Diabetes is an alarming disease. It falls under these categories: pre-diabetes, type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is the condition wherein an individual has a high level of blood sugar, yet it is not high enough to be categorized under diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the condition where the pancreas does not make enough insulin; while type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance. It means that the cells fail to respond to insulin.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and it can lead to other serious organ dysfunctions such as blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease. Millions of people are affected by it. In fact, it is estimated that 29 million of the American population are affected. More or less 70% of these estimated percentage is the group of people who have pre-diabetes and in the risk of developing it into type 2 diabetes.
However, developing pre-diabetes into worse condition is frankly evitable. Although certain factors such as genes, age, and/or past behavior cannot be altered, reducing it into much greater risk is possible through lifestyle change.
Listed below are 10 tips to avoid increasing your blood sugar levels.
You can benefit a lot from just by working out. It is very useful in preventing diabetes as doing a regular exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin.
There were two studies conducted about what exercise can do in assisting diabetic patients. The first one found out that moderate-intensity exercise can improve insulin sensitivity by 51% while a high-intensity one can make the improvement by 85%. The participants in this study are pre-diabetic individuals. However, the findings are all based on the days where they are working out.
The second study, on the other hand, found that exercise can burn calories for up to 2000, and it also improves insulin function and response.
If you want exercise to be the first change in your lifestyle, health professionals advise that you choose an exercise that you enjoy most. By doing that, you can stick to it long-term. There are various forms of physical activities which you can choose from. There are aerobic exercise, strength training, and high-intensity interval exercises.
Lose Some Weight
According to a study, with every kilogram of weight loss, diabetes risk can be reduced by 16% to 96%.
Although not all pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals are obese or overweight, most of them are. Additionally, visceral fats linger on their midsections which suffocates internal organs. The same fats can cause inflammation and insulin resistance.
To lose weight, you may choose from the multiple healthy options there is. For instance, getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management. In fact, it is proven to keep blood sugar and insulin levels low among obese, elderly, and pre-diabetic individuals.
Follow a Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet is very effective in losing weight. Thus, it decreases the risk of diabetes by reducing both insulin level and blood sugar and promoting insulin sensitivity.
The diet requires a very low-carb intake, and researchers experimented by putting pre-diabetic individuals into the diet. In 3 months, the participants’ blood sugar dropped by 12%, while their insulin by 50%.
Furthermore, if you are motivated to lose weight, reducing your processed food intake can help you a lot. Consuming processed food are unhealthy and it can even result in many known chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease.
Watch Portion Sizes
Choosing and performing a low-carb diet is, however, it is not good enough. Losing weight is not just about choosing healthy food. It is also about the amount of food you consume. So, let’s say you’ve already in a keto diet, the next step you must take is to watch out for the portion of food you are taking. Eating a large portion in one meal has negative results in blood sugar and insulin level.
In one study, participants were put under portion size control for 3 months. After this time period, their blood sugar and insulin levels have lowered significantly.
- Cut Sugar and Refined Carbs from Your Diet
If you consumed sugary foods and refined carbs, there will be a sudden increase in your blood sugar. This happens when the food intake is converted into smaller glucose molecules and suck up into the bloodstream. As a result, the pancreas will try to match the rise in the blood sugar by producing more insulin. But in people with prediabetes, their insulin is resistant to the body cells which maintain sugar high in their blood.
Meanwhile, with the sweet beverages, it is reported to be a source of diabetes. Experts suggest to cut out sugary beverages and drink water as a primary beverage. Nevertheless, coffee and tea are still recommended for patients as these beverages assist with managing the diabetes risk.
Stress can result in an increase in blood sugar. It occurs when the stress response is triggered causing to release a lot of hormones related to the production of blood sugar. Stress could also deprive your sleeping quality. Poor quality of sleep could increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.
Avoid stress by doing mindfulness meditation. Studies show that it improves the ability to cope with stress. Additionally, physical activity and social support also help relieve stress. Removing stress may give you better sleep at night.
Smoking has a big impact on health. It is linked in many serious conditions such as diabetes whether you smoke or have been exposed to smoke.
It was found that average smokers have a 44% chance of having diabetes. But this is less compared to the 61% who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day. This statistics is based on the analysis of several studies.
Avoid Sedentary Behaviors
If you sit during most of your day and you get no or very little physical activity, you have a sedentary lifestyle.
Having a sedentary behavior is lacking in exercise. This may increase the risk of diabetes. Remember that working out is the first on the list in avoiding diabetes.
In an observational study, it has been shown that sedentary behavior and the risk of diabetes is connected. In fact, a person that is engaged in sedentary behavior can increase the risk of diabetes for about 91%.
Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is linked to blood sugar control. People whose blood levels are too low or don’t get enough vitamin D have a greater chance to have diabetes in all forms.
Health organizations recommend to at least maintain a 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) of vitamin D blood level.
Fatty fish, cod liver oil, and sun exposure are some of the sources of vitamin D.
Consider Taking Natural Herbs
Curcumin and berberine are few of the herbs that may help prevent diabetes in terms of increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels.
Curcumin, for instance, has a strong anti-inflammatory capability. India, as part of Ayurvedic medicine, is the number one curcumin consumer for centuries.
Berberine, meanwhile, has been part of the traditional Chinese medicine for more than a thousand year. It is also promising in fighting inflammation as well as heart conditions and cholesterol. Additionally, several studies note the strong blood-sugar-lowering effect of berberine to patients with type 2 diabetes.