Diabetic? Eat a Plant-Based Diet
Diabetes is reported as one of the biggest challenges in Australia’s health system; around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes.
If you don’t have diabetes, you probably know someone who does. It’s a growing epidemic and can lead to complications such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, loss of feet and limbs, blindness and kidney disease.
Understanding diabetes and its seriousness is so important to help keep it under control and remain as healthy as you can.
Diabetes is a fat issue. High blood sugar is the symptom but fat is the cause. If you are eating a diet that is high in processed foods, refined fats and oils, refined and processed sugars found in packet foods and junk foods or have a diet that is high in wholefood fat and animal products, then your cells will be full of fat making them insulin resistant leading to type 2 diabetes.
Eating a diet rich in wholefoods, mainly plants and seeds will see a stabilisation of blood sugar and a diet devoid of all processed fats, oils and animal products can lead to reversing the symptoms of diabetes.
Here are some of my favourite plants for you to try:
I love guava, it is a sweet and delicious fruit. It has a high fiber intake, which helps lower blood glucose levels in the body. And… what I love about this fruit is its versatility; the leaves can be used to make herbal tea so there’s no wastage and more goodness. Guava is also exceptionally high in zinc, so will help ward of colds and boosts the immune system.
While this fruit is one of my favourite Chinese vegetables it is an acquired taste. It is known to be the best natural medicine for diabetes as it contains more than four compounds that control blood sugar in various ways, acting as a sort of substitute insulin.
You can eat the fruit, drink tea, or use in stir-fries or other Chinese-based veggie dishes. It has a watery texture like a cucumber and a crunch like a pepper and is sharp on the tongue.
Blueberries are full of juicy goodness and a good source of fibre and vitamin C; and they reduce blood sugar levels. Their health benefits are due to the “phytochemicals – anthocyanin” that make them blue. In fact, all dark-coloured plants tend to have lots of these “phytochemicals”, known to offer healing powers.
You can eat them by the handful; add to your breakfast, salads, sauces and smoothies. You can even freeze them for a later date. If you only make one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.
And a little unknown fact; the white outside covering on the blueberry is a natural probiotic, so don’t wash it off. Buy organic if possible.
Luckily, word is starting to spread about the benefits of eating plants to combat this chronic disease, but why are plant-based foods a better choice for your body?
- The fat in animal protein interferes with the job of insulin, blocking the lock-and-key system so sugar can’t get into your cells.
- Studies have also shown the level of sodium and nitrites found in meats especially processed meats, to be especially harmful.
- Research shows that environmental pollutants are playing a role in the diabetes epidemic, and the highest levels are found within the fat of animal products. So, people ingesting animal products have a far greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people eating a diet of wholefoods and plants.
So, if you’re looking to improve your blood sugar, prevent blood sugar problems, try eating some plant protein, such as legumes, beans, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth.
Bottom line: Consume more plants! Eat them. Drink them. Enjoy them. G