(NaturalNews) A new study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine has found that making considerable lifestyle and dietary changes are highly effective at improving the health of diabetes patients, as well as preventing of cardiovascular illness. Getting regular exercise and eating better, say researchers, are once again the best routes to take when combating disease, rather than simply take medication.
Researchers compared the effects of two different treatment approaches on over 5,000 obese patients with type-2 diabetes. One group participated in an "intensive lifestyle intervention" program that involved dietary changes and fitness regimens, while the other group took medication and met three times a year for group education and support sessions. After four years, the lifestyle intervention group lost an average of more than six percent of their body weight, while the education and support group lost less than one percent.
The lifestyle intervention group also experienced lower blood pressure levels, improved hemoglobin A1c levels (a measure of blood glucose) and elevated levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as "good" cholesterol.
"[T]he differences between the groups averaged across the four years were substantial and indicate that the intensive lifestyle intervention group spent a considerable time at lower cardiovascular disease risk," explained the study authors.
Medication alone does little to improve the long-term health of diabetes patients. This study and others prove that lifestyle and dietary changes are absolutely necessary to improve overall health, which starts with maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods that support good health and staying physically fit.
Avoiding highly-refined foods like white sugar, white rice and pasta are a given for most diabetics. But eating foods like organic, raw vegetables and nuts for instance, can help not only to improve symptoms but even reverse the disease.