Diabetes is a health condition in which the blood sugar or blood glucose level in the body is very high. It is caused either because the body isn’t making enough insulin or is not using insulin very well. It is an incurable disease; however, it is possible to reverse certain types of diabetes. Let’s see how to reverse diabetes naturally with proper diet and exercise.
Let’s get one thing clear. Not all diabetes can be reversed. You can just manage and control certain diabetes by taking insulin shots and a proper diet. However, it is possible to reverse some kinds of diabetes and send them into remission (you aren't taking medication and your blood sugar levels stay in a healthy range). There are mainly 3 types of diabetes. They are:
It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks cells responsible for making insulin. Thus, insulin is not produced causing high blood sugar levels. It generally happens in children and young adults.
It is the most common type of diabetes in which the body becomes insulin resistant and doesn’t use insulin resulting in high blood glucose levels. It generally happens in adults but because of the changes in lifestyle, more and more children and teens are also getting diagnosed with it.
It is diagnosed in pregnant women who have never had babies. Generally, it goes away after the baby is born but it can grow into type-2 diabetes later in life.
There is one more condition called “prediabetes” in which the blood glucose level is abnormally high but not as high as to call that diabetes. If not controlled, it can develop into type-2 diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, there is good news. With some changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can reverse your diabetes permanently and cure diabetes at early stage. Similarly, type-2 diabetes patients can also reverse it with subtle changes in their lifestyle. However, type-2 diabetes cannot be reversed permanently. It can be sent into remission but there is always a risk for it to return. Hence, once your diabetes is in remission, don’t change your healthy lifestyle.
People also search for “how to reverse diabetes type 1”, but unfortunately type 1 diabetes can’t be reversed. The patient has to take insulin shots daily to remain alive. However, it will definitely help patients if they follow a healthy lifestyle. Gestational diabetes can be controlled but there is always a risk of it progressing to type-2 diabetes.
The first and most important thing to reverse diabetes is to lose excess weight. If you want to reverse diabetes fast, regular exercise and eating healthy food will help a lot. Some ways in which diabetes can be reversed are:
It is very important for diabetic patients to follow a strict diet plan in order to reverse diabetes and lead a healthy life. We have provided a list of important nutrients along with the healthy food items that can help you get those nutrients. Here is how to reverse diabetes with diet:
Protein: Proteins are one of the most important things for a healthy body. It helps our body in cell repairs and making new ones. Some healthy sources of protein for diabetic patients are eggs, almonds, chicken breast, cottage cheese, milk, lentils, fish, quinoa, peanuts & peanut butter, etc. Avoid fatty and processed meat like sausages, deep-fried fish, fried tofu, etc. A daily protein intake of 1 g/kg of body weight is optimal for patients with diabetes.
Carbohydrates: For diabetic patients, carbs are the most important nutrients. They help lose excess weight and provide energy for the body. However, only low-carbohydrate foods are beneficial, so avoid high-carb food items. Some healthy sources of carbohydrates are oats, bananas, sweet potatoes, oranges, apples, kidney beans, quinoa, chickpeas, and grapefruits. Ideally, a diabetic patient should consume less than 50 grams of carbs per day for optimal results.
Fats: Fats are classified as saturated and unsaturated. Eating unsaturated fats is a healthy option. In fact, studies have proved that eating healthy fats can help prevent insulin resistance, which is a big reason for the development of type-2 diabetes. Avoid consuming trans fats at all costs since they are known for increasing insulin resistance. Major food sources for trans fats are fried foods, processed snack foods, margarine, etc.
Vegetables and Fruits: If you are looking for ways to reverse diabetes with a vegan diet, vegetables and fruits are there for you. They contain many macronutrients and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. In addition to that, they are rich in fibre which makes them an excellent food for diabetic patients who are on a course to reversal of diabetes. However, don’t consume fruits in excess as some fruits contain large amounts of sugar. Some healthy fruits and vegetables that diabetic patients should consume are spinach, kale, tomato, mushrooms, cauliflower capsicum, brinjal, bitter gourd, berries, apples, guava, oranges, kiwi, papaya, etc.
Drinks: Diabetic patients should avoid drinks that are calorie-rich and high in sugar. Drink lots of water daily, at least 4-5 litres. Apart from that, unsweetened tea, unsweetened coffee, lime water, and coconut water are healthy drinks. Visit Manipal Hospitals to have a better understanding of Diabetes Treatment in Bangalore.
In the table below, we have provided the diet plan for all diabetic patients:
|Protein||15%-20% of your daily calories|
|Carbohydrates||50%-60% of your daily calories|
|Fibres||20-30 grams of fibre each day|
|Cholesterol||200 milligrams per day|
|Fats||25%-35% of your total daily calories|
|Saturated Fats||No more than 7% of your daily calories|
|Unsaturated Fats|| Polyunsaturated fats: 10% or less of your daily calories
Monounsaturated fats: Up to 20% of your daily calories
|Sugar||Don’t take sugar|
|Salt||In limited quantity. Avoid if possible|
|Alcohol||Do it occasionally if your blood sugar level is in control|
P.S: Daily calorie intake is taken to be 2200 calories.
Some tips for a healthy diet to reverse diabetes are:
Avoid frying. Instead, bake, boil or roast your food items.
Include fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Use vegetable oils instead of animal or dairy fats like butter.
Avoid pickled foods, MSG, ketchup, salty snacks, canned meat or vegetables.
Minimise eating desserts.
Everyone needs good quality sleep, but if you are trying to reverse diabetes, it becomes extremely important. There is a direct connection between inadequate sleep and high blood sugar level. Experts say that good sleep is as necessary for a healthy body as diet and exercise. Sleeping less than 5 hours or more than 10 hours a night is found to increase the sugar level. Here are some tips for you to try to get adequate sleep at night and reverse diabetes at home:
Check for sleep apnoea: As per the report of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), 7 out of 10 patients suffering from type-2 diabetes suffer from a disease called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) which affects breathing during sleep and leads to lower-quality sleep. Get your sleep test and if you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, get the proper treatment.
Keep a regular bedtime: Diabetic patients should have a regular routine for bedtime. Although it applies to all the general population, people who want to reverse their diabetes should follow it religiously – on both weekdays and weekends.
Don’t use electronic devices before sleep: Using a smartphone at night can cause sleep deprivation. The bright blue light from electronic gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. can cause a rise in insulin resistance, as per a PLOS ONE report. Moreover, one study published by JAMA International Medicine reported that blue light exposure at night through electronic devices increases the risk of weight gain, which will definitely not help in the reversal of diabetes. Hence, use electronic gadgets 1-2 hours before you are going to bed to have a good night’s sleep.
Doing regular body exercise can help diabetic patients manage their blood sugar levels and weight. Exercises also help prevent the development of type-2 diabetes in patients with prediabetes. Here are some good exercises to help you lose weight and reverse diabetes naturally.
Walking: If you are not in the mood to commit to a gym membership, simple walking can also do the trick. Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day 5-days a week can do wonders. Walking helps patients with diabetes lower their blood pressure, BMI, and HbA1c levels.
Cycling: Patients with diabetes often suffer from arthritis or similar joint pain, especially, older people. Doing heavy weightlifting can have a negative impact on joints. Cycling is the best exercise for patients with lower joint pain. It helps increase strength, stamina, and aerobic fitness and at the same time causes less strain on the body.
Swimming: Swimming and other aquatic exercises are other exercises for diabetic patients that put less stress on the joints and prove very helpful for the overall health and fitness of the body.
Aerobic dance: Aerobic exercise like Zumba combines both dance and aerobic movements for a workout. It is one of the best exercises for losing excess weight and maintaining the optimal blood sugar level.
Yoga and Pilates: Regular yoga is proven to help type-2 diabetic patients manage their blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and weight in an easy and effective manner. Pilates is aimed at improving core strength, however, it can also help improve blood sugar levels. Doing regular yoga and Pilates will definitely put you forward on the way to reversing diabetes type 2.
How to reverse diabetes permanently? The first step is to bring a change in your daily habits and lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits and giving up bad habits will be the first thing that your therapist will suggest if you enrol for the “how to reverse diabetes naturally in 30 days” course. Here are some healthy habits that diabetic patients should adopt to reverse diabetes without medication.
Quit smoking: As per the CDC report, active smokers have 30-40% more chances of getting diabetes compared to people who don’t smoke. If you want to reverse diabetes, quitting smoking can be the best thing.
Keep hydrated: Drink lots of water as it helps control blood sugar levels.
Reduce stress: Stress is one of the main reasons that people get diabetes. Avoid unnecessary stress and take time for relaxation. Get therapies and join support groups.
Be active: Don’t sit in the same place for a long time. If you have a job that requires long sitting hours, remember to take breaks of 4-5 minutes every hour.
Dr. Minal Mohit Vohra, Consultant - Diabetes and Endocrinology at Manipal Hospitals, Jaipur is India's leading name in the fight against diabetes and helps patients manage their diabetes. She was awarded the best Doctor in the Field Of Diabetes And Endocrinology by Jaipur Medical Association in 2018. Dr. Minal is a fellow of Royal collage of physician. She suggests these lifestyle changes for managing diabetes:
Work out for at least 150 minutes per week, which equates to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Include moderate exercises such as aerobics, walking, and cycling.
Maintain a healthy BMI target based on your height.
Here are some frequently asked questions on how to reverse diabetes.
A: Yes, it is possible to reverse certain types of diabetes naturally without medication.
A: Foods that are low-carb, low-starch and rich in fibres are considered the best for reversing diabetes naturally at home. Examples are tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans, leafy greens, whole grains and lentils, fish, etc.
A: Walking daily is one of the best exercises for diabetic patients to reverse diabetes. It helps regulate the blood sugar level and boosts the metabolism of the body.
A: Walking is considered the easiest and best exercise to reverse diabetes naturally. Apart from that, swimming, aerobics, Zumba, cycling and yoga are considered very effective for diabetic patients. To know more, consult with our Endocrinologist in Bangalore.
A: Since type-2 diabetes is caused due to insulin resistance in the body, the best way to reverse the condition is to treat the root cause, i.e. improving the insulin resistance of the body through diet, exercise, or medication.
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