The most important treatment for type 2 diabetes is a proper diet. There are no drugs, supplements or herbs that will compensate for a poor diet. While the need for supplements in a diabetic is no different to the needs of others, dietary guidelines show many adults do not get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals. These ideas might help you to get the vitamins you need from food as well:
- eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. The brighter, darker colored ones are more nutrient dense, they provide more vitamins and minerals
- eat more raw and unprocessed fruit and vegetables
- chose starchy foods, go for whole-wheat or whole-grains such as cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and barley
- eat legumes, (peas, beans and lentils), often. Use them in soups or bean salads or include them in tossed salads
- eat or drink several calcium servings each day, eg. low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese
Several of the supplements available do claim to solve a variety of diabetes-related health issues and people with diabetes do take them. Many claim to help lower your Blood sugar control levels. Some health care providers say to avoid them, others say they may have a role in managing your sugar levels. The trouble is many of these therapies have not been tested as much as traditional medications.
1. Chromium is said to lower blood sugar levels. Several studies are in progress to see whether it is effective for people with high blood sugars.
2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) benefits include improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugars. Some studies have shown ALA lessens the pain of nerve disease also.
3. Vanadium may act like insulin and help make insulin receptors better able to use glucose.
4. Magnesium is a mineral involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates and improved insulin action. Low levels of magnesium has been associated with higher blood sugar levels.
Always take care when taking supplements as large doses are also potentially toxic. Some supplements may also interact with other supplements or prescribed medications. Don’t hesitate to tell your health care provider about the supplements you are taking so he can guide you with how they will affect your type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels.
If you think you have nutritional gaps in your diet, why not start with a multivitamin and mineral supplement. As well as eating a variety of healthy foods, this really covers any gaps you may have in nutrition.