November is National Diabetes Month, a month that focuses attention on the growing prevalence of diabetes in Americans. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body cannot make or effectively use its own insulin, a hormone made by special cells in the pancreas. Insulin acts as a key to let the blood sugar into the body’s cells to use as energy.
For people who have diabetes, their body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or the cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. This can cause severe health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
How to Prevent Diabetes
While there are certain factors you can’t change — such as genetics, age or past behaviors — there are many actions you can take that may prevent diabetes.
Obesity and being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Research shows that individuals who are obese are 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.
Weight control is an important part of preventing diabetes. If you carry excess weight, losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight may prevent or delay the risk of getting diabetes. Those with prediabetes tend to carry excess weight in their midsection and around abdominal organs. This is known as visceral fat, a fat that promotes inflammation and insulin resistance, which significantly increases the risk of diabetes.
There are many healthy ways to lose excess weight, including healthy eating, physical activity and supplements. An omega-3 fatty acid supplement can be a healthy addition to a well-rounded weight-loss plan.
Staying active and performing physical activity on a regular basis may help prevent diabetes. Exercise has many health benefits, including weight loss and lowering blood sugar levels. Both of these factors can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
It is recommended that individuals get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. A great way to do this is by trying to incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Examples of moderate-intensity physical activities include:
- Going for a walk
- Doing household chores
- Playing sports
- Raking leaves
Healthy eating habits
Including healthy, nutritious foods into your diet instead of less healthy ones can help with blood sugar and provide numerous health benefits, such as more energy, a healthier heart, and lower blood pressure. Eating foods that are high in refined carbs and sugar can increase blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time.
Tune-up your diet with these tips:
- Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water or tea instead.
- Limit red meat and avoid processed meat.
- Choose whole grains over refined grains and other highly processed carbohydrates.
- Consume healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds or avocados.
Optimize vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a number of crucial roles in the body, including maintaining the health of your bones, teeth and joints, and boosting the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency can result in many health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.
Multiple studies have found that people who do not get enough vitamin D may have a greater risk of all types of diabetes. Good sources of vitamin D include salmon, herring and sardines, cod liver oil, canned tuna, egg yolks and mushrooms.
For many people, taking a vitamin D supplement may be the best way to ensure adequate intake. The Garcia Weight Loss and Aesthetic Center is your one-stop shop for health and wellness. Purchase your vitamin D supplements online today!
Are you at risk of prediabetes and looking to live a healthier lifestyle? Get started with one of our personalized weight loss plans today! Book your no-cost consultation today!