First, start exercisingiStock/MilosStankovic
“I always tell patients that the most important change they can make is getting more exercise,” says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, a Cleveland Clinic endocrinologist. The University of Alabama at Birmingham recruited more than 5,000 overweight adults with type 2 diabetes and assigned them to either an intensive weight-loss program or an education and support intervention. After one year, 11.5 percent of those in the intensive group (who reduced their intake to between 1,200 and 1,800 calories a day and increased activity levels to 175 minutes per week) experienced diabetes remission, compared to just 2 percent in the support and education group. This is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association released a report in a 2010 issue of Diabetes Care that analyzed multiple studies on the effect of exercise on type 2 diabetes management and concluded that regular exercise helps control insulin resistance and blood glucose levels. Follow this step-by-step plan to reverse diabetes.
Make friends with cinnamoniStock/Magone
Can a teaspoon of cinnamon really make your blood sugar go down? A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that patients with type 2 diabetes who took a higher dose of cinnamon lowered their blood glucose levels more than those who consumed less of the spice. Other studies from Pakistan and Germany found that larger doses of cinnamon lowered fasting blood sugar more than smaller doses or a placebo. More, larger studies need to be done, but researchers believe the high antioxidant content of cinnamon might make the spice a useful tool in managing diabetes. Sprinkle some cinnamon into your oatmeal or yogurt, make baked apples and cinnamon for a healthy, fiber-filled dessert, or use cinnamon instead of sugar to flavor your coffee.
Turmeric and cumin have also been shown to reduce inflammation signals that are often overactive in people with diabetes, as well as improve insulin response, according to diabetesaction.org.