In America alone, there are 86 million people with prediabetes and 29 million people with type 2 diabetes. The numbers are multiplying each year. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body’s important source of fuel.” Knowing how to prevent type 2 diabetes may require a change in diet and lifestyle, but it is well worth the effort.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Eating too much sugar will cause your body to overwork. Your body works so hard to process sugar that it causes other systems to work less efficiently. An overworked body can lead to sores, issues with sight, and infections. There are ways to enjoy sweet treats still, though. Though they may not be as indulgent, smaller dessert portions are good alternatives to foods with high sugar content. A great example would be a small bowl of sweet fruits with a sugar-free alternative dip or topping. If you enjoy alcoholic drinks, it is okay if you consume it in moderation, as long as you don’t have other complications like high blood pressure.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber can be very confusing, but it is a carbohydrate. You should have it in your daily intake if you are trying to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It cannot be broken down by the human body, which makes it not tally for your calorie count. Fiber does not raise your blood glucose levels either. You can subtract the number of grams of fiber from the grams of carbohydrates that you have consumed that day. The average person should eat somewhere between 20 and 35 grams of fiber a day, but the average person usually comes nowhere near those numbers. Fiber is in fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, and many other foods. Some of these foods also are high in sugar and starch, which is why some meal planning is recommended.
After a long day of eating right, there are other reasons why your blood glucose levels can still be high. Stress from being sick, injured, and mental strains can cause your levels to elevate. Stress causes your body to go into fight-or-flight mode where the body takes glucose and fat to make available for cells. When you have diabetes, your body cannot handle this because you do not have much extra to give. This process makes all of your hormones rise, and your body goes into repair mode. Exercise is not just something you do to gain muscle or lose weight. Exercise can strengthen you mentally and help balance blood sugar. It will create more energy for your body as the blood flows to your muscles. Your muscles will now send signals to start burning glucose, and then your body will begin to create more. Using exercise to reduce stress works by raising endorphins. Endorphins are known as the “happy hormone.” It is a lot easier to forget about the stress when you are happy.
Type 2 diabetes is a dangerous thing to live with, but you can take many precautions to prevent it. By balancing your diet with some meal planning and exercising regularly, you may completely dodge the bullet. Try changing a few things and see how you feel after a week. Next time you see the doctor, he or she will see the results better than you can.