By Dr. Laurie Teitelman, ND
Diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance, are looming as one of the top threats to our health in the 21st century. It will affect 1 in 3 children born today. It is frightening to consider that currently over 57 million Americans are pre-diabetic while 24 million have full-blown diabetes. This is a tragic consequence of our toxic food environment, our unmitigated exposure to stressors, our sedentary lifestyle, and environmental toxins. Diabetes is the biggest health epidemic triggered by the obesity epidemic, but the common medical efforts to treat it are focused on medications and insulin. It is simply the wrong approach. These problems are completely preventable and often reversible through aggressive lifestyle changes, supplements, and exercise and stress management. If you follow these guidelines instead, you will see a dramatic change very quickly in your health, your weight, and your diabetes.
Eating in a way that balances your blood sugars, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and improves your liver detoxification pathways is the key to preventing and reversing insulin resistance and diabetes. This way of eating is based on a whole foods diet rich in fiber and filled with colorful fruits and vegetables (steer clear of sugars, flours and hydrogenated oils). The ideal diet includes plenty of omega-3 fats and olive oil, beans, nuts, and seeds. Eating this way helps turn on all the right gene messages, promotes a healthy metabolism, and prevents aging and age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Here are some tips for success:
- Time your meals! Eat a well-rounded breakfast, snack wisely every 4 hours or so, and finish eating 2-3 hours before bed.
- Ensure that each meal is balanced and contains adequate protein, fats, and whole-food carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit at every meal or snack.
- Pack snacks for the day and have them handy. One to two handfuls of raw almonds in a zip-lock bag make a useful emergency snack.
- When possible, choose a diverse array of colorful organic produce, high quality animal products and low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and edamame (which slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream and prevent excess insulin release).
- Eliminate all processed foods, those containing white refined flour and sugar, anything with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and limit alcohol to no more than 3 glasses of red wine per week. Substitute regular milk with organic rBST-free milk, almond or nut milk products.
- Exercise is critical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity as it helps reduce abdominal body fat and improves sugar metabolism. Aim for 30 minutes of walking every day; try it after dinner or on a lunch break!
- Nutritional supplements can be very effective for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Speak with your Naturopathic Doctor to create your individualized treatment plan.
- Manage your stress levels, as stress triggers insulin resistance, promotes abdominal weight gain, increases inflammation, and ultimately can cause diabetes. Engage in relaxation practices on a regular basis; your survival depends on it.
Dr. Laurie Teitelman is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor practicing both in Manhattan at neurOasis, a medical Wellness Center in the heart of Tribeca, where she focuses on the holistic treatment of neurological conditions including headaches and migraines, as well as in Long Island at Naturopathic Solutions Inc. alongside Dr. Sharon Stills, ND, where she administers weight loss programs and specialized diet plans that help patients get back on their feet and feeling better than ever.
To contact Dr. Laurie, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach her directly at 212.227.2368 (neurOasis 350 Broadway, Suite 205, New York NY 10013) or 516.935.1334 (Naturopathic Solutions, Inc. 641 Old Country Road, Plainview NY 11803).