by Brad King, MS, MFS

The world today is facing somewhat of a diabetes epidemic with over 340 million sufferers and growing – and most of them outwards!

The condition of diabetes can be broken down into two different types; Type 1 and Type 2. Those suffering from Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections, as their immune system incorrectly targets and attacks pancreatic cells that produce insulin. However, 90% of diabetes sufferers have Type 2 diabetes, whereby the body has become less responsive to insulin – leading to dangerously high blood sugar levels.

In this way, it is Type 2 diabetes that is of primary concern and the target of medical professionals attempting to stop the escalating rates of the disease seen in many countries worldwide. The irony of the matter is that diabetes itself is a very preventable condition, and with a number of lifestyle changes – such as sufficient exercise and proper nutritional strategies, you too can avoid getting the disease. For those already diagnosed or who are in the pre-diabetic stage, there are also still many things that can be done to improve and avoid the exacerbation of your current condition.

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs
The predominant area of confusion regarding the diabetic diet surrounds carbohydrates. The question is, should a diabetic eat carbs or avoid them like the plague? The answer lies somewhere in between (doesn’t it always?), as carbohydrates are the predominant food group which have a direct influence on blood sugar levels in our bodies. In this way, diabetics should generally look at the quantity of their carbohydrate intake as well as the quality – with emphasis being placed on choosing carbs that are low GI (low glycemic index) rather than a low-carb one. The glycemic index refers to how quickly the body breaks down the food source into glucose.

High GI foods are quickly converted to glucose, with typical examples being white bread, sweetened drinks, potatoes, and biscuits. Low GI foods that are broken down more slowly in the body are best suited for diabetics. Food examples include high-fibre grains like rye, milk (goat being the best choice), beans, berries, and leafy vegetables.

It is widely recognized today that our soaring rates of diabetes come down to a number of factors, one of the most insidious of which is the over consumption of high GI carbohydrates found in products such as fizzy soft drinks and snack foods, which are more often than not processed with little to no nutritional value.

Block the Starch
Another way to reduce the overall effect of higher GI foods is by supplementing with starch blockers, like the Ultimate Starch & Fat Blocker. The starch neutralizing ingredients can diminish the effect that blood sugar conditions have on quality of life. Having said this, they are by no means fool-proof ways of stopping diabetes in its tracks. The importance of eating a diet balanced in low GI carbohydrates, fat, and protein can simply not be underestimated.

Though some may look at lower carb/lower GI diets as nothing more than weight-loss fads, there is solid scientific evidence backing them that highlights their potential health benefits.

As much as you can supplement, avoiding Type 2 diabetes is also about making proactive changes in your day to day life and following a healthy diet. In addition, you should attempt to get sufficient exercise on a regular basis — preferably daily — as not only will this improve your health and happiness, it will also help you sleep deeper, allowing your body to rejuvenate and repair itself every night. It’s about looking at the whole picture; sure, the finer details count, but observing yourself and seeing ways to change is really what will prevent diabetes from not only taking the enjoyment away from your life, but from taking your life.

Originally published on pno.ca