Diabetes is one of the most worrying diseases in our modern times today. It is a non-communicable disease that affects the productivity and effectiveness of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that is responsible for the breakdown of food into usable energy by the body organs. This hormone is therefore important to prevent diabetes.
In brief, Diabetes mellitus is a collection of disorders that impact your body’s ability to use blood sugar (glucose). Because glucose is a significant source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, it is essential to your health. It’s also the primary source of energy for your brain.
The underlying causes of diabetes differ depending on the kind. However, regardless of the type of diabetes you have, it can cause an excess of sugar in your blood. When you are affected by diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high and can cause major health concerns.
Since it is easy for diabetes to come knocking at your door any time from now, it is important to keep watch against it. However, the good news is that you do not have to be afraid as long as you follow these few guidelines that have been proven to cut down the likelihood of contracting diabetes.
1. Do regular exercises
Performing regular exercises greatly reduces your chances of contracting diabetes by a stunning rate. This is because performing regular exercises helps to strengthen the effectiveness of insulin in the breakdown of sugar in the blood, which is the source of the problem.
Many exercises have been proven to work wonders on obese, overweight, and pre-diabetic victims. The best exercises to participate in include: aerobic exercises, like running, swimming, and cycling; strength training exercises like squats, chin-ups, pushups, and lunges; and high-intensity interval training like jump roping, speed walking, and running.
2. Drink water
Water is natural and satisfactory among all the beverages you can find for the management or prevention of diabetes. In order to prevent diabetes, you are advised to get away from the common beverages with added sugar, preservatives, and other unimaginable ingredients you may not even know exist, or what they do in the first place.
Research has shown that fruit juice and artificially sweetened beverages are likely threats to the contraction of diabetes, especially in obese and overweight people. So much as you may love them; We wouldn’t recommend daily consumption because these have a tendency to increase blood sugar levels and ultimately reduce insulin sensitivity all at the same time.
Taking water, however, has the reverse effect that beverages cause. Water lessens the blood sugar level to one that is easily manageable by the body, whilst increasing insulin sensitivity in burning down this blood sugar for generating body energy.
Water is also the greatest option for those with diabetes when it comes to hydration. This is due to the fact that it will not cause your blood sugar to rise. Dehydration is a risk of high blood sugar levels. Drinking plenty of water can assist your body in excreting extra glucose through the urine.
3. Cut down the intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates
Consumption of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates is another quick getaway to the diabetes train. Refined carbohydrates; made from white sugar, flour, and rice, are whole foods that are drained of almost all nutritional value like bran, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are common in foods like cakes, pasta, muffins, and cookies amongst many other foods that are quite easy to digest.
When you eat these foods, it often leads to a high spike in blood sugar levels as compared to the natural whole-grain foods, which add roughage and fiber. Consumption of sugary foods inevitably adds more blood sugar to the body at higher rates than the body can manage. This becomes less desirable with obese and overweight people, whose insulin sensitivity is already in question.
4. Lose weight if you are obese or overweight
Although not everyone who develops Type 2 diabetes is overweight, the numbers show the majority are. So why risk it? Strive to cut down on some weight especially if there is a lot to go around. Visceral fat especially, around the abdominal organs like the liver and kidneys, usually causes insulin resistance by blood sugar. These conditions greatly influence the easy contraction of diabetes in overweight people.
Studies have shown that the more weight you lose, the lower your chances of getting diabetes get. For every kilogram of weight lost, the chances of contracting diabetes dropped by a minimum of 16%. There are many ways to lose weight, which include embracing a vegetable diet and regular exercising.
5. Stopping Smoking
Besides cancer, heart disease, and an even longer list of diseases brought about by smoking, Type 2 diabetes will surely feel right at home as well. Smokers have a 40% chance of getting diabetes as compared to nonsmokers. Second-hand smokers also stand at a high risk of getting the same. This is because smoking increases insulin resistance in the body henceforth it is recommended that you never smoke or stop it. There are many tips to help you stop smoking. These range from behavioral ideas to over-the-counter interventions like applying nicotine patches.
Studies show that in over 5 years of quitting smoking, the chances of getting diabetes dropped by over 13%, and in over 20 years, the results match one who had never smoked a day in their lives.
6. Cut down on alcohol consumption
If you thought smoking was bad, excessive drinking is going to knock your heart off, literally! Excessive consumption of alcohol has dire consequences to the heart and liver. It also reduces the sensitivity of insulin in breaking down blood sugar. This leads to excess blood sugar insoluble to the body cells, thus higher chances of getting sick with diabetes.
If you are already taking alcohol, it is advised that you regulate the amounts you consume on a daily basis. Men are recommended to consume at least 2 drinks a day, while women can take a drink a day to minimize its devastating effects.
7. Eat more protein than carbohydrates
High consumption of carbohydrates leads to an increase in the glucose or blood sugar level in the body. This invariably makes the body produce insulin to break this excess blood sugar for the generation of energy. However, too much consumption of carbohydrates and sugars causes an uncontrollable amount of blood sugar levels, which become insulin resistant over time causing diabetes.
To prevent such a scenario, health experts encourage the consumption of more protein in your diet as compared to carbohydrates. Proteins can also be obtained from protein supplements that are readily available on the market. Proteins provide the necessary plant and animal fibers, which would limit the work of insulin, leading to lower secretion of the hormone and lower chances of getting diabetes. Proteins also have a muscle-building property, which helps body cells in the different muscles absorb excess blood sugar in the bloodstream.
8. Cut down on food portions
Reducing the consumption of excess carbohydrates is important in reducing the likelihood of getting diabetes. However, if you do not reduce your food portions, especially if you are overweight or obese, the chances of getting the disease are still as high as you would fear.
Eating too much simply put, adds way too much blood sugar into the body, in contrast to eating fewer portions of food. Studies have further shown that reducing the portions of food in obese and overweight people reduces their chances of getting diabetes by 46%. So get those portions on the chopping block already.
9. Engage in more activity while in the office
The work environment usually does not favor a healthy lifestyle, especially if your work revolves around a desk. This leads to what is called a sedentary lifestyle. Many people are prone to this way of living since they are kept seated for the majority, if not all of their time at the office, with tones of paperwork pleading to be sorted. This kind of working environment has been proven to cause likelihoods of getting diabetes.
No need to panic though because it is possible to keep healthy even in the office. You can take calls while pacing around the room to get some muscle activity, designate some minutes of every hour to stand, and do a few stretches. You can also use the stairs rather than the elevator to give your body some time to get the juices flowing and working.
10. Encourage sports for children
Children need to get active during their growth. This prevents them from getting overweight or obese and ultimately diabetic as they grow. Children need to get involved in sports like football, basketball, or even tag, which allow them to burn off extra calories than sitting at home all day would allow.
Too much television and sitting around all day is highly risky for children whose weight may already be in question. Too much sitting around promotes Type 2 diabetes, whereas walking around increases the muscle’s ability to use insulin and absorb excess glucose or blood sugar. Too much sitting around by children also increases their risk of heart disease. So, keep the little ones active for better health as they live and grow.
11. Find Vitamin D sources
Vitamin D is vital for the control of blood sugar levels in the body. Studies have shown that those who have a low level of Vitamin D in their bodies stand higher chances of getting diabetes as compared to those with sufficient amounts. It works great in increasing insulin regulation of blood sugar levels in the body.
It is essential to bask in the morning sun from between 7 am to 10 am to get the natural emission of vitamin D from the sun, most recommended for children. You may also consume foods that are rich in Vitamin D such as; fatty fish and cod liver oil in order to prevent diabetes. Similarly, you may acquire over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements that suit your needs.