This extensive guide is all about how you can reverse diabetes with diet. Diabetes is so common that 11.3% of Americans will have it by January 2022. Furthermore, 38% of Americans have prediabetes. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s statistics are depressing, being diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes does not mean you have to live with it. What you can do depends on the type of diabetes you have, but lifestyle changes can help if you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Numerous studies show that you can significantly reduce your blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes. There have been numerous anecdotal reports of people successfully reversing type 2 diabetes. So, how do they manage it? As you might expect, lifestyle changes are central to the reversal strategies.
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What Does Diabetes Reverse Mean?
Diabetes develops when your blood sugar, also known as glucose, becomes too high. A1C, a blood test that measures the sugar in your blood, is one test that doctors commonly use to diagnose and manage diabetes. It technically measures the percentage of your red blood cells that contain “sugar-coated hemoglobin,” as defined by the CDC. Hemoglobin is a protein to which sugar binds as soon as it enters the bloodstream.
A normal A1C is less than 5.7%. Prediabetes is defined as having a blood sugar level between 5.7 and 6.4%. Your A1C will be 6.5% or higher if you have diabetes. So, what exactly does it mean to “reverse diabetes with diet”? “When your A1C has returned to normal,” as you might expect.
However, there is a catch: not everyone with diabetes can reverse it. For starters, while there are two types of diabetes, only type 2 diabetes has a chance of being reversed. That is not to say that people with type 1 diabetes, which is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin, cannot work to lower their blood sugar, but they will always require some insulin to live. Some people may have type 2 diabetes that is too advanced to reverse.
What diet should I take to reverse diabetes?
Numerous studies have found that avoiding animal foods and eating a low-fat, plant-based diet can significantly lower blood sugar levels. In fact, In order to reverse diabetes with diet a 2021 study published in Advances in Nutrition discovered that plant-based diets can help with diabetes prevention and treatment. Why? For two reasons. Whether it’s dairy, poultry, red meat, or fish, animal foods are high in fat, and dietary fat has a significant impact on how well insulin works. Insulin is in charge of allowing your body’s cells to absorb glucose from your blood, but eating a high-fat diet, even for one meal, prevents insulin from doing its job.
Animal foods contain no fiber, and because most Americans consume so many animal foods, they are deficient in fiber. More than 90% of U.S. adults do not consume enough fiber, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. Adult females require 22 to 28 grams of fiber per day, and adult males require 28 to 34 grams per day, according to dietary guidelines.
The second reason is fiber, which, among other things, helps control blood sugar.
While you can certainly do these things on your own, it’s best to consult with your doctor first. Ask your doctor if there are any obstacles to changing your diet or beginning or increasing your exercise program.
Of course, starting these strategies is one thing; maintaining them once your A1C has been reduced is another. If you revert to old habits or become too lenient with food choices, those numbers can creep back up to concerning levels, just like with any lifestyle modification for weight loss or dietary changes for high cholesterol.