Nearly every year Big Pharma rolls out another diabetes drug, like a car manufacturer introducing the latest model. Often the new model isn’t a bit more effective than the older, safer ones, and even more often the new model hasn’t been safety tested. This can mean serious health problems for the human guinea pigs who get a prescription.
We are not keen on being a test-crash dummy, now is the time to tell Big Pharma where to stick its pills.
Here are 6 tools for controlling blood sugar naturally:
1. Supplement for diet with this kitchen staple
The spice cabinet holds one of the most potent and well-researched natural diabetes treatments out there. Sweet and spicy, it’s been a staple of cooking for thousands of years. Now, science says it can lower blood glucose too.
I’m talking about cinnamon. Plain, powdered cinnamon. The stuff you sprinkle on cinnamon toast and apple pie. A now-famous study published in the journal Diabetes Care back in 2003 found that taking as little as one gram of cinnamon per day lowered fasting sugar levels by 18-29%. This is comparable to the older types of diabetic drugs.
2. Get some sun—and skip the sunscreen
The sunscreen crowd has done a good job of brainwashing us. From the hype, you'd think sun exposure is an instant death sentence. We’re not vampires, however, and our bodies actually need some daily sun to make vitamin D. And although mainstream science poo-poohed the idea for years, it’s finally admitting that vitamin D deficiency is rampant in the U.S., and that it contributes to many chronic illnesses.
Vitamin D deficiency has been consistently linked to diabetes—diabetics are almost invariably low in vitamin D, and correcting the deficiency significantly lowers blood sugar. The sad part? We’ve known about this since the 60s. Several studies from that decade described the link, and some even found that kids who took vitamin D supplements were less likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
That’s pretty significant.
So how do you get more vitamin D? Go outdoors. Get some sun. And leave the sunscreen indoors. Just 10-30 minutes of sun exposure (depending on the season) is enough to keep your vitamin D levels healthy. If you’re already deficient, daily supplements can get you back up to normal.
3. Have a steak
A surprising study presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that a high protein diet lowered blood sugar. The study also compared vegetarian protein with meat products—with interesting results. While both groups had lower glucose levels, the meat-eaters also became more sensitive to insulin.
Take that, PETA.
So if you needed another reason to ignore USDA guidelines (the USDA told us to base our diets on carbs, after all, and to avoid fat) here it is. Not only is high-protein good for you, meat beats tofu.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep deprivation hurts more than your concentration. It makes you gain weight. It floods your body with stress hormones. It makes you hungry. And it also makes your body much less sensitive to insulin.
If you’re not already diabetic, insulin resistance is the first step down that road. And if you are, sleep deprivation can make your blood sugar go haywire. And it’s a vicious circle. Unstable blood sugar means you may not sleep as well. Getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night can make a real difference, so turn off your TV, hang some blackout drapes, and get some shut-eye.
5. Have a cup of tea
Tea drinkers, rejoice. Both black and green tea can help lower your blood sugar. In fact, a Japanese study found that people who drank 6 or more cups of green tea each day were an incredible 33% less likely to develop diabetes than people who drank a cup per week. And if you’re not a fan of the drink, you can still reap the benefits. Green tea supplements are available at nearly any health food store.
If you prefer Earl Grey to the grassy taste of green tea, don't despair. Black tea also lowers blood glucose. In fact, it contains a chemical that actually works the same way as diabetes drugs Precose and Glyset.
6. Load up on these little-known nutrients
You may not have heard of chromium or alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), but if you’re diabetic they should be in your vitamin chest. Chromium is a trace mineral. ALA is an antioxidant. And both can have a real effect on your blood sugar. While both of these substances improve insulin sensitivity, ALA also makes your body more efficient at processing carbs, and has the added benefit of treating diabetes-related nerve pain.
Taken together, these 7 tips are a recipe for health:
Get a good night’s sleep. Eat real food—food that’s full of nutrients and instead of processed crap. Have a steak and a salad. Or a pair of eggs and bacon. Get outdoors and get some sun (and a little exercise while you’re at it.) Then relax and enjoy a nice cup of tea and do it all over again. Now, doesn’t that sound better than a bowl full of pills for breakfast?
*There's no guarantee of specific results. Results can vary.