Reverse your diabetes: Simple lifestyle shifts to radically change the way you manage your sugar levels

With a little discipline and patience, you can reduce diabetes medication and even reverse it completely

author_img Deepika Rathod Published :  07th September 2022 10:13 PM   |   Published :   |  07th September 2022 10:13 PM

Pic courtesy: Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

High blood sugar, borderline high sugar, pre-diabetes, diabetes type 2, hyperglycemia are all different names for the same issue — diabetes. And we all know that this is a lifestyle disease generally caused by poor eating habits and bad lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that can be managed but type 2 is a complete lifestyle-based disease, so making positive and healthy changes in your lifestyle certainly helps in getting diabetes medication down or reversing it completely. We have seen many clients following a healthy protocol, restriction and habits which has helped them to reduce the medication dosage and eventually stop it; but this does require time, discipline, commitment and patience. So, if you are suffering from type 2 diabetes and need to manage your sugar levels, let’s try and follow these few basic lifestyle changes and start your journey towards reversing your diabetes:

Balanced eating: Try and manage your meals in a way wherein we completely avoid processed carbs (sugar, maida, processed sweets etc), go a little low on complex carb (whole grains), add more protein (pulses, organic free range eggs or non-veg) and healthy fats (used for cooking food, nuts and seeds etc) to balance it out. Protein adds satiety value to a meal and also helps in releasing the sugar slowly, while fats are required for production of hormones in our body like insulin, thyroxine etc. This too, helps in balancing the sugar levels as well as reducing inflammation. And add your carbs in the form of whole grains to get a slow release of sugar. Diabetics don’t really have to stop rice (unless eating huge quantity), they just have to learn the art of balancing. We can look at mixing it with lentils or pulses or non-veg in the form of khichdi, rajma chawal, fish curry and rice, or dal chawal etc with more veggies added to make sure the fibre helps in slow release of sugar. 

Fruits: Do not stop eating your fruits thinking that it might affect sugar levels. Fruits are alkaline in nature, provide digestive enzymes, antioxidants, several vitamins and minerals, so, it’s fine to have one serving a day. Try to have four to five soaked walnut halves or almonds or 1 tbsp soaked seeds before having your fruits because the nuts and seeds have a good source of fats, fibre and protein which will synergise with the simple sugar and the carbs from fruits and not let your blood sugars spike. Moderation is very important because when you have more fruits, you may suffer from fructose malabsorption leading to gut issues and sugar problems.

Portion control: This is a very important aspect that many people don’t look into. If you eat more than what the body needs, you will tire your body’s system, especially the pancreas by producing more insulin, causing insulin sensitivity problems; which can ultimately lead to hyperglycemia. Many times, I hear from my clients that portion control may not be in our hands, but that’s where chewing comes in. Chew your food slowly and take smaller bites, you will observe that your body automatically  eats less and the blood sugar levels over time do not rise as much. When we send undigested food which is not chewed well into our system, we need to produce more enzymes, acids, insulin for digesting the same. So eat less, slow down and chew well. This with will ensure better control over your sugar levels.


Pic courtesy: Christina Moroz on Unsplash


Movement: A sedentary lifestyle can predispose you to developing diabetes way quicker as compared to an active individual. With activity we improve blood circulation and provide nutrition as well as oxygen to the trillions of cells in our body which helps in managing one’s sugar levels better. That doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out in the gym. One can start with a simple walk, or any cardio exercise. Make sure that you don’t sit in one place for more than an hour. Add a post meal walk 30 minutes after all your three major meals because this has shown a great impact on sugar levels. 

Sleep: Sleep is vital for disease management, healing and recovery. One may eat the healthiest of foods and be fairly active but if the person is compromising on sleep then the body’s function goes for a toss, hormonal imbalance comes into the picture, recovery and repair doesn’t happen and that’s where the blood sugar levels can go haywire. Look at improving the quality of sleep over quantity and you should be able to tackle your sugar levels well.

The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems and a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.