David Grant tamed his diabetes with the help of two wheels and a healthy diet. Does that mean it's possible to completely get rid of the disease that, between Type 1 and Type 2, affects nearly 24 million people in the U.S.?
Unfortunately, no, says registered dietitian and diabetes educator Kelly O'Connor. Neither Type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough insulin, nor Type 1, in which the body has stopped producing the hormone altogether, is curable. But there's good news. "Many people who have Type 2 can return their blood sugar to normal levels by losing weight and adjusting their diet¨Ûthey may not require any medication at all," she says.
Tips to get you started on the path to success:
Eat like an Italian: In one study, fewer Type 2 diabetics on a Mediterranean diet low in carbs and heavy on fruits, nuts, fish and olive oil — rather than the typical heart-healthy, low-fat diet — had to rely on medication to control the condition.
Lose (just a little) weight: A large study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight may prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Get moving: Doing moderate-intensity exercise like biking or walking for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can help you drop pounds and lower your blood sugar.