A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

Christopher Reeve

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how high blood sugar levels can affect your body over time. High sugars contribute to pain and tingling in your body (neuropathy) and other circulation issues. It often affects the capillaries in the back of your eyes which when ruptured will lead to failing vision and blindness. Other complications can include heart disease, stroke, failing kidneys, skin irritations and the inability to heal can result in amputation.

I know it can seem bleak and that there is no hope.  There are many things that you can do to keep your blood sugars at a normal level and minimize the amount of acid in your blood.

Did you know that the average North American consumes 19-22 tsp (82 grams) of sugar per day?  That translates to 66lbs of added sugar each year! Consuming sugars in things like soft drinks, energy drinks, potato chips, double/double coffee, loaded baked potatoes or mashed potatoes are some examples. Women should have no more than 6tsp of added sugar per day, and no more than 9tsp for men. It is extremely important for people with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes to read labels to ensure that they are aware of their food choices and how it will affect them.

By taking in all that added sugar, you are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease because not only does it produce acid it creates increased blood pressure, and then that means more fat goes into the bloodstream.

What Can You Do To Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

First, you need to understand that different types of sugars raise your blood sugar levels at different rates. That is called the glycemic index(GI). This index assigns a value from 0-100+ to all foods based on how slowly or quickly those foods cause increases in blood sugar levels. Two different foods can have the same amount of sugar in them, yet one will have little effect on your levels, while others will cause it to skyrocket.

The goal is to have a slow and steady release of glucose, and that can be achieved with low glycemic foods. In general the more cooked or processed a food is the higher the GI, and the more fibre and fat in a food, the lower the GI.

One way to take responsibility for the quality of your health is learning exactly how your body reacts to different foods. What I have found most helpful is recording my blood sugar levels when I wake up, before and 2 hrs after eating all foods, and before bed. Journaling for 2 weeks (free journal pages) will give you the base you need so that you know which foods are having a negative impact on your organs and tissues and which ones are friendly and promote a healthy internal environment.

Complications resulting from high blood sugar levels can be prevented, repaired and in some cases reversed with a new proactive approach. Your first defence is knowing what foods cause damage and what foods heal. This is how we take our first steps towards winning with diabetes. Is that what you want?

In summary: Healing foods have a low glycemic index helping to reduce blood sugar levels. Eg. Most raw fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes as well as protein (meats, fish, eggs..) Snacks can include, half an apple with nut butter, carrots and cucumber with hummus, homemade trail mix, hard boiled eggs with tomato, and more. Understanding the above will help you manager type 2 diabetes like a pro!