What if you could reverse diabetes and cut your risk for complications?

Sounds like a tall order, right? An estimated 34 million people in the United States have diabetes. Another 88 million people have pre-diabetes, and many of them don’t even know it.

But left unchecked, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, poor circulation amputations, or worse. What’s the solution?

Consider this typical doctor-patient conversation:

Doctor: Your blood sugar levels are too high.

Patient: What should I do? Is there a pill or medication you can give me?

Doctor: If we don’t get this under control, the potential for complications related to diabetes will keep going up. I’m going to prescribe some diabetes medication.

Modern medicine has saved millions of lives. But medication alone isn’t the answer to treat, prevent, or even reverse diabetes, according to a recent study.1

In the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers were able to pinpoint the cause for high blood sugar levels, and reverse diabetes WITHOUT medication.

The cause: Researchers found that diabetes is triggered by excess fat in the liver. When this occurs, fat deposits spill over into the pancreas. And it’s the excess fat that makes it increasingly difficult for the pancreas to produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels.

The solution: In the study, people living with diabetes who lost an average of 30 pounds and kept it off no longer had markers for diabetes or required medication to help control blood sugar levels.

Ready to clean up your diet and reverse diabetes?

There’s two lifestyle changes that can help prevent or reverse diabetes, according to the study.

1. Eat more plant-based foods and less refined or processed foods. That means most of your food should come from:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • If you eat meat, fish and poultry are healthier options than red meat.
  • The drink of choice to reverse or prevent diabetes: water.

Take a closer look at this meal plan to reverse or prevent diabetes, and you’ll see pizza, burgers, fries, desserts, and sugary drinks aren’t part of the plan.

And it makes sense. These are calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates, but low in nutritional value that can lead to weight gain and rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

2. Be more active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose (more than 10 pounds), 60 minutes of exercise a day is better. Go for a walk. Take a fitness class. Dust off your exercise bike or treadmill. If your gym is open, go.

Like it or not, chances are pretty good you’re not getting enough exercise. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 77 percent of adults don’t get enough exercise to prevent weight gain and strengthen the heart, lungs, bones, and muscles.

Reverse diabetes with healthy lifestyle choices

Poor food choices and lack of exercise over time appear to be the two primary lifestyle habits linked to diabetes. But you can change that by improving your diet, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise.

In the not-too-distant future, the prescription to treat diabetes may not be medication, but lifestyle changes to support weight management and a healthy diet.

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