A regular intervention of diabetic diet, healthy lifestyle and fat reduction can help control blood glucose or sugar levels, minimize diabetes symptoms and reduce complications of diabetes in the long term.
What is diabetes?
In simple terms, diabetes is a chronic condition in which our body is not able to utilize (or produce) the vital hormone, insulin. This ultimately results in impaired metabolism of carbohydrates and a disturbing level of glucose in our system, often leading to either a high or low sugar level.
Diabetes in India
As per recent research by Pascal et al in 2018, diabetes prevalence is high in middle and old age across India, with a crude prevalence of 7.5%. The high blood sugar level in the younger population is a matter of real concern.
The most common diabetes symptoms vary between people. In most cases, polyphagia (increased appetite) with fatigue, polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyuria (increased urination) especially at night are common diabetes symptoms. This classic trio of diabetes symptoms is generally caused by altered blood sugar levels. Apart from these most common diabetes symptoms, a whole range of diabetes symptoms can exist unnoted in seemingly healthy people, such as weight loss, fatigue, skin problems, slow healing of wounds, recurrent yeast infections, and tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.
Ideal blood sugar levels for a diabetic person should be within a range of 72 to 126 mg/dL for fasting, and 150 mg/dL after meals. Optimal blood sugar control is even more important in diabetics as poor control of blood sugar can be associated with many other complications such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases- Diabetes hampers the body’s ability to use glucose. Thus, blood fats also increase, causing cardiovascular diseases in the long term.
- Kidney diseases
- Visionary complications
- An increased risk of peripheral artery diseases (PAD)
The list of diabetes-related complications is endless. Hence, sugar control is necessary for optimal life. The top five effective tips to keep the blood sugar level under control are:
Healthy Eating (Diabetic Diet): Diabetic diet is just a balanced diet designed specifically for people with diabetes symptoms. The purpose of a diabetic diet is to keep the sugar level in control, which is important to delay or prevent complications. A healthy diabetic diet should focus on.
- Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, sprouts, and lentils.
- Foods with a low glycemic index, which are diabetic-friendly foods that prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Fat reduction (both visible fat and invisible fat) using oil restriction, especially unhealthy fat reduction.
- A diabetic diet must include good quality protein in the optimal quantity. A diabetic diet must also avoid sugar, both visible and invisible, in the diet.
Healthy Activity (Exercise Routine): Proper exercise not only helps to maintain a healthy weight but also allows proper uptake and utilization of glucose, thus balancing the body’s sugar level. Appropriate physical activity helps in fat reduction, reducing stress, and enhances stamina. Physical activity such as a brisk walk of at least 30 minutes every day can serve the purpose.
Weight Reduction (and maintenance): Fat reduction is an important aspect of diabetes control. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes. Fat reduction across the belly results in the body’s better uptake & utilization of glucose. Apart from consuming a diabetic diet and exercising, one should adopt a lifestyle that allows ample sleep and rest, minimal stress, least or no alcohol intake, abstinence from smoking, and use of meditation (or yoga). Indirectly, all these relate to fat reduction, which is vital for diabetics as fat reduction helps in overall health improvement.
Regular check-ups & SMBG: Regular health checks are mandatory to keep a diabetic or even a non-diabetic aware of their actual health condition. Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is an important aspect of modern therapy for diabetes. It helps to achieve a specific level of glycemic control and enables us to delay potential complications, especially sudden and dangerous ones such as the prevention of hypoglycemia.
Herbal complements: Studies suggest that herbs are effective to help soothe diabetes symptoms, helping in controlling blood sugar levels, and thus, in limiting complications. Plant-based natural herbs have been known to be safe and play a major role in the management of diabetes mellitus. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the evaluation of traditional plant extracts for diabetes. A few of these effective herbs include:
Gudmar Extract (Gymnema sylvestre): As per a study by Kang et al, 2012, the extract of Gymnema sylvestre was seen to exhibit a strong antioxidant activity and to significantly decrease glucose levels in diabetic subjects.
Saptarangi Bark Extract: Another research by Sidney J, 2015, on the effects of Salacia reticulate (saptarangi bark) extracts states that these have shown a positive decrease in insulin levels, blood glucose, HbA1c, and serum lipid levels without any adverse effect.
Giloy Extracts: Extracts of T. cordifolia (Giloy) show anti-hyperglycemic action by enhancing the pancreatic secretion (of insulin) from beta cells of islets of Langerhans (Ishan Dhulia et al. / Journal of Pharmacy Research 2011).
BestSource Nutrition’s FIT BODY Diabetes Care is a perfect blend of these vital herbs and it can effectively regenerate β‑cell, increase insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. It is a combination of all-natural & effective herbs that are well standardized and is very effective when used in combination with a healthy diabetic diet and exercise for the management of blood sugar levels.