By Gemma Hurditch for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).

Type II Diabetes has grown to become one of the greatest health issues worldwide, negatively affecting an increasing number of adults and children.

The good news is that if you are looking to reduce your risk of developing Type II Diabetes there is plenty that you can do about it, with help from natural therapies.

Exercise

Exercise is a crucial part of preventing Type II Diabetes. One of the easiest ways to regulate blood sugar levels (which lies at the core of Type II Diabetes), and combat obesity is to exercise regularly. Prioritise exercise in your daily routine, take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus one or two stops early, find activity you enjoy and do it frequently.

Re-think your diet

Swap fast food and ready meals for cook-from-scratch fresh whole-foods, preferably organic. Ditch artificial ingredients for real ones, and steer clear of ‘low sugar’ options that mean artificial sweeteners have been used.

Keep the sugar ‘hit’ of your meals low, by eating foods which have a low glycaemic load (GL). They enable the body to better moderate insulin, blood sugar and energy levels. Reduce or replace foods which exacerbate insulin desensitisation, such as refined carbohydrate foods which encourage high insulin responses. Diets high in saturated fat are also ill-advised as they are under investigation for reducing insulin sensitivity, replace with unsaturated fat where possible.

Avoid:

Sweets, chocolate and honey
White flour bread, pasta and pastry products such as cakes and biscuits
White rice
Fruit juice, fizzy drinks or soda pop
Alcohol
Lots of fatty meats and dairy

Eat:

Meals or snacks with some fat and protein, never carbohydrate only
Cinnamon and nutmeg – to replace sugar or honey
More fibre – in the form of fresh vegetables and plenty of salad greens
Lean protein – legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans, more fish, mushrooms, quinoa, brown rice and rolled oats
Tree nuts – preferably raw and unsalted
Onions and garlic, fenugreek tea and ginseng tea.

Extra help

A qualified natural health practitioner can help create a tailor-made dietary and lifestyle plan to support your health, taking into account your health history, current state of health, medications and their side effects, personal weight loss or lifestyle goals, and any drug-nutrient interactions of which you need to be mindful.

Your practitioner may consider nutritional supplements and herbal preparations to improve glucose tolerance, insulin response, or to support vascular integrity, for example. Please don’t self-prescribe. See a qualified natural health practitioner for education and to determine appropriate support for your specific circumstances.

Address stress

Stress is a contributory factor in all ill health, which is why natural health practitioners take a holistic view of physical, mental and emotional factors. Identify and deal with your causes of stress.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help to combat obesity, which is a primary risk factor for developing Type II Diabetes. It can also help you manage diabetic symptoms and provide support for complications of the disease if you have it.

Clean up your act

It’s not only agricultural residues and artificial additives in the foods we consume that can increase our toxic burden and make us more susceptible to illness and overweight. It makes sense to take control of the things that we can, like the personal care products and household products that touch our skin, and can enter our bloodstream. Become informed about the overall health-effects of commonly-used ingredients, and why more and more people are choosing natural products.

 

By Gemma Hurditch for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine).