Given the rapid rise in diabetes cases, the deadly disease could soon become epidemic. Among the various underlying causes of diabetes in young and middle-aged people, poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are the main culprits. In many cases, it gives rise to diabesity (diabetes and obesity) which significantly affects life and longevity. Diabetes and its many complications can reduce quality of life and increase stress due to the need for constant blood sugar checks, restricted diets and daily medications. As they say prevention is better than cure, certain changes in lifestyle and diet can significantly reduce the risk of getting diabetes. (Also read: Diabetes: expert reveals easy 6M formula to manage blood sugar this Diwali)
“Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, can largely be prevented by making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and becoming more physically active. Prevention is especially important if you are overweight or obese, have high cholesterol or have a family history of diabetes.
If you have prediabetes, which means blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. says Dr. Ranjit Unnikrishnan – Vice President and Consultant, Dr. Mohan Diabetes Specialty Center.
Making a few changes, such as incorporating simple exercise and diet modifications into your routine, can help you avoid serious diabetes complications. Nerve, eye, kidney and heart problems are just some of the consequences that can arise when you refuse to make lifestyle changes. The sooner you start making adjustments, the less likely these complications are to occur.
Dr. Unnikrishnan suggests 5 natural ways to prevent diabetes before it starts:
1. Keep your weight down: It is possible to reduce your risk of diabetes by almost 60% simply by losing about 7% of your body weight by changing your diet and exercising. The American Diabetes Association recommends people with prediabetes lose 7-10% of their weight to prevent disease progression. More weight lost will have an even greater impact on health. Determine your weight loss goal based on your current weight. Be sure to talk to your doctor about expected goals, such as losing 1-2 pounds of weight per week.
2. Be physically active: It has been proven that being more active can lead to a better quality of life. Just being a little more physically active each day can have significant benefits for your health and well-being. There are many benefits to exercising regularly. Exercise has been shown to help people lose weight and control blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for adults of all ages. However, most people set goals to focus on weight loss, not just weight maintenance.
3. Eat healthy: The importance of plants in your diet is that they provide essential vitamins and minerals, as well as carbohydrates. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fiber. Dietary fiber or dietary fiber is what your body cannot digest or absorb. Fiber-rich foods can help you lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes. Some examples of healthy, fiber-rich food options include fruits and non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens and broccoli. Legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils and whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats and quinoa. You can replace refined sugar in your diet with sucralose, a sugar substitute and sweetener that provides the benefits of low calories and carbohydrates while slowing the absorption of sugars and lowering blood sugar.
4. Focus on healthy fats: Eating healthy fats can have a positive impact on your weight and overall health. High fat foods should be eaten in moderation to help you lose weight. Unsaturated fats, often called “good fats”, will provide you with the benefits you need to manage your weight. You can get health benefits from both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The best sources of these types of fats are olive, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed and canola oils. Nuts and seeds are an easy way to add variety to your diet. Almonds, peanuts, flaxseeds and other varieties offer their own unique benefits. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna and cod are good. Saturated fats can be found in dairy products and meats. These “bad fats” should only be eaten in small amounts or you risk clogged arteries and other health problems. Try to eat low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of red meat and high-fat poultry.
5. Avoid fad diets and focus on healthier choices: In keeping with the philosophy that “you are what you eat”, many fad diets, such as paleo or keto diets, will help you lose weight. The long-term benefits of these diets are unclear and there is very little research on the effects of preventing diabetes due to their limited duration.
One of the most important dietary goals is to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle in the future. To do this, it is important to make decisions that you can commit to for life. That means mixing things up with some healthy decisions and food preferences, like taking time each day in the kitchen to make your favorite foods guilt-free.
One strategy that can help you make better food choices and eat healthier portions is to divide your plate. There are three divisions on the plate that promote healthy eating: Half: mostly vegetables, One quarter: whole grains, One quarter or 25% of your diet should be protein-rich foods, such as legumes , fish or Lean meats.
The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening with diagnostic tests for type 2 diabetes for all adults age 40 or older and the following groups: People under age 40 who are overweight or obese and have one or more risk factors associated with diabetes and pregnant women who have had gestational diabetes.
“If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, there are many treatment options that can help. If your child is overweight or obese and has a family history of type 2 diabetes or other risk factors, your child may be more at risk of developing the same health problem. It is important to discuss your diabetes prevention concerns openly with your doctor. He or she will appreciate your efforts and may offer suggestions based on your medical history or other factors. says Dr. Unnikrishnan.
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