How to Control Diabetes?

Hiral Patel

May 12, 2023

Diabetes is a chronic condition resulting from your body’s inability to utilise or produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps break down glucose to release energy. In this condition, when cells do not have enough insulin, excess sugar remains in the body.

As per research, if left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to severe heart conditions, kidney problems and, in some cases, vision loss.

But fret not, we’re here to help you! This article talks about the different types of diabetes and ways to control it with easy dietary and lifestyle modifications. 

Types of Diabetes

1. Type 1 Diabetes

As per research, this is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself.  The immune system misidentifies the body’s healthy cells as foreign invaders and attacks to destroy the pancreatic beta cells thereby hindering the normal functioning of the body. 

This form of diabetes is generally diagnosed in children and young adults.

Read more: Type 1 Diabetes – A Comprehensive Guide

2. Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the body does produce an adequate amount of insulin but is unable to use it properly which leads to sugar accumulation in the bloodstream. 

Our pancreas secretes the hormone insulin which signals the body to absorb the glucose present in the bloodstream for energy production. This glucose moves to the cells for the required energy release. However, in the case of type 2 diabetes, these cells fail to respond to insulin signals, leading to excess glucose in the bloodstream. With time, even insulin production levels go down. 

Read more: Type 2 Diabetes – Symptoms, Causes & Diet Plans

3. Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is also called pregnancy diabetes. The body becomes more resistant to insulin during pregnancy because it has to provide the developing baby with extra glucose. However, in a few women, the process goes completely haywire. Their bodies either stop responding to the insulin as they should or do not produce the necessary amount of insulin. 

As daunting as it appears, this type of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. But unfortunately, it increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes later. It also results in obesity among children and puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. 

Read more: Gestational Diabetes Diet – Foods to Eat and Avoid

Ways to Control and Manage Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Since the body cannot produce insulin, it is crucial to check your insulin levels at all given moments. There are multiple ways to do this:

1. Regular Testing

Testing regularly helps you by keeping a check on your insulin levels and gaining insight into insulin highs and lows.

2. Weigh out food proportions

Consuming the same foods may show different results on different days. Therefore, you must weigh your food proportions, especially for carbohydrates like rice and potato.

2. Stick to a routine

Checking your insulin levels regularly and working on how to contain body insulin levels daily in a routine fashion helps keep it under control considerably.

Gestational Diabetes

The most important way to regulate gestational diabetes is to record all foods consumed during the day strictly. It helps to monitor sugar levels and maintain a balance.

Incorporating healthy habits into the lifestyle is also essential for controlling gestational diabetes. For example, it can be difficult to do exercises during pregnancy, but walking is better. 

The most crucial part is to consult your doctor constantly. Ask before switching up the diet, and share your meal records with your doctor. Verify any new resources you may come across while researching with your doctor.

Type-2 Diabetes

There are multiple ways in which you can bring type 2 diabetes under control. The primary aim is to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

The American Heart Association makes the following recommendations.

  • Managing healthy weight 
  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing stress

10 Foods that Help Manage Diabetes

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon helps lower insulin resistance among diabetes patients and reduces cholesterol levels. There are multiple ways to consume cinnamon. One can consume cinnamon as a powder or take it as a supplement.

The nutritionist at HealthifyMe recommends that the best cinnamon is Ceylon Cinnamon and one can sprinkle it on soups or beverages. 

2. Green Vegetables

A study has shown leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, parsley, and others, be they frozen, fresh, or steamed, contain hormones that reduce appetite and make the person feel more full given their fibre content. These vegetables heighten insulin sensitivity and, in relation, help in maintaining the blood glucose level.

This list of vegetables also extends to cucumbers, celery, green beans, and cauliflower. In addition, research has also found that

3. Pulses

Lentils, peas, and beans have low calories and are rich in fibre and protein. Consuming foods like this lowers the rate at which glucose will be absorbed in the blood, reducing the glycemic load.

4. Oatmeal

According to the Harvard study, oatmeal is exceptionally high in fibre and helps control blood glucose levels. Oatmeal also contains Vitamin B, vitamin E and antioxidants. 

In 2018, a study demonstrated that oatmeal reduces the need for insulin in the body. The study, which included people with type 2 diabetes, had one group consume an oatmeal-rich diet and the other without oatmeal. The people who had an oatmeal-rich diet required less insulin in contrast to those that did not.

5. Red Apples

A medical study found that people who ate red apples had a 20% less chance of fatality from diabetes-related heart conditions and complications. The chemical responsible for this is quercetin.

Other foods rich in this chemical are grapes, tomatoes and onions.

6. Vitamin C-rich food

Vitamin C-rich food such as lemons, oranges, kiwis and tomatoes are full of antioxidants.

In addition, studies show that diabetic people tend to have lower amounts of Vitamin C in their blood. Therefore, adding Vitamin C-rich foods to the diet is an excellent choice and aids in better support for treating type 2 diabetes.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best ingredients for reducing blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. It claims that apple cider vinegar is the most promising food item. Apple cider vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect that helps maintain and control blood sugar levels.

8. Turmeric

Research suggests that turmeric can help control type 2 diabetes. The element curcumin is present in turmeric boosts liver function and prevents developing diabetes.

The most common way of consuming turmeric is as a spice in food and golden milk, essentially warm milk with turmeric powder.

9. Ginger

A 2012 study found that ginger reduces blood sugar levels in people actively without having to rely on insulin.

The way to consume this root is raw, powdered, or extracted oils in the form of supplements. Ginger also helps with nausea, heartburn and menstrual symptoms.

10. Garlic

Studies have shown that taking garlic supplements daily improves blood glucose control over 1-2 weeks.

Other studies show that taking tablets of dry garlic powder reduces symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The same applies to garlic tablets that use allicin. 

Managing Diabetes Like a Pro

The best and most feasible way to keep diabetes under control is through a healthy and well-balanced diet. A diet with lots of fibre is suggested, with a heavy emphasis on green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach and lettuce.

In addition, a diet with antioxidants containing citrus fruits and green tea, along with food containing Vitamin C, helps maintain blood glucose levels in the body. 

HealthifyMe PRO 2.0 helps you understand the body’s response to food and activity levels. The blood glucose fluctuations throughout a stipulated period showcase your propensity to have a metabolic disorder.

A CGM device BIOS, part of the offering, enables you to understand the reason behind the spikes in your blood glucose levels. Dedicated coaches study these data points and offer you a customised plan that eradicates the spikes in your blood glucose levels and, thus, brings your metabolic health in order.


Diabetes is India’s most common chronic condition, plaguing 1 in 11 people. Although there is less that one can do to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes, there is a lot you can do to keep type 2 diabetes under control. Type 2 diabetes is directly affected by lifestyle. Building a healthy routine through exercise and diet can help significantly reduce its symptoms.

Besides the medication, lifestyle management is the best way to reduce and keep the symptoms under check. For example, certain foods can help you lower diabetes symptoms naturally. These foods should be a part of your daily meal, be it oranges and apples for breakfast to leafy salads for lunches or dinners.

Reference Sources

  1. Diabetic Kidney Disease: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-kidney-disease
  1. Type 1 Diabetes: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/type-1-diabetes#whati
  1. Living Healthy with Diabetes: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/prevention–treatment-of-diabetes/living-healthy-with-diabetes
  1. Eating for Life: Designing Foods for Appetite Control: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2771510/
  1. Oats: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/
  1. Dietary Intervention with Oatmeal in Patients with uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – A Crossover Study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30157531/
  1. Apple intake is inversely associated with all-cause and disease-specific mortality in elderly women: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26787402/
  1. Supplementation of Vitamin C Reduces Blood Glucose and Improves Glycosylated Hemoglobin in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized, Double-Blind Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3254006/
  1. Efficacy of Turmeric as Adjuvant Therapy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4393385/
  1. Preventive and Protective Properties of Zingiber officinale (Ginger) in Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetic Complications, and Associated Lipid and Other Metabolic Disorders: A Brief Review: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/516870/
  2. Effect of garlic supplement in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642189/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the best way to control diabetes?

A. There are multiple ways to control diabetes, whereas type 1 diabetes must be under strict observation. You can control gestational and type 2 diabetes most effectively through a well-balanced fibre diet. It would help if you paired up these diets with regular exercise to burn calories to keep diabetes in check better.

Q. What foods should people with diabetes avoid?

A. Diabetics should avoid foods that are high in fats and sugars. Foods such as:
Fried meats
Regular cheeses
Sugar-sweetened beverages
White bread
White Rice 
Refined flour products like Pasta, Bakery items etc.
Fruit-flavoured yoghurt
Sweetened breakfast cereals
Flavoured coffee drinks
Packaged snack foods

Q. Is milk good for diabetes?

A. Milk is good for diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. The Glycemic index is a system that rates foods that contain carbohydrates. Milk has a GI of 31, and low-fat milk GI is 27. Hence it is preferred to drink low-fat milk.

Q. Can people with diabetes eat rice?

A. Rice can be eaten but not in large portions and regularly. Consuming seldom is ideal; unpolished brown and red or black rice is the safest. White rice is not advised for frequent consumption by people with diabetes.

Q. How can I lower my type 2 diabetes naturally?

A. Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by regular exercise and a healthy diet. Consuming foods like ginger and turmeric while avoiding fatty and sugary foods can significantly lower the symptoms naturally. You must consult a doctor and never self-medicate using natural remedies that can reduce symptoms.

Q. Can type 2 diabetes be cured?

A. Diabetes is a chronic condition; you cannot cure it totally. However, you can reduce the symptoms through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. 

Q. What causes type 2 diabetes?

A. Type 2 diabetes results from gestational diabetes, obesity, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle and incorporating the right foods, exercise, and stress management can help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

Q. How can I reverse type 2 diabetes permanently?

A. Unfortunately, you cannot reverse type 2 diabetes permanently for a few cases, but remission for it is possible. It needs discipline and dedication. Subscribing to HealthifyPro is a great place to start bringing more discipline to your life and managing diabetes like a pro.

About the Author

According to Hiral, “Striving to be better than yesterday, is the key to achieving any goal that is ahead of you”. As a diet and lifestyle consultant, Hiral intends to help her clients inculcate habits such as healthy eating and regular exercise to improve their lifestyle holistically for a better tomorrow. She also aims to make her clients feel good from the inside-out and bring about a positive change to their overall life.

Related Articles


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your health is our priority. Talk to one of our experts and get the best plan for you today.
Chat With Us