5 Ways to Prevent Diabetes
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Diabetes is becoming more prevalent as society becomes increasingly sedentary and sugar-addicted. Diabetes is a worldwide issue, and in Bermuda, it is found to have the highest amputation rate among women. But in the United States, over 100 million adults have either diabetes or are pre diabetic. November is American Diabetes Month, which aims to educate people about how to prevent the development of diabetes. Here are five tips to avoid this deadly disease:
Limit Sugar and Refined Carbs
American culture is rife with sugar and simple carbohydrates, contributing to the increasing epidemic of diabetes. To prevent developing type-2 diabetes, it is essential to cut out foods high in sugar, especially if you are prediabetic. When a person's glucose level rises, the pancreas produces insulin. This hormone rushes the sugar from the bloodstream to cells in your body. However, if you are prediabetic, you are insulin-resistant; therefore, the blood sugar soars and remains at an unhealthy level. Eventually, this cycle develops into full-blown diabetes. Stay away from sweets, and you have won half the battle.
Manage Your Weight
Almost 90% of people with diabetes are overweight. Along with limiting your sugar intake, you should follow a balanced diet to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and eat less red meat. Some people think it's all about the diet, but you also need to be active. If it's uncomfortable to join a health club at first, YouTube has plenty of home workouts. You can buy weights, stability balls and other equipment to keep at home. Start with cardio, bodyweight exercises and resistance weight training. Cardio will help improve heart health and help you sweat off the pounds. Bodyweight exercises use your natural weight without the addition of free weights to get your body prepared for more strenuous exercise. You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Drink More Water
People are drinking more soda and other sugary beverages. Water is natural, with no sugar, chemicals or preservatives. It is the purest; cleansing drink you can have. If you choose water as your primary drink, you will lose weight and stay hydrated for your workouts. You will prevent diabetes by regulating your sugar levels and insulin more efficiently. You can calculate your personal daily water requirement here.
Focus on Digestive Health
Digestive health is a critical component in both weight management and diabetes prevention. Studies show that eating foods high in fibre can help regulate your sugar and insulin levels. You should try to incorporate foods that have more soluble fibre, which absorbs water and creates a substance which slows down how quickly sugar gets into your bloodstream. This prevents your blood sugar from skyrocketing. To ensure you include fibre in your diet, aim to consume less processed foods. Plant foods such as pears, avocado and artichokes contain not only fibre but also many other vitamins and nutrients necessary for your body to function.
Research has correlated smoking, including second-hand smoke, with heart disease, cancers, and type-2 diabetes. On average, smokers' risk of diabetes increases by 44 per cent. The risk is even higher - at 61 per cent more likely - in smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. If you quit smoking, your risk for diabetes will decrease by 13 per cent after five years. There is a positive correlation between time without cigarettes and a decrease in the risk of diabetes.
1 in 4 people with diabetes do not know they have it. If you are experiencing excessive hunger/thirst, fatigue, weight gain or loss, frequent urination or blurred vision, you should seek an opinion from a medical professional. A test for diabetes is relatively painless. You can naturally treat diabetes by following these steps, but it is important to get diagnosed and seek treatment if you believe you may have this serious condition. In the spirit of Diabetes Awareness Month, continue this conversation with the people you love to bring attention to one of the most significant health crises.