Imagine this — 86 million adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome putting them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes AND 1 in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million children and adults.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms and collection of risk factors that can lead to these conditions:
- Increased blood pressure which over time can damage the heart and lead to plaque buildup in arteries.
- High fasting blood sugar or a need for medication to control blood sugar levels. Even mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes for some.
- High dysregulation of A1c blood sugar levels. This test measures the percentage of blood sugar in your bloodstream over a period of several months. In general, an A1c level below 5.7 is considered normal while levels between 5.7 and 6.4 are considered prediabetic.
- Excess body fat around the waistline and hips which can lead to heart disease.
- High triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol which also increases chances of developing heart disease.
When they occur together, the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes goes up. It is primarily caused by obesity and inactivity and is connected to the condition called insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps our cells use glucose (sugar) for energy and also regulates how our bodies use food for energy or fat storage.
Insulin resistance means your body doesn’t respond to insulin normally, causing it to produce more and more of the hormone and eventually resulting in diabetes. The body is then unable to process glucose properly. Because fat cells are loaded with glucose receptors but cannot absorb glucose, this vicious cycle creates fatigue and a desire for energy which often leads to reaching for foods loaded with carbohydrates. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body fails to properly use and store glucose. Instead of converting sugar into energy, it backs up in the bloodstream and causes a variety of symptoms. Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age however it is most often seen in middle-aged and older people. Studies show that people who are overweight or obese, are inactive and have certain health problems have more risks of developing type 2 diabetes. [1, 2]
Studies show that metabolic syndrome and prediabetes are both a predictor of type 2 diabetes. 
Type 2 diabetes symptoms
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Frequent yeast infections
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
- Itchy or dry skin
And at its worse, type 2 diabetes can severely damage the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
While many of the symptoms are the same, unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a serious chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin and has no cure.
What is Prediabetes
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes it means your fasting blood sugar levels are higher than normal. A fasting blood sugar level below 100 milligrams is considered normal while a value of 100 to 125 is considered prediabetic. When imbalanced blood sugar is left unmanaged, it could lead to full-blown type 2 diabetes. There are some risk factors to be aware of in managing your blood sugar:
• Weight – a body mass index (BMI) higher than 25 puts you at risk for prediabetes
• A family history of prediabetes or diabetes
• Age – at age 45, your risk begins to rise and rises even more rapidly once you reach 65
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• A sedentary lifestyle
A simple blood test of your fasting blood glucose levels and A1c can help signal your risks of prediabetes.
Reversing Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
The good news is that eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and losing weight can reverse Metabolic Syndrome as well as Type 2 Diabetes. There are also many natural supplements that can help balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
To address insulin sensitivity, there are several things that need to be looked at. To start with — it is a good idea to get tested to see where all your hormone levels are to begin with. Getting your hormones back to normal balance and following some of these important recommendations can help:
1. Exercise is essential in helping insulin levels stay normal, maintain hormonal balance, and regulate metabolic function.
Often, people find losing even a moderate amount of weight reduces the need for medication and in some instance even eliminates their diabetes completely.
2. Lowering stress levels is vital to managing your glucose levels. When your body is under stress it affects your hormones and puts a strain on the often-overworked adrenal glands, which contributes to a rise in your glucose levels making managing your diabetes difficult.
3. Monitor your fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels regularly and consider getting tested for environmental toxins which can alter glucose tolerance.
Type 2 diabetes diet
The basics of diet awareness and making healthy food choices is the best way to eat on a diabetic meal plan and preventing further complications of other diseases. As you pick the best foods to help manage type 2 diabetes, here’s a helpful guide to keep in mind.
12 Key Steps in the Diabetic Diet Plan
1. Opt for complex carbohydrates
Choose complex carbohydrates primarily from vegetables and only moderate sprouted grains.
Stop simple sugars found in table sugar, white flour foods, sugary foods, pastries, fruit juices, candy, and soda.
In addition to complex carbs consider low glycemic load (index) foods such as brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, and again more vegetables.
Since starchy vegetables tend to be higher in carbohydrates than green vegetables and salads, it is best to consume starchy vegetables in moderation and in smaller portions. These vegetables include potatoes, squash, corn, and other root vegetables.
Limit complex carbohydrates to no more than 15 grams per meal for better sugar balance.
2. Eat high-quality protein
Include protein with every meal and snack as it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and reduce sugar cravings.
Protein can come from both animal or plant sources.
Good sources of protein include beans, legumes, eggs, fish and seafood, lean meats such as grass-fed beef, chicken, and turkey.
3. Add fiber-rich foods
Focus on fiber-rich foods to help slow the rise in blood sugar following a meal. Generally, fiber is a carbohydrate the body can’t digest. Other benefits include weight management because fiber can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, providing better regulation of blood sugar levels. Add more vegetables to increase fiber-rich foods and look to the rainbow diet as your source.
4. Eat healthy fats
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) or healthy fats, are also important to help insulin resistance so it is helpful to include fats like cold-water fish, tuna, and salmon; eggs, avocado, and flaxseed in your diet.
5. Try smart snacking
Choose snacks with a mixture of protein, fat, and fiber as your best defense to keep your blood sugar levels in balance. Snacks can be a mini version of your meals.
6. Front-load your eating
A big dinner is the worst thing you can do for your blood sugar levels as your body becomes more insulin-resistant as the day progresses. Your best defense against this issue is to eat your largest meal at breakfast and ending your dinner with a smaller meal.
7. Eliminate processed foods
Steer clear of those highly processed packaged foods. Read food package labels to limit the number of carbohydrates and ensure quality nutritional content.
Packaged convenience foods often include ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners which everyone should limit from their diets. 
8. Avoid saturated fats
Limit calories, sodium, and saturated fats. Avoid trans-fats which include anything with the word hydrogenated on the label such as spreads, some mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces and baked goods.
9. Limit alcohol
Drink alcohol in moderation to minimize the risk of sugar load. Mixed drinks and cocktails tend to be more problematic as they are often made with sweeteners or juices containing a large amount of carbohydrates, so they will increase blood sugar levels.
It is always best to drink alcohol with meals to minimize high blood sugar levels.
10. Be wise to food shopping
Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store as this will help to avoid many of the packaged foods in the aisles and lead you to more whole foods such as fresh vegetables.
11. Plan dining out
When dining out at restaurants look for places which offer healthier options. Ask the server to explain what the dish includes and how it is prepared. Nothing is worse than being served a dish full of carbs that you did not anticipate or want.
When eating with family and friends ask for support as you try to eat healthier.
12. Stay hydrated
Stay well-hydrated with plenty of pure, filtered water.
Overall, the additional nutrients from smaller amounts of proteins, fats, and fiber in your meal will help to slow down the absorption of the glucose you just ate and prevent unwanted sugar spikes.
Cinnamon for Diabetes
Cinnamon is an overlooked spice that provides natural health benefits especially for people with type 2 diabetes. A study showed that cinnamon helped to lower blood glucose levels with as much as 18% – 29% in the groups participating in the study. The positive effects on blood glucose levels also continued to last for up to 20 days after they stopped taking it.
The same study also showed that cinnamon helped to lower triglycerides (a blood lipid) and LDL levels, the “bad” cholesterol.
Cinnamon is a spice well tolerated by most people and can easily be used as a sugar substitute. I like to recommend it for most everyone. Try sprinkling cinnamon in your coffee, snacks, smoothies or take it as a supplement. It is best to spread it out over the day for better blood sugar balance.
Supplements for Diabetes
Taking pharmaceutical-grade, nutritional supplements can help decrease carbohydrate and sugar cravings as well as help to normalize hormonal function.
I recommend several options, including a great complex that also serves as a daily multivitamin and mineral formula. Metabolic Synergy™ was designed by a nationally prominent MD specializing in blood sugar and endocrine health. This supplement helps maintain healthy glucose and insulin levels while supporting the conversion of carbohydrates to be used for energy.
Another one of my favorites uses the herbs and botanicals designed to support already healthy glucose levels. GlucoSupreme Herbal™ contains Salacia extract which seems to be effective in helping to keep the body from absorbing too much sugar from the foods we eat. It also contains Banaba extract which is known to promote healthy insulin levels, kudzu extract which may help stabilize glucose and cinnamon extract to support overall health.
Also, there is an alkaloid compound found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark of several plants commonly used in botanical and Chinese medicine know as berberine. Berberine Synergy™ is good to support healthy blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and general cardiovascular health.
Super important in the mix is Vitamin D which is believed to help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Some researchers say that it may even help regulate the production of insulin in the pancreas.
Other health benefits of Vitamin D include assisting glycemic control, helps with weight loss, regulates appetite and even reduces belly (visceral) flat due to its ability to lower cortisol, the stress hormone produced in the adrenal glands.
Connect with me so I can help you get the right form as there are two: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is a synthetic version which has a shorter shelf life, while vitamin D3 is the same as the vitamin D that is produced by the body after exposure to UVB rays. Research has shown that vitamin D3 appears to be more than three times as effective as vitamin D2, but most products that say “good source of vitamin D” or “fortified with vitamin D” on their labels contain the inferior vitamin D2.
Finally, a unique formulation which combines two naturally occurring isomers of inositol – myoinositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI) – along with alpha-lipoic acid. Sensitol™ is designed to support already normal insulin function and cellular metabolism. Studies have shown that an inositol deficiency is common in patients with insulin resistance, which has a distinctive characteristic feature that can cause a reduced ability to process, metabolize, and effectively use inositol from foods.
Love this article! Sign up for my FREE newsletter
Bonus: Download my ‘12-Key Tips for Healthy Digestion’ Guide
Learn More about Diabetes
There are many organizations you can surf online to get more educated about diabetes and ways to prevent you from the rapid rise of diabetes mellitus. [5, 6] Check out these organizations by clicking on their links below:
Remember that making diet and lifestyle changes can help you reverse or even prevent metabolic syndrome and the onset of type 2 diabetes. CONTACT ME and let me help you work through any issues you might have in managing your blood sugar balance by providing a healthy diet, exercise plan, and supplements that are right for your needs.
1. Redefining Type 2 diabetes: ‘Diabesity’ or ‘Obesity Dependent Diabetes Mellitus’?
2. Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes.
3. The Metabolic Syndrome as a Predictor of Type 2 Diabetes.
4. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-analysis.
5. Rapid Rise in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes From 1987 to 1996.
6. Type 1 Diabetes and Early Mortality.