According to the New England Journal of Medicine, type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing epidemics in history related to obesity. This holiday season offers extra challenges to those suffering or at risk for type 2 diabetes. This article offers some basic information about diabetes and some strategies to come type 2 diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is disease that causes the body to produce little or no insulin. Because of this, the body is incapable of metabolizing carbohydrates as it converts to glucose through the process of digestion. This leaves a high level of glucose in the blood stream, causing health problems.
There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetics, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Foods containing carbohydrates are necessary to provide energy for many functions in your body. Carbohydrates break down to glucose during digestion and enter the blood stream that triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for getting glucose from the blood stream and into cells to for energy, cellular growth and repair. A person with diabetes needs to have insulin replaced in their body or use oral medications to keep their blood sugar in control.
Eat Healthy To Avoid Diabetes
Studies have shown that eating whole foods low in saturated fats and sugar reduce your risk for diabetes. Instead of buying fast food that are high in calories, saturated fats and sugar, choose whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes.
Eating more protein has been found to help stabilize blood sugar and provide additional health benefits to those suffering from diabetes – click here to more health benefits of protein for diabetes.
Fiber Controls Blood Sugar
Increasing fiber intake control blood sugar levels. Fiber also makes you feel full which help with weight loss to control obesity. Foods high in fiber are vegetables, beans, fruits, seeds and nuts. Whole grains have also been shown to lower your risk of developing diabetes. Some good whole grain foods to choose are bulgur, whole oats, whole wheat flour, millet, and quinoa, according to American Diabetes Association.
Get Your Body Moving to Prevent Diabetes
Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes, exercising to lose those extra pounds is a way of preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regular exercise such as aerobic and resistant training helps the body stay sensitive to insulin production and keeps blood sugar in normal range.
Walk to Prevent Diabetes
"Walking is one of the best types of medicine we have to prevent diabetes" quoted by JoAnn Manson, MD, Dr.PH in Prevention Magazine. Walking decreases abdominal fat which raises your risk for diabetes by making your cells resistant to insulin. Walking for 30 minutes a day decreased diabetes risk by 30 per cent for women, per Harvard Health's Nurse Study; and walking for an hour a day decreased belly fat by 20 per cent after 14 weeks for women who participated in a Canadian study, according to Prevention Magazine.