longer to reach the bloodstream. Oats, whole wheat, and brown rice are complex carbohydrates, and they are good for people with diabetes.
Food with Low Glycemic Index
A term that is crucial in blood sugar management is the glycemic index (GI). According to Healthline, the glycemic index is “a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.” It is measured on a scale of 0-100, falling within a low, medium, or high category.
Foods with carbohydrates have a GI. Usually, simple carbohydrates have a high GI, while foods that contain more protein, fat, and fiber have a low GI.
Factors such as ripeness, method of cooking, type of sugar present, and processing influence the food’s GI as well. Foods that contain complex carbohydrates and fiber typically have a low GI.
It is also important to take note that some fruits have high GI scores. These fruits include watermelons, dried dates, and overly ripe bananas. Although people with diabetes can consume them, they should do so in moderation.
Fiber oozes with benefits. Not only is it beneficial to managing your weight, but it also stabilizes blood sugar. A high-fiber diet lowers the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 15%-19%, as opposed to a low-fiber diet.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is 30-38 grams for men and 21 to 25 grams for women.
Fiber is present in fruits and vegetables. Barley is high in fiber and has been proven to be beneficial for regulating blood sugar and insulin. Legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils are also high in fiber.
Pineapples are high in fiber as well but eat them sparingly because they have a high GI.
There are a lot of natural remedies to regulate blood sugar levels. Here are some ingredients that people with diabetes can include in their diet:
- Bitter Gourd: This vegetable is true to its name. It is bitter, making it great for fighting diabetes. Some people may not enjoy its taste, but it can be incorporated into delicious recipes.
- Amla: This can be consumed raw or juiced. Mixing its juice with bitter gourd juice could just be the magical pair to regulate blood sugar levels. Amla juice can be consumed every day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This all-around kitchen staple has endless health benefits. Drinking two tablespoons before sleeping regulates blood sugar while the body is on a fast. It also inhibits the glycemic load of carbohydrates during meals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Controlling Diabetes Naturally
How can I naturally beat diabetes?
Controlling diabetes without medicine involves a lifestyle change, and having a healthy diet plays a big role. Having a healthy diet filled with complex carbohydrates, fiber, and low GI foods can help manage diabetes. Consuming everything in moderation is also important in controlling diabetes.
In addition, an hour of daily exercise improves insulin sensitivity and maximizes the body’s use of blood sugar.
What fruit should diabetics avoid?
Fruits that have high GI scores. Examples of these fruits are pineapple, watermelon, dried dates, and overly ripe bananas.
Which juice is good for diabetes?
Juicing is a viable option for people with diabetes. Examples of juices that help regulate blood sugar levels are bitter gourd juice and amla juice. Even though apple cider vinegar is not a juice, it is also beneficial.
Summing up, it’s possible to keep your blood sugar levels in check and, consequently, reduce your risk of diabetes. It all begins with a healthy diet, which is an affordable and effective way of controlling diabetes through natural approaches.
Kate is a health & lifestyle blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers and keeping a keen eye on the latest trends and news in those industries.