In a recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine, a healthy lifestyle was compared to the standard western medical care for Type 2 Diabetes. (1) The results were astonishing!
The study showed that a healthy lifestyle was able to help bring blood sugar levels back into the non-diabetic range, and half of the lifestyle group did not need blood sugar-lowering medications to maintain or improve their blood sugar control.
The Denmark study was done on 100 adults whose average age was 55, each with Type 2 Diabetes and no apparent complications from the condition. They were divided into two groups.
Group 1: The standard medical group received blood sugar-lowering medications (metformin and GLP-1 analogues) and the standard western medical dietary recommendations.
Group 2: The lifestyle group were asked to exercise five to six times a week for 30-60 minutes, including both resistance and endurance training. Dietary suggestions were simple, but profound. They were guided to eat foods rich in fiber, low in saturated fats, lots of fruit and no processed food.
The two groups were evaluated 1 year later.
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The lifestyle modification group lost 13 pounds on average, and the standard medical care group lost 4 pounds on average.
LDL cholesterol (generally considered harmful) and triglycerides lowered significantly more in the lifestyle group compared to the standard medical care group. HDL cholesterol (generally considered good) rose more in the lifestyle group compared to the standard medical care group. (1)
Average A1C dropped from 6.65 to 6.34 percent in the lifestyle group, and from 6.74 percent to 6.66 percent in the standard medical care group. (1) A1C is a blood test that estimates average blood sugar levels over 2-3 months. According to the American Diabetes Association, an A1C of 6.5 percent or higher indicates diabetes. (2)
Note: The group of 100 study volunteers were all on Type 2 Diabetes lowering medications before the study, which is why the average A1C was above 6.5 at the start of the study.
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Once again, we are seeing prestigious science pointing to a change in lifestyle to support optimal health and longevity.
That said, researchers were reluctant to suggest only lifestyle changes for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. They suggest a combination of medication and lifestyle management.
Bottom line, more awareness should be present regarding the fact that changes in lifestyle can elicit dramatic changes in managing the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.
In this study, all of the volunteers started out on a drug, like metformin, and HALF of the group were able to get off of it!
In that regard, this is a great blend of modern medicine and healthy lifestyle ideals. For those who are willing to make permanent lifestyle changes, lifelong medications may not have to be their future.
The plan is very similar to what I suggest in many of my articles: Exercise, organic fruits and veggies, and NO processed foods. These were the simple-yet-profound strategies to reverse the woes of Type 2 Diabetes.
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