The United States is a sick and dying country. Victims of our own indulgence, a non contagious disease runs rampant through our population and is responsible for more deaths than violent crime. That disease is Diabetes Mellitus, and occurs when for one reason or another the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin, or the body’s cells have become insulin resistant. Because this disease is metabolic in nature, there are some dietary changes that can be made to help manage insulin usage in the body.
Aside from the obvious recommendation of weight loss, a few conscious food choices can mean the difference between healthy living and painful daily injections. A newly diagnosed DM patient should avoid simple, processed, and concentrated carbohydrates, and saturated fats. The patient should also look to consume foods with a low glycemic load. A sample one day meal plan for a person with DM would be as follows:
Breakfast: A bowl of whole grain shredded wheat with unsweetened soy milk, sprinkled with at least a ¼ tsp of cinnamon.
Lunch: A salad consisting of kale, lettuce, spinach, kidney beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, and seasoned olive oil.
Snack: A mango with a tall glass of fresh juiced oranges and aloe.
Dinner: A bowl of black bean soup with sides of steamed asparagus, and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil.
HYDRATE! 8-10 glasses of water should be consumed throughout the day
Proper nutrition is key, however exercise and weight management are the lock. Reducing weight to a healthy body mass index helps the body better manage blood sugar and strengthens the cardiovascular system. An exercise program should be started at a level that is congruent with the patient’s current fitness level; a good rule to follow when beginning is to have the patient workout until the heart rate is at 60% of maximum heart rate and maintain that zone for 30 minutes 3 times a week, and progress from there till desired level of fitness. In combination with nutrition and exercise there are alternative supplements that can be taken to help with insulin deficiency.
Supplementation of certain nutrients has been found to be helpful in treatment of DM. The mineral Chromium is useful in blood glucose metabolism especially when combined with Biotin. Research has found American Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) to be helpful in lowering blood glucose levels, however there is more research to be done as it has been found to raise glucose in some patients. Both Aloe Vera and Cinnamon have been found to reduce blood glucose levels, and are easily added to the diet as seen in the above sample diet. Patients suffering from DM would benefit from seeking help from a practitioner of Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine, a both area have had success with management of this condition.
Diabetes Mellitus does not have to be the diagnosis to end all. In early stages it can be taken as a warning and corrected naturally. However, the best course of action is to take measures to avoid becoming diabetic to begin with. An ounce for a pound and such.
EBSCO CAM Review Board. “Diabetes.” Complementary & Alternative Medicine. Ed. P. Capriccioso Richard and Moglia Paul. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2012. Salem Health Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Murray, M., & Pizzorno, J. (2005). Promoting Health and Healing with Food. In The encyclopedia of healing foods (pp. 710-712). New York: Atria Books.