How to Control Type 2 Diabetes by Tanya Humphrey BS, NDTR, CLT
It is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. However, reversing this is not the same as a cure. There is no known cure for diabetes, but it is possible to make improvements in lifestyle or in the diet to bring blood sugar levels under control.
As you may know, type 2 diabetes is a combination of insulin resistance and loss of the ability to produce insulin. The body fails to use insulin properly, but also the beta cells of the pancreas are incapable of producing enough insulin for the body to use. This is the progression of the disease. So, the longer you have diabetes the more likely you will need medication to help these issues. Those with type 2 diabetes who do not manage their condition will have high blood sugar levels that can lead to blood vessel damage, heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease, and other issues.
Acting early gives you the best opportunity to slow the disease. The objective is to be in better control of blood suga which can lead to remission. It is possible to lower blood sugar levels to healthy, non-diabetic levels. Complete remission of diabetes is a HbA1cof <6.5% after withdrawal of all antidiabetic medications for at least 2 months and fasting blood sugars <126 mg/dL.
Weight loss and exercise can help initiate the changes. A good meal plan should include non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans. The focus should be on whole foods instead of processed foods. Watch out for added sugars and refined grains such as rice, pasta, and white bread. Adding more fiber in your meals is greatly beneficial. If eating out, save half your meal to take home. You also want to have a pattern of eating and never skip a meal. Eating the same time every day is very beneficial. Plus, eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can be helpul too.
Counting carbs and using the plate method are two common tools that can make planning meals easy. The plate method can be a visual way to make sure you get enough non-starchy vegetables and lean protein. Plus, watching the amount of higher-carb foods can have a positive impact on your blood sugar.
To learn the plate method, start with a 9-inch dinner plate. You will want to fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots. Then fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs. The remaining quarter should be foods that are higher in carbs such as grains, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and peas), pasta, rice, beans, yogurt, or fruit. A cup of milk also counts in the higher carb category. Finally, choose water or a low-calorie drink such as unsweetened iced tea to go with your meal.
- https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/11/2133 American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes.
- http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/ last edited 3-22-18. Accessed 7-28-19.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html last reviewed 5-30-19. Accessed 7-28-19.