Walk into a doctor’s office with elevated blood sugar, and you’ll walk out with an Rx for metformin (Glucophage) or another oral diabetes drug. Writing a prescription makes doctors feel like they’re “doing” something for the patient, and they are—they’re making the problem worse!
Folks, in my opinion, doctors write diabetes prescriptions to justify their fees and their existence—but in reality they’re taking the easy, and dangerous, way out. First off, these drugs have huge and dangerous side-effects—including weight gain, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of heart disease. These are all things you’re already at increased risk for if you’re a diabetic. So why would you want to take a drug that puts you on the fast track for greater health complications?
Just as importantly, these drugs give doctors and patients a false sense of security, and get in the way of solving the real issues. The only way to “solve” diabetes is to eat right, lose weight, and exercise. Here’s my drug-free solution to doing just that.
1) Eat only healthful fats, and steer clear of processed fats. Excess fat, particularly saturated fats from meat and altered trans-fatty acids in processed foods, not only causes weight gain, but decreases your insulin sensitivity. Instead, you want to use judicious amounts of olive oil, as well as omega-3 fats (found in salmon, tuna, flaxseed, and sardines), which help to promote insulin sensitivity.
2) Eat moderate amounts of protein, which stimulate the release of glucagon, a hormone that mobilizes fat stores, into energy. It’s important to get moderate amounts of low-fat protein at every meal.
3) Choose your carbohydrates wisely. Refined carbohydrates and sugars are rapidly broken down into glucose, driving up blood sugar levels and placing an increased burden on normal metabolic processes. On the other hand, vegetables, legumes, most fruits, and unrefined grains cause a slow, sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream—promoting healthy blood sugar control.
4) Exercise at least four times a week. When you exercise, your muscles’ energy require¬ments increase dramatically—they need ready access to glucose, which fuels the hungry muscle cells. Exercise appears to some degree to actu¬ally bypass the normal requirements for insulin. It increases the transport of glucose into the cells, not only while you are exercising but for hours after¬wards. Thus it lowers blood glucose levels and also improves overall insulin sensitivity.
Now it’s your turn: Which of these healthy habits do you practice?