What is Diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are consistently above normal. How Common Is It? Diabetes is becoming more and more common in the United States, as our formerly agrarian/manufacturing economy turns to sitting behind a desk operating a computer without a cure.
The cost of this sedentary lifestyle – reinforced by private vehicles, public transit, and such innovations as Uber, is diabetes. From 1980 through 2014, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has increased fourfold (from 5.5 million to 22.0 million). Many more – perhaps half again as many – remain undiagnosed, waiting for the first symptoms of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, or gangrene in a leg or foot.
Cures and Treatment?
Diet, weight loss, and exercise are all good options. Researchers have concluded that weight loss and exercise alone can prevent or delay the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, even among adults at high risk for developing the disease.
Diet is the first line of defense. The best diet plan involves large amounts of fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, and whole grains (wild or brown rice, multigrain breads, cereals and pastas). Avoid most fats, especially dairy and animal protein fats, and salt.
Weight loss is important. The greater the Body Mass Index, or BMI, the closer a person is to developing diabetes. Overweight is borderline diabetic; obese is likely undiagnosed diabetes. Consult the chart, or calculate your risk by determining if you are more than 25 percent overweight (23 percent for Asian Americans, 26 percent for Pacific Islanders).
Exercise is also essential, because calories that are burnt can’t contribute to fat and, by extension, to diabetes. However, when all else fails, modern medicine steps in to the rescue. According to the CDC, from 1997 to 2011, the number of diabetic adults taking medication increased, most notably for insulin users after 2007. Increases were similar for those taking Sitagliptin-Metformin (a combination featured on the diabetic website daily-diabetic.com), glimiperide (Amaryl), or similar diabetic formulations.
What about Natural Medicine to Cure?
The best medicines are natural, and even some mainstream medical practitioners are beginning to see the benefits of these “herbal” cures.
First, all have proven anti-inflammatory properties, and some – like cinnamon – actually lower blood sugar. As with any medicine, whether natural or formulated, some work better for some diabetics, and others don’t. A little experimentation is necessary. Fortunately, it’s almost impossible to overdose on herbs and spices. Your taste buds will stop you before your body is affected.
Cinnamon lowers cholesterol and speeds up the metabolism, helping your body get rid of the fat that leads to type 2 diabetes. However, do not cook or heat the cinnamon, else it loses its curative properties. And never pair it with sugar. Try stevia, the only sweetener that is not detrimental to diabetics. In fact, stevia is good in its own right as a diabetes fighter.
The no-heat rule applies to all spices and herbs. Add them at the end of the cooking cycle, to retain their phytonutrient values. In baking, for example, sprinkle cinnamon on the bread or bun instead of adding it to the dough.
Other spices like cinnamon, and equally or more effective, include nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Perhaps this is why our ancestors always baked spicy pies to go with heavy holiday meals that packed on the pounds. Even peppermint is a good option (but not for those with acid reflux).
Basil, cumin, garlic, sage, thyme, and turmeric are all spices we should be using anyway, as they effectively replace the almost lethal amounts of table salt and other artificial seasonings (bacon bits, steak sauces, and seasoning salts) that Americans use.
The very best? Turmeric, which in recent studies prevented all subjects who took 1,500 mg daily from developing diabetes.