Blood Sugar Management: A Holistic Approach
When working with clients who have dysglycemia, the holistic approach offers nutritional and lifestyle suggestions to support normal metabolism of carbohydrates and maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels. Intervention studies done with the Pima Indians of Arizona have confirmed that even with a high genetic tendency to blood sugar disorders and diabetes, when they returned to the traditional dietary and lifestyle practices of their original culture, weight loss and a normalization of blood sugar metabolism occurred.
Dietary recommendations for dysglycemic patients would be client-based in terms of the appropriate macronutrient ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. While everyone is biochemically unique, the individualized dietary plan would consist of adequate calories from a whole foods diet. As a general guideline, daily food intake would include about 40 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrates and 20 to 30 percent of calories for both proteins and fats.
Optimally, the majority of foods would be plant-based, from organic sources as available, and chosen from foods that are on the lower end of the glycemic scale. Animal-based foods should come from healthy animals that have been fed organic, species-appropriate feed or allowed to graze in grassy pastures, free of hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. Fish and seafood should come from a clean habitat, and they should be harvested from sustainably maintained species. Care should be taken to avoid all rancid fats, highly processed oils, and hydrogenated and trans fats. Details regarding the client’s nutrition plan would be determined based on all the information shared by the client during the consultation process.
In addition to diet, exercise would also be an important part of the integrative approach to healing. Exercise supports proper balance of the blood sugar regulating system. It also helps with the management of body weight and the regulation of insulin in the bloodstream. All forms of exercise and body movement offer benefits, including strength building exercises to build muscle tissue and decrease adipose tissue; stretching to ensure flexibility, provide good range of motion, and injury prevention; cardiovascular or aerobic exercises increase metabolism, improve circulation and heart health.
Clearly, the best approach to improving blood sugar irregularities and reversing dysglycemia is a holistic one. Making diet and lifestyle changes will allow the body to heal itself and return to a balanced state. The holistic healing program supports the body’s inherent will to survive and to thrive for the sake of the species altogether, and truly honors the promise in the Hippocratic Oath “to abstain from doing harm.”
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