Diabetes is a chronic disease marked by raised glucose levels in the blood. Blood sugar helps energize the body. The levels are maintained by a hormone called insulin secreted by the pancreas. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can lead to severe health complications. It is therefore very important to detect and treat diabetes in the early stages. A healthy diet is necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Levels of blood sugar between 100mg and 126mg during fasting is known as early, mild or borderline diabetes, per Mayo Clinic.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Even if the diabetes is mild, it is very important to treat it. In mild diabetes, medication may not be necessary, it can be controlled with diet and exercise. These lifestyle changes can avert a more severe case of diabetes. The term pre-diabetic is also used to describe this type of diabetes. This term implies the possibility that the patient may progress to diabetes someday. However, that day may never come if the condition is managed well.
A healthy diet includes eating vegetables, beans, whole grains, fruits, low- or non-fat dairy, lean meats, poultry and fish. It is important to include each food group to make sure the meal is well-balanced and rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and protein. Also watching portion sizes is essential. A healthy lifestyle also encompasses introducing exercise in your routine. Talk with a specialist to come up with a good exercise plan and stick to it.
Foods to Avoid
In order to maintain a healthy diet, it is important to know what type of food to avoid. You should avoid high sugar foods such as sweets, chocolates, ice creams including sugar-free types, cakes, biscuits and pies; processed foods such as white sugar, white flour, and junk food, rye, corn, polished rice, bread and pasta and chips; starchy vegetables such as potatoes; certain fruits, such as bananas, mango, grapes, strawberry, custard apple and dates; high-fat dairy products such as cheese and cottage cheese and fruit juices as they are high in carbohydrates and sugar, and less in dietary fiber.
Foods to Eat
The best foods to manage mild diabetes are foods rich in soluble fiber found in oats, oat bran, oatmeal, peas, barley, fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol and it is recommended to have five portions a day. Proteins, such as beans, lentils, millet, soybeans, Brazil nuts, peanuts and pine nuts are good. Free-range chicken eggs (but not duck and goose eggs), vegetable oils including olive and sunflower oil and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, and nuts, seeds and unsaturated margarine are all excellent choices for a mild diabetic diet. Also add fruits, raw vegetables (as cooked food raises the level of blood sugar fast and must be avoided) and lean meats. Low fat dairy such as milk may be consumed.
In many regions, diabetes is treated or controlled using herbal remedies, according to Holistic Online.com. Fenugreek seeds soaked in water is good for diabetes. Bitter melon or balsam pear widely grown in Asia, Africa and South America is a well known remedy for diabetes. Onion and garlic significantly reduce blood sugar levels. Blueberry leaves used as a decoction is used as a treatment of diabetes. Asian ginseng is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetes. Ginkgo biloba extract is very good for treating mild diabetes. Cinnamon helps enhance the efficiency of insulin.
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