National Diabetes Month: Type 2 Prevention Tips Everyone Should Know
November is American Diabetes Month, meaning it is the perfect time to take a closer look at this disease that impacts millions of Americans each year. While there are many contributing factors that come into play for developing type 2 diabetes, including age and genetics, some are preventable. Stopping the development of type 2 diabetes could mean changing your diet and lifestyle or incorporating some healthier habits. Today, our KC wellness center wants to take a moment to outline a few tips that could help prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes.
TIP #1: REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF CARBS YOU EAT
When it comes to making dietary changes, the first place you should start is the reduction of carbs. Also, you need to consider the quality of the carbs you are eating as well. When you consume carbs, your body breaks them down into sugar molecules that are later absorbed into your bloodstream. This rise in blood sugar prompts your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that is responsible for moving sugar from your bloodstream into your cells.
For those who have prediabetes, the body’s cells are resistant to insulin. This results in the blood sugar remaining high which leads the pancreas to produce more insulin in an attempt to reduce the blood sugar. As time goes on, this can lead to consistently higher blood sugar and insulin levels until the condition eventually turns into type 2 diabetes
To avoid this, opt to stay away from or reduce your intake of simple carbs like those found in overly processed foods. This can include white bread, sugary donuts, candy, pasta and dessert. Instead, choose whole grain foods and lean proteins.
TIP #2: EXERCISE ON A REGULAR BASIS
Another great way to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes is to make sure that you exercise on a regular basis. Not only is staying active good for your health in general, but it also increases the insulin sensitivity in your cells. This means that your body will need less insulin to manage your blood sugar levels.
There are many types of exercises that are good for diabetes prevention. For example, you could do aerobic training and cardio, such as swimming, running or cycling. High intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is another great type of exercise. Strength training, including weight lifting, is also another recommended exercise. You can do all of these types of workouts and more at our KC wellness center!
TIP #3: DRINK THE RECOMMENDED AMOUNT OF WATER
Now that the colder months are here, you might find yourself drinking less water. However, for those with prediabetes, water is the best choice for a primary beverage instead of a sugary drink such as iced tea, sweetened fruit juice or soda. Sugary beverages such as these have been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The average American should drink anywhere from 3-4 liters of water a day. This amount can vary depending on different demographics such as age, weight and sex. If you aren’t sure about your water intake or how much you need, have a conversation with your doctor.
TIP #4: STOP SMOKING CIGARETTES
It is no secret that smoking cigarettes is extremely bad for you. In fact, smoking has been linked to the development of many serious health conditions, including heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even lung and intestinal cancer. Not only that, but new studies are emerging with evidence that point to smoking as another risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
While more research is needed in this area, so far, smoking has proven to increase insulin resistance and inhibit insulin secretion. If you are needing an additional reason to kick the bad habit of smoking, this is it!
TIP #5: REDUCE YOUR PORTION SIZES
For individuals with prediabetes, another great prevention method is to make sure that you are managing your portion sizes when you eat. Studies have shown that eating too much at one time can cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels, especially for those at risk of diabetes. Instead, eating smaller portion sizes will enable your body to appropriately process the food while also helping you to lose weight. Weight management is another factor in preventing diabetes.
With the holidays right around the corner, managing portion sizes can be extra difficult. Try to plan out your meal in advance and stick to one plate. Remember, you can take leftovers home for the next day! For your day to day routine habits, meal prepping healthy dishes with lean proteins and leafy vegetables in advance can really go a long way.
TIP #6: AVOID SEDENTARY BEHAVIORS
Another great way to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes is to make a few lifestyle changes, including cutting back on sedentary behaviors. This is especially important if you are someone who has an office job that requires you to sit at a computer for the majority of your shift.
There are small changes that you can make, including investing in a standing desk, taking a brief 5 minute break to step away from your computer several times a day or even purchasing a smartwatch that gives you movement reminders. If you are binge watching your favorite TV series over the holiday break, take the time after each episode to get up and move around. While it might sound simple, these types of small changes can steamroll into bigger ones.
JOIN OUR KC WELLNESS CENTER
For millions of Americans, type 2 diabetes is a real concern. If you are someone who is worried about developing this disease, taking preventative action early is your best bet! Here at Woodside, our premier KC wellness center, you will find everything you need to live your happiest, healthiest life. From our state of the art fitness center to a robust schedule of workout classes to The Kitchen that features a delicious and nutritious seasonal menu, you will have wellness right at your fingertips. Contact us today for more information and find out how you can become a member of Woodside!