Preventing diabetes

Preventing diabetes

A worldwide epidemic

Diabetes has become a worldwide epidemic in recent years due in large part to poor diet and lack of exercise. There are however, several ways that you can help to lower the risk of diabetes by reducing your blood sugar level. Reducing your blood sugar level may prevent you from becoming a full-blown diabetic or at the very least, mean you have to take little to no medication to keep it under control.

Keep your weight down

Being overweight is the number one risk factor for the development of what is known as ‘type 2 diabetes’. Regular exercise is a key step towards prevention. Although, this doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym five days a week and work out like a fiend either. Any exercise is better than no exercise at all. Just by taking a walk around the block on your lunch hour, parking further away from the entrance to the shops, or take the stairs instead of the lift, will help considerably. Even small changes can make a BIG difference. Some recent studies have shown that even if you exercise and don’t actually lose weight the exercise, itself can prevent the onset of diabetes by helping to control the levels of glucose in your blood.

You are what you eat… and drink

The second biggest factor in the development of diabetes is in your diet. People tend not to notice, or choose to ignore just how much sugar and carbohydrates they are consuming. A good example is soft drinks. An average serving of soft drink can have up to eleven teaspoons of sugar in it and some people will think nothing of drinking between six and eight of these a day. That’s between sixty-six and eighty-six teaspoons of sugar a day just in soft drinks! You also need to watch out for your juice intake as well because while they may contain some nutritional value they are still high in sugar content.

Choose your carbs wisely

Carbohydrates turn into sugar once digested, so look at limiting the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. There is no need to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet but there are lower carbohydrate foods that would be better for you than potatoes and pasta. When you do eat pasta and grains try to make sure that at least half of them are of the whole grain variety. Some other low carbohydrate foods include seafood, turkey, chicken, asparagus, and broccoli. Other good food choices are those that take longer to be digested some of which include apples, oranges, pears, and zucchini.

Education is the key

Educating yourself about the causes of diabetes can also be a large step in the prevention of its development. If in any doubt, always talk with your doctor about what you can do to make healthy lifestyle changes. Know someone close to you who has already been affected by diabetes?  Why not consider joining a support group in your area? Many local hospitals have support groups and diabetic education classes as well.

The key factor in diabetes prevention is to remember that little changes can make a BIG difference. Do you really need that second or third can of soft drink? Would it kill you get off the bus a stop earlier than you need? Probably not, but just these small changes could prevent you from having to live a life full of poor circulation, insulin shots, and finger sticks!

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