7 lifestyle tips to avoid the development of diabetes:
1. Control overweight
One of the biggest risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes (adult) is being overweight. In fact, EveryDayHealth.com notes that for every 2.2 pounds of weight shed, the risk of developing diabetes declines by 16 percent.
However, you may need to visit a doctor or dietitian to get a benchmark for your body mass and the best way to handle it. Following some of the upcoming suggestions can also help you drop some unwanted pounds, which can also benefit your cardiovascular health.
2. Reduce portion sizes
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains that controlling the size of your meals could also control the size of your diabetes risk. The institute recommends tricks such as filling a smaller dish (to make it look like a bigger meal), eating more slowly, and using smaller utensils to take small bites.
It also says that you should drink a glass of water 10 minutes before a meal to help fill your stomach (and reduce hunger), and to keep meat / fish servings at about 3 ounces. "Three ounces is about the size of your fist or a deck of cards," the source explains.
3. Eat more plants
Although we mentioned that you should limit your intake of meat, EveryDayHealth says that following a "vegetable-based, low-calorie diet" may be key to controlling your diabetes risk. That diet includes a "variety" of fruits and vegetables, while avoiding foods that are heavy in saturated fats (and added sugars like fructose-enriched corn syrup).
Many plants, including fruits and vegetables (as well as beans and nuts) contain fiber, which can naturally help control blood sugar. You may want to talk to a dietitian or doctor about developing a low calorie diet that will provide all the vital vitamins and nutrients (as well as the protein) you need.
4. Spice It Up
Aside from limiting meats and increasing plant intake, you can also add some spices to your meals that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes (or help if you already have the disease), according to WebMD. "Some of the most commonly used dry herbs and spices can help block the inflammation believed to be leading to diabetes," notes the source, who cites a study from the University of Georgia.
The study found that ground cloves and cinnamon in particular are the most effective at calming inflammation, thanks to its high content of antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols, WebMD adds. You could use these instead of salt and pepper to inject more flavor into your dishes (and even your morning oatmeal), notes the source.
5. Getting around
You will need more than just eating differently to reduce your risk of diabetes – it should be coming out and moving more (or at least exercising at home). Why? When you eat sugary foods, your insulin peak levels. "Muscles are the major organs involved in the uptake of glucose (sugars) in response to insulin," explains BestHealthMag.ca.
The source cites a study of pre-diabetics (those at high risk of developing diabetes) who observed that regular exercise (150 minutes per week) for 3 years was "significantly" more effective at lowering blood glucose levels which diabetes drug Metformin.
6. Use of medicines
Even if you have not been officially diagnosed with diabetes, there are medicines for the disease that can "hold it" if it has been determined by a health care professional that you are at high risk, says WebMD.
The source notes that studies have shown that certain medications for diabetes (along with changes in lifestyle factors) can help reduce the chance of developing it. One particular study cited by WebMD found that those taking metformin (a prescription diabetes drug) along with making lifestyle changes reduced their risk by 31 percent.
7. Relax More
Stress can have all sorts of unwanted side effects, and it seems the increased risk of diabetes is one of them. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says you should stop and take a deep breath once in a while, or add a soothing ride to your exercise regimen.
You can also mix your hobbies with stress reduction – the source suggests reading a favorite novel, for example. Run a nice bath and put a "do not disturb" sign on the bathroom knob. It also warns against emotional eating – try to free yourself from using food as a way to comfort yourself, and resort to other coping mechanisms. (This could require the help of a professional.)
Video credits to HEALTH AREA YouTube channel