May 15th, 2020 12:00am
Are you someone who is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Whether you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or have a family history of diabetes and want to take measures into your own hands, there are several ways you can prevent a full-blown diabetes diagnosis. The first step is to understand what diabetes is and the different types of the disease. The development of type 2 diabetes is more common compared to other types, yet it is also completely avoidable. In some cases, genes are a factor. However, it's primarily based on your lifestyle.
Decrease added sugar
When it comes to diet, it's important to identify good sugars from bad as well as daily intake. There are natural sugars and there are added sugars. Natural sugars are what's in whole foods, anything in their natural form—for example, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are an ingredient in making a specific human-made product. These foods are the items in the pantry that you either want to avoid altogether or limit your intake. First, read the labels to better understand the ingredients used in processed foods. You can see how much sugar is in the item and the ingredients. There are many different variations of the word 'sugar,' such as fructose, galactose, agave nectar, or syrup. If words related to sugar or syrup happen to be one of the first few items listed, that means it's one of the prominent ingredients. Therefore, you probably shouldn't be eating it. Stick to natural sugars and read your labels to understand how much sugar you are putting into your body.
Another way you can defer your prediabetes or prevent yourself from getting diabetes is by engaging in constant exercise. When we exercise, we use energy in our bloodstream, also known as blood sugar. If you're experiencing unusually high levels of sugar in your blood, this is an efficient way to use it up. Depending on your circumstances, body weight has a significant effect on getting diabetes. In most cases, type 2 diabetes develops in the mid to late years of life. If weight is a constant struggle, it is something that you need to maintain to take preventative measures towards diabetes. If you are overweight and in the prediabetes phase, this is the perfect chance to get fit and turn your life around. Whether it's going for a walk, lifting weights, riding a bike, running, pilates, yoga, or something else, have a good mix of both cardio and low-impact exercises. You want to perform some form of exercise 5 to 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes to counteract any overflow of blood sugar.
Get 8 hours of sleep
Sleeping is a time where our bodies reset, heal, and rejuvenate us for a new day. When we don't get enough sleep, we open ourselves up to a pool of underlying health concerns. Did you know that there is a direct link between a lack of sleep and type 2 diabetes? When we lose sleep hormones become imbalanced. Insulin, the hormone that transfers blood sugar into energy for us, is significantly decreased. This causes an increase in the amount of blood sugar in the bloodstream, encouraging the development of type 2 diabetes. Luckily, these life-altering side effects can be turned around. With a full 8 hours of sleep a night, your insulin levels will improve, and you can be back to balance hormone and blood sugar levels.
Whether you are taking preventative action towards being diagnosed with diabetes or not, these are all healthy lifestyle changes that we should follow. Eat more whole foods with natural sugars, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep to ensure your healthy lifestyle is going in the right direction.