11 Simple Ways to Reverse Diabetes Naturally
Chronically high blood sugar is one of the greatest modern health crises facing us today.
Whether you’re suffering from the ups and down of blood sugar spikes or are already living with full-blown type 2 diabetes, you may be wondering if there is a way diabetes can be cured naturally.
Unfortunately, there is a ton of confusing and conflicting information out there. But the truth is, you can reverse diabetes without metformin or other pills. Best of all, with a few simple hacks, you can start to see results immediately and enjoy a dramatic improvement in your symptoms in as little as 30 days.
To help you, we’ve scoured the latest research and compiled the most cutting-edge tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you reverse type 2 diabetes naturally.
Are You Living at Risk?
Type 2 diabetes is reaching near-epidemic levels across the globe. Believe it or not, about 7 million people develop diabetes each year. For the average American, the chance of getting type 2 diabetes is one in nine.1
While type 1 diabetes is acquired through genetics and identified in childhood, type 2 diabetes is influenced by diet and lifestyle. Just living in the United States is considered a risk factor for the disease. This is because the Western lifestyle, which encourages caloric excess, the consumption of highly processed foods, and little physical activity, provides the perfect fuel for this health crisis.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90–95% of diabetes diagnoses, and it’s caused by faulty insulin production, which limits your body’s ability to process glucose. This leaves your blood sugar at chronically high levels.
It may not sound so bad on paper, but type 2 diabetes is incredibly dangerous and harmful to your health.
Type 2 diabetes and its complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure, are predicted to kill 3.2 million people each year.
Someone with type 2 diabetes is two to four times more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, and 80% of people will die from it. Consequently, someone with type 2 diabetes may lose between 12 and 14 years of their life.2
The good news is groundbreaking research has revealed that since diabetes is mainly caused by lifestyle, you can take control of your health and reverse this disease simply by adjusting your diet and habits.
Is Diabetes Making You Sick?
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a doctor has recognized abnormally high glucose levels in your blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Diabetes Association, a fasting blood sugar test with a level of 126 mg/dL or above indicates diabetes.3
However, your blood sugar levels do not need to reach these levels in order for you to experience symptoms.
This is because the mechanism behind type 2 diabetes, the misuse of insulin, wreaks havoc across the body even before blood glucose reaches clinical levels.
You may have heard of the hormone insulin as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. That’s because individuals with the condition do not produce the hormone naturally.
Insulin, secreted naturally in the pancreas by healthy individuals, works together with glucose to communicate messages throughout the body, such as when we physically move or how we think. Simply put, insulin allows the body to use glucose as energy.
When the management of insulin goes haywire, symptoms of diabetes appear.
For sufferers of type 2 diabetes, cells all over the body become resistant to insulin. In turn, too much glucose and insulin build up in the cells. Bodily messages are not getting sent. This causes consistent high blood glucose readings.
Insulin resistance creates a cycle where the body continues to secrete too much insulin, there is no transmission of glucose, and blood sugar levels remain high.4
How to Know if You’re Experiencing Insulin Resistance
Often, insulin resistance and chronic high blood sugar have no symptoms and can go undiagnosed for years. You may not feel any different than usual. However, slight changes may be occurring in your everyday life.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are early symptoms of high blood sugar.
Be on the lookout for the following:
- Excessive thirst
- Increased fatigue
- Unusual or unexplained weight loss
- Feeling extremely hungry, even though you are eating
- Blurry vision
- Frequent urinary tract or skin infections
- Poor wound healing
- Tingling of the hands and feet.5
The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar levels are too high is by visiting your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from insulin resistance, ask your doctor to test and screen you for diabetes.
The Keys to Success: Reversing Diabetes
You may be under the impression that medication is the answer to curing diabetes. That’s not surprising, because our health system pushes medication as pills as a first line of defense.
The truth is, by taking blood sugar-lowering medication, you are treating the symptoms without treating the cause. It would be like trying to keep the bathroom from flooding by filling buckets of water instead of turning off the faucet.
The key to immediately reversing diabetes is addressing insulin resistance throughout the body.
Once this mechanism is healed, glucose can be transmitted to the brain, muscles, and vital organs. Blood glucose levels balance, and insulin can once again be accepted by the cells in order to equalize this delicate bodily system.
You must stop consuming foods that increase insulin production and make changes that will make your body insulin-sensitive once again!
The 11 Simple Steps to Beat Diabetes
1. Avoid All Refined Carbs
The first foods to stop consuming are refined carbs: pasta, rice, bread... even whole grains! Refined carbs are the number one offender of high blood sugar.
In order to regain insulin sensitivity, you must stop giving fuel to the fire.
Some surprising refined carbs to be on the lookout for include:
- Instant oatmeal
- Breakfast cereals
- Corn or potato chips
- White rice
- Mashed potatoes
2. Avoid All Added Sugar
Don’t be mistaken: although we recommend avoiding added sugar in your diet, eating sugar is not the cause of diabetes.
However, all of the food you eat (protein, carbs, and fat) is converted to glucose.
Foods that are digested quickly, such as carbs, can cause spikes in blood sugar, but these spikes alone do not cause diabetes.
But when you eat something sweet, the pancreas releases insulin, even if you’ve consumed no calories at all. This causes a similar effect throughout the body as eating carbs.
Excess insulin builds up in the cells, which leads to insulin resistance.
Just because you need to avoid added sugar doesn’t mean you can never eat anything sweet.
When you have a sweet tooth, consider eating something low on the glycemic index when possible. The glycemic index indicates the strength of effect of a sweetener on blood sugar levels.
Some sweet foods low on the glycemic index include:
- Sweet potato
- Low-carb fruits such as berries, watermelon, and peaches
- Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
3. Avoid All Sweet Drinks
Craving a Coke or a sweet tea? Think again. The sweeteners in beverages are typically the highest on the glycemic index — including high fructose corn syrup. They are also typically high in calories.
Drinking these beverages on a regular basis will lead to extreme blood sugar spikes and increase your body’s insulin resistance.
One study, involving 1,685 middle-aged adults, revealed that people who drank the most sodas had a greater risk of developing elevated blood sugar than other participants.6
Try to stick to water, coffee, and tea.
4. Add Healthy Fats
Eating healthy fats does not cause weight gain. The truth is, fats from whole-food sources keep you full longer and promote a healthy weight.
In general, eating foods with naturally occurring fat sources such as fish, meat, nuts, and cold-pressed oils are the way to go rather than foods with added fats.
Try cooking with cold-pressed oils such as extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, and avocado oil.
Omega 3 fats are a healthy type of fat that can also be found in flax and fish. They have been found to protect against insulin resistance as well as heart disease. Although they contain heart-healthy fats, make sure to get the leanest cuts of meat possible in order to avoid overconsumption.7
5. Concentrate on Food Quality Instead of Calories
Counting calories can be a daunting task. If you focus on eating whole foods, which are unprocessed and unrefined, calorie counting will be a thing of the past. For example, try eating a handful of shelled peanuts instead of a tastier-sounding toffee-roasted canned counterpart.
Focus on balancing your diet with healthy fats, protein, vegetables, and fats.
An added benefit of staying fuller longer and being able to eat a larger volume of foods is steady blood sugar and insulin levels.
6. Promote a Healthy Gut Biome
What you eat is just as important as how well it is digested and processed throughout your body.
Having a diverse array of healthy gut bacteria supports a healthy gut biome — which is another word for the ecosystem of “bugs” in your gut.
When you eat highly processed refined carbs and sugary foods, your biome gets off balance.
Research has shown a connection between the condition of your gut biome and type 2 diabetes.8
Another benefit of eating a whole-food diet rich in diversity is feeding the “good bugs” in your gut. Try eating a variety of vegetables and focus on including a range of colors on your plate.
7. Add Exercise to Your Routine
For those with type 2 diabetes, the natural decline of insulin and blood sugar that comes with exercise is highly beneficial.
Studies show that regular exercise makes a significant impact on the reversal of diabetes, among its numerous other health benefits.
Have you ever tried added more steps to your routine by walking?
One 2012 study revealed that more daily steps were associated with lower A1C levels.9
8. If You Need to Snack, Keep High-Fat Options Handy
Most snack foods are high in refined carbs and sugar. Although you may be craving that bag of chips, keeping healthy high-fat foods nearby as a snack will keep you fuller longer and your blood sugar levels steady.
When you snack on something high in sugar or carbs, your body breaks it down quickly, resulting in a quick rise and crash in blood sugar that will leave you feeling hungrier than before you ate it!
Some healthy, high-fat snack options include:
- Nuts & seeds
9. Have a Balanced Meal
Make sure all your meals are balanced with healthy fats and protein. You’ll stay fuller longer, reap the benefits of a stable blood sugar level, and be less likely to crave a sugary dessert.
Research shows that those implementing dietary changes including a balanced diet that focused on whole foods, natural healthy fats, and protein are at a lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who focus on serving sizes and counting calories.10
10. Practice Intuitive Eating Habits
When was the last time you ate at the table, or even breathed between bites? Intuitive eating is an easy way to get in tune with your body, enjoy your food, avoid overeating, and feel satisfied at the end of your meal.
One study revealed that participants trained in mindful eating (which includes meditation before meals, checking in with hunger cues, and improving awareness of food cravings) as an intervention for type 2 diabetes saw a significant improvement in weight loss and glycemic control.11
11. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting, or alternating cycles of fasting and eating, is a popular new practice among dieters.
One reason to give it a try is the significant reduction in blood sugar and insulin that occurs during fasting.
In addition to reducing the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, research on intermittent fasting has revealed other health benefits such as lower cholesterol levels, a lower heart rate, improved cardiac response, and lower blood pressure.12
You don't have to be a victim of diabetes. You can take control of your health. Following just a few of these simple steps can dramatically improve your metabolic health. And if you follow all of them, well, the sky could be the limit.
To your health, Annalise May
Contributing Editor, Clear Health Now
To your health,