Diabetes is a heinous disease running rampant nowadays. It’s mind-boggling how millions of people around the world have become its victim. However, the most amazing thing about diabetes is that a majority of its cases can be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes. All you need is to track your blood sugar and weight with simple medical tools purchased from pharmacies such as emeds, and you will know if you are at risk.
Preventative measures become especially important if you have excess weight, high cholesterol, or a genetic predisposition towards diabetes. These measures will also help if your blood sugar is in the range of ‘prediabetes’ instead of full-blown diabetes.
These simple lifestyle changes can help you avoid severe health complications caused by diabetes, like heart attack, kidney failure, new damage, etc.
1. Start losing weight
Losing weight doesn’t just help prevent diabetes but many other health disorders. The leading cause behind diabetes type II is not known, but most scientists regard obesity as the chief risk factor. Almost every person above a specific weight limit is at risk of developing diabetes.
If you have an existing prediabetes condition, then losing 7-10% bodyweight will bring you back to health. Losing even more will garner even more significant health benefits. You can talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.
Regular workout brings countless benefits to patients with risk of developing diabetes, like;
- Losing excess weight
- Lowering the blood sugar content to a normal level
- Boosting sensitivity to insulin
You can do one or more of the following exercises to maintain a healthy weight and fitness;
- Aerobics – do moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for 30 minutes or more. For example, go for a brisk walk, bicycle, swim, or run for at least 150 mins every week.
- Resistance training – doing resistance exercise 2-3 times a week will help increase your balance, stamina, and strength. This kind of training includes weight lifting, calisthenics, and yoga.
- Limited activity – if you work at a job that keeps you sedentary for a long time, you may need to get up and move around a little every 30 mins. Sitting in one place all day long is harmful to the body.
3. Eat your greens
Plants are the best natural source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential carbs in your diet. Green vegetables promote weight loss and greater strength. You may remember old Popeye and his fascination with spinach. Green vegetables lower the risk of diabetes. Rarely does anyone ever become fat when maintaining a chief diet consisting of greens?
If you wish for greater variety, the following foods can help with weight loss and prevention of diabetes while keeping you healthy and strong;
- Fruits, like peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, and oranges
- Non-starchy vegetables, like beans, broccoli, asparagus, baby corn, and cauliflower
- Legumes, like chickpeas, lentils, beans, soybeans, peanuts, and peas
- Whole grains, like whole-grain rice, whole-wheat pasta and bread, quinoa, and whole oats
Consuming high-fiber foods give the following benefits;
- Lowering blood sugar levels in the body
- Interfering with the cholesterol and dietary fat absorption
- Preventing additional heart risk factors, like inflammation and high blood pressure
- Reducing excess hunger by quickly filling you up and providing energy
Foods that come under the category of ‘bad carbohydrates’ are terrible for patients at risk of diabetes, like white bread, sugary snacks, fruit juices, and processed foods with high sugar content.
4. Eat healthy or good fats
Foods with high calorie and fats content should be eaten in moderation. Foods containing unsaturated fats or ‘good fats’ help with weight loss and management. Unsaturated fats also promote heart health by maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels. Sources of good fats are;
- Sunflower, safflower, olive, canola oil, and cottonseed
- Various nuts and seeds, like peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed
- Fatty fish, like mackerel, cod, tuna, and salmon
Bad carbohydrates are often found in dairy and meat products. If you wish to reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce their intake to once or twice a week.
5. Avoid fads and weight-loss pundits
Many pundits claim the virtues of fad diets, like the keto diet, paleo diet or glycemic index. These diets may even help you lose weight, but they rarely help prevent diabetes. In these diets, the goal is losing weight, not lowering blood sugar. A healthy diet doesn’t just help manage your weight but also keeps the energy up.
A simple strategy for avoiding diabetes is making good food choices and eating appropriate portions of different food groups on your plate. One-half the plate should contain fruits and non-starchy vegetables, while the other two quarters must include whole grains and protein-rich foods, respectively.
When it’s time to see your doctor
Check with your doctor if you fall under one of the following;
- Below 45, overweight, having one or more diabetes risk factor
- Women with gestational diabetes
- People diagnosed with prediabetes
- Overweight children
- Family history of diabetes type II
Your doctor can help guide you on which measures to take to prevent diabetes. However, even without the risk of high blood sugar, you can still apply the lifestyle suggestions given in this article. Following them will keep you healthy and fit for a long time.
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