Diabetes is a dangerous health condition in which blood glucose levels rise higher than normal, a state known as hyperglycemia. For those suffering from type II diabetes, since their bodies do not properly use insulin, excess levels of the hormone are produced by the pancreas. Over time, the pancreas cannot create enough insulin to manage glucose levels, resulting in dangerous side effects.
Type II diabetes is the most common form of the disease, representing about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases. It is estimated that 29.1 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes, 8.1 million of who may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. As if these statistics aren’t great enough cause for concern, experts predict that the number of cases of type II diabetes is on the rise. The good news is that many of the risk factors for type II diabetes are preventable. By making conscious choices to lead a healthy lifestyle, you can help to reduce or even eliminate the likelihood for being diagnosed with the type II diabetes. If you fear that you or someone you love may be at risk for the disease, read these healthy tips that will help you lower your odds of being diagnosed with this painful, and potentially deadly condition.
Manage Your Weight.
An overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) is one of the greatest risk factors for developing type II diabetes. In a recent study, individuals who lose only seven percent of their initial body weight and exercising regularly reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.
The first step toward diabetes prevention is getting out and getting active. Regular physical activity can help you to lower your weight and blood sugar levels, and increase your sensitivity to insulin, all things that will help you to lower your risk of developing type II diabetes.
As if you didn’t need another reason, if you are a smoker, it’s time to kick the smoking habit. Tobacco use can increase blood sugar levels that lead to insulin resistance. Studies show that individuals who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day almost double their risk of developing diabetes compared to nonsmokers.
Eat Foods High in Fiber.
This simple ingredient can make a significant difference in lowering your risk of developing diabetes. Fiber helps to improve blood sugar control, lower the risk of heart disease, and promote weight loss. In addition, when you eat fiber, you are likely to feel fuller, for longer, reducing your desire to snack on sugary, calorically-dense foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, seeds, and nuts are all foods high in fiber. Incorporate more of these healthy foods into your diet to help manage your diabetes risk factors.
Choose Whole Grains.
There are many benefits of incorporating whole grains into your diet, including reducing your risk for type II diabetes. The mighty whole grain can help you to maintain proper blood sugar levels. When browsing the aisles of the grocery store, choose whole grain product options whenever possible, especially when choosing pastas, breads, and cereals.
Eat Smaller Meals.
When you eat only one or two large meals per day that are high in calories, fat, sugar, and/or sodium, your glucose levels spike. Eating more small, well-balanced meals throughout the day can lower your chances of experiencing unsafe spikes in blood glucose levels, and can ultimately lower your risk of diabetes.
Reducing your risk of diabetes is as simple as maintaining a healthy diet and being active every day. If you have questions or need help adopting healthy lifestyle habits, contact your doctor today. And if you are in Western New York and looking for a new Ob-gyn, please consider our practice.