Things to Do to Prevent Diabetes
How You Can Prevent Diabetes Naturally
The number of diabetes cases is on the rise both locally and globally. It is estimated that by 2030, over 7 million Filipinos will be suffering with this disease. What’s more worrying than the number of patients suffering from diabetes are getting younger and younger. Children as young as 5-years old have been found to have Type 2 diabetes, or the type of diabetes that you develop.
What is the definition of diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that is caused by an excess of glucose, or sugar, in the body. While Type 1 diabetes (also called insulin dependent diabetes) cannot be avoided, Type 2 (or non-insulin dependent) can.
The good news is, type 2 diabetes is what is called a lifestyle disease, meaning it is mainly caused by ones eating and daily habits. While genetics can play a factor, your choices can outweigh your genes.
Making changes to your diet and lifestyle now can prevent you from developing diabetes and the numerous complications that come with it, including nerve, kidney, and heart damage.
How can we reduce the risk of diabetes?
1. Lose weight
Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of diabetes! Overweight people who have lost approximately 7% of their body weight (by changing their diet and exercising) have been found to reduce their risk of diabetes by 60%.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that pre-diabetic patients lost at least 7-10% of their body weight to prevent transitioning to Type 2 diabetes.
2. Move more
Get active! Apart from lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, there are loads of reasons why you should exercise regularly like:
• It helps you lose weight
• Lowers your blood sugar
• Regulates your blood sugar better by making you more sensitive to insulin
You don’t even need a gym to stay active! Just think about literally moving more. If you find you’ve been sitting for more than an hour, take a break and walk around the room for a few minutes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator if you can. Walk to nearby places or ride a bike instead of hailing a ride-sharing app.
Remember to do at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercises weekly such as brisk walking, swimming, biking, running. You can make it fun like playing sports like football or basketball, or even chase your kids around for 30 minutes a day!
Don’t forget to throw in some resistance exercises, too. Do this at least twice a week.
3. Throw in some plants
Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins and nutrients that keep our bodies healthy! Make sure you get a whole rainbow of them in your meal. The more colors you eat, the better.
4. Skip fad diets
There’s no shortcut to living a healthier life. It’s really about making constant lifestyle changes and building good habits. Fad diets, like the keto diet, have inconclusive results regarding diabetes. While it can help you lose weight now, there aren’t enough studies to show these effects are long-term. They aren’t very sustainable too.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking doesn’t just affect your lungs; it also contributes to insulin resistance. Do your body a huge favor and give up nicotine for good.
It’s never too late to make changes for the better. Start little by little until these changes become a habit. Once you start incorporating these into your life, you’ll be doing them without a second thought!
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