Tackling diabetes in a holistic and sustainable fashion is the centerpiece of a viable approach to fighting diabetes. If you want to succeed at defeating diabetes in a way that is sustainable for long-term health, dealing with diabetes in a holistic and sustainable manner is imperative. So, let’s look at what a holistic approach really means.
The two major aspects of a holistic approach are:
- The whole person approach
- Adopting a broad range of healthy habits
1. Whole Person Approach
How is the way you’re handling diabetes affecting the rest of your health? Fighting diabetes sustainably requires taking a thorough look at how the rest of your health – especially long-term health – is affected by what you are doing to beat diabetes. This kind of outlook is extremely important especially considering that many ‘anti-diabetes’ strategies are very narrow and just look at controlling blood sugar without taking into account how the rest of a person’s health is affected in the short term as well as long term. A good plan is capable of controlling blood sugar as well as sustaining long-term health. On the other hand, an unhealthy strategy is one that proves effective for controlling blood sugar while also endangering your health in other ways.
In the same way weight loss can be achieved through unhealthy means, it is very possible to control blood sugar by following diets and other habits that are harmful to health. Therefore, achieving normal blood sugar doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthier or managing your diabetes well – yes, there’s such a thing as becoming a very unhealthy person with normal blood sugar. When you lack a whole person perspective, you create a high likelihood of getting sick from the same strategy you’re finding effective for improving blood sugar. Any tool that controls blood sugar while also impairing health is not a dependable solution.
If, for instance, the same diet meant to control blood sugar also increases the risk for colon cancer, how then are you healthier? After all, the purpose of treating diabetes is to heal and restore health, not to create additional health problems. You really don’t want to find yourself always struggling with ill health of some sort brought about by the way you’re dealing with diabetes when that same plan should’ve made you healthier. As such, it’s really wise to seek to control blood sugar through a method that truly heals, not one that simply changes the name of your disease.
The low-carb approach to diabetes is unsustainable
Low-carbohydrate diets lack fundamentally with regards to the whole person approach. They are too narrowly focused and short-sighted as they fail to take into consideration how the rest of a person’s health – especially long-term health – is affected by what’s being done to control blood sugar. While low-carbohydrate diets might keep blood sugar ‘normal’ they also tend to be injurious to long-term health since they substantially raise the risk for colon cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, and so many more chronic conditions. Different studies have found that high meat diets are linked to premature death because meat is a major contributor to conditions known to be leading causes of early death. These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
It’s simply unwise to want to control blood sugar using a diet that’s unable to support long-term health. Low-carbohydrate don’t heal, they simply make someone a very unhealthy person with normal blood sugar. You might actually end up sicker, but with normal blood sugar! The goal is to heal, rather than merely controlling blood sugar.
2. Broad Range of Healthy Habits
The second aspect of a holistic approach involves making broad lifestyle changes by adopting a wide range of healthy habits like proper diet, regular exercise, proper sleep, and stress management. You can’t defeat diabetes sustainably by choosing to follow just one healthy habit and ignoring the equally important role of other healthy habits. So, while a healthy diet rich in whole plant foods undoubtedly plays a fundamental role in fighting diabetes, regular exercise, proper sleep, and stress management are valuable too. What makes a lifestyle healthy is the collection of all these habits.
Follow a varied diet to achieve a broad approach
With regards to diet, one common mistake people make is sticking to just a few healthy foods, excluding other equally healthy foods. A diet low on variety is really nutritionally unsound and by adding a wide assortment of whole plant foods, you can tremendously improve the overall quality of your diet and improve your body’s ability to counter diabetes. One reason variety is important for optimal nutrition is that nutrients work in a synergistic fashion and every food contains nutrients that need to team up with nutrients from other foods in order to function optimally. Here is a great way to achieve variety. Eat whole plant foods of different colors as each color group has its own unique blend of nutrients that brings variety to your diet and contributes to synergies between nutrients.
Vary your exercises
Equally, following a well-rounded exercise routine that contains cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises is a sound strategy for fighting diabetes. Examples of cardio exercise include running, jogging, rope jumping, and burpees. Weight lifting is a strength exercise because it improves body strength while yoga and Pilates are good for improving flexibility and strength.
Every type of exercise has its own unique set of effects on health and by engaging in different forms of exercise, you’re able to maximize the scale of health benefits of exercise to the body.
Here are five simple but effective steps you can take today to get healthy and defeat diabetes through lifestyle.
- Enhance your diet’s variety by adding multiple whole plant foods you’ve never eaten before or haven’t had in a long time.
- Eat whole plant foods of different colors.
- Cut back on meat and add more legumes to your diet. Peanuts, beans, and lentils are collectively referred to as legumes.
- Drink plenty of water between meals
- Revitalize your fitness by discovering new exercise
A holistic approach sets a strong foundation for defeating diabetes in a way that is helpful, and not harmful, to health. The first component of a holistic strategy is the whole-person approach while the second aspect involves following a wide range of healthy habits.
The whole-person approach places utmost importance on how the rest of your health is affected by your strategy for fighting diabetes. A dependable plan controls blood sugar through a healing process whereas an unsound method uses unhealthy means to control blood sugar, increasing your risk for even more health problems. How are you healthier if the same method you’re using to manage diabetes is also adding serious health risks? Such an approach merely changes the name of your disease instead of healing you.
A broad approach is characterized by following a wide range of healthy habits. Eating a highly diversified diet is a key piece for maintaining a broad approach. One major benefit of a varied diet is its ability to facilitate synergistic activities between nutrients from different foods thereby, tremendously increasing the efficacy of these nutrients and subsequently boosting the body’s ability to fight diabetes.
It’s common for people who truly believe they’re eating healthily to make the mistake of sticking to just a few healthy foods while leaving out other equally important healthy foods. The lack of variety in a diet is nutritionally unsound. One way to maintain a highly diversified diet is to eat whole plant foods of different colors.
The overall message is this. Seek to tackle diabetes in a way that heals, not through means that add sickness.
Are you ready to take your health to the next level? I will show you how to control blood sugar in a way that’s sustainable for health…meal plans and a shopping list included. Book a 15 min free call with me to find out more about how I can help you improve your health.
Thanks for reading, I wish you the best of health as you begin your journey with Diabetes Buster. See you next time.
About The Author
Asunta Simoloka is a Well Me Right Wellness Expert and a Health and Wellness Coach and Educator. She created Diabetes Buster to guide people through a lifestyle that prevents and manages diabetes in a healthy and sustainable fashion.
Guiding principles for Asunta’s approach to diabetes
Asunta’s approach to diabetes is founded on three guiding principles which are:
A holistic approach
Diabetes ought to be handled holistically and sustainably by following a wide range of healthy habits and addressing the disease in a way that is helpful and not harmful to the rest of a person’s health.
Targeting root causes
The goal is to address insulin resistance, chronic systemic inflammation, and poor gut health, the underlying causes of diabetes and other chronic conditions, as opposed to merely controlling blood glucose which is simply a symptom
Blue – Zone inspired
Advice about food choices is guided by the eating habits of the world’s healthiest people, also known as Blue-Zone populations.
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