Older people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from long-term deterioration in their memory and thinking skills than those who have normal blood sugar levels, according to a new study. The research suggests that efforts to delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes could be a way to prevent cognitive decline.
“Type 2 diabetes often develops later in life and is often associated with being overweight” explains nutritionist Dr. Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville) author of Natural Solutions to Dementia and Alzheimer’s. “In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does produce insulin but the body stops responding to it and the person becomes insulin resistant. So the pancreas will try to produce more insulin to overcome this resistance.” Prevent memory loss by preventing high blood sugar levels – but how?
1. Take control – naturally
If you find yourself becoming easily fatigued, it can be worth trying a natural supplement. “CuraLin [RRP £59,curalife] is a specially formulated dietary supplement containing ten herbs and plant extracts traditionally used to support insulin sensitivity and help keep blood glucose under control. A word of caution, however: if you’re being treated for type 2 diabetes, consult your doctor before changing your diet or exercise or starting a supplement.” explains nutritionist and fitness trainer Cassandra Barns. CuraLin can also help with the regulation and consumption of sugary foods as its natural ingredients can reduce cravings for sugars and other processed carbohydrates, as well as helping to restrict their absorption in the blood stream. 2. Prevent sugar binges with protein “Eating protein at each meal will help to balance blood sugars and feel full for longer. Try eating eggs for breakfast or add some protein powder to yoghurt,” says Pippa Campbell, Nutrition & Weight Loss Coach
3. Keep a food diary
“Struggling to keep track of your eating habits? Try logging what you eat. This can help you monitor what food groups you may be over indulging in and can make it easier to control your portion size. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten,” says Cassandra.
4. Read before you buy
“You need to become a label reader to understand what is in the food you eat. Truly, don’t fall for the marketing hype on the front of the packet. The most important part of the food label that I check is the ingredient list. This tells me exactly what is in the food. Anything ending in 'ose' (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) – is a form of sugar, as are honey, agave, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup, not forgetting glucose-fructose syrup (high fructose corn syrup). The higher up the ingredients list, the more sugar the product contains,” explains Marilyn.
5. Get personal
It’s crucial to know the foods that can cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can vary from person to person. That’s where Metabolic Balance can assist. “The aim of the Metabolic Balance Programme is to reduce insulin and inflammation. This is why the programme is perfect people with Type 2 Diabetes. “Not only is Metabolic Balance a programme with low GI foods it is also completely personalised. Through blood analysis of the persons biochemistry and medical history a plan can be created with all the foods that will not cause insulin spikes. This is unique to each person with diabetes. For example one client may have carrot on their food list whilst another won’t. So a seemingly healthy food may increase insulin and inflammation in one person but not another.
“I usually get my Type 2 Diabetic clients to also cut out all fruit for the first two weeks. Then we re-introduce the fruit on their plan slowly. I ask the clients to record their blood glucose levels after each meal. Within a week my clients results are incredible with reduced levels. Many eventually come off medication but I like to work with their Doctor on this,” explains Pippa.
6. Swap sugar for natural alternatives
“If you are making cakes, think of ways other than sugar to add sweetness. For example, you could add carrots, raisins, dates, figs or bananas as natural sweeteners. Many people now make wonderful cakes from naturally sweet vegetables such as beetroot and carrot. “For apple pies or crumbles use eating apples instead of cooking apples so you do not need to add sugar – you could always add raisins or sultanas to make a pie or crumble that little bit sweeter. Unsweetened date slice is wonderful because dates are naturally sweet. Other natural alternatives include maple syrup, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup and stevia,” explains Marilyn.
7. Don’t underestimate exercise
“Staying active is vital when managing Type 2 diabetes. Exercise helps the body respond to insulin, keep blood sugar levels down and manage your weight. You can get the greatest benefits by including both aerobic exercise such as cycling, dancing or jogging and strength training with weights or bodyweight exercises,” says Cassandra.