Are you at risk for diabetes, or concerned about your risk increasing in the future? The best way to prevent diabetes is to take a comprehensive approach which incorporates diet, exercise, and your entire lifestyle.
In fact, you may be surprised at some of the bad habits which can increase the risk of diabetes. Following are a few to avoid.
On a hot day, what beverage do you turn to in order to cool yourself off and breathe a deep, refreshing sigh of satisfaction? If you turn to soda, lemonade, or even sweetened tea, you could be doing more damage to your health than you might realize. We think a lot about the foods we eat, but it is easy to forget that the liquids we drink matter too.
If you love to indulge in pasta, bread, and rice, you aren’t doing your health any favors. You may think you are safe if you stick with whole grain products, but what matters the most is your carbohydrate count. If you are eating a lot of carbs, “healthy” or otherwise, you should consider switching to a high-fat, low-carb diet. Grains should not be the base of the food pyramid.
In fact, a low-carb diet may be able to reduce your diabetes risk even if you are not shedding any pounds. That being said, it is an excellent choice for weight loss too.
If you get up in the middle of the night, mosey on over to the freezer, and dish out a scoop of ice cream, that is not a good habit. Neither is grabbing a bag of pretzels or making yourself a slice of toast.
But Mayo Clinic says that it is okay to snack late at night in moderation, but suggests that you stick with healthy choices like Greek yogurt, an egg, some nuts, or some carrots.
How often do you get a full, restful night of sleep? Hopefully, the answer is “most nights.” But if you are cramming in just a few hours of sleep each night before work, you are actually increasing your risk of diabetes.
The National Sleep Foundation writes explains this relationship:
“The primary reason that regularly skimping on shuteye can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes is because your hormone levels get thrown out of whack. Specifically, with ongoing sleep loss, less insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) is released in the body after you eat. Meanwhile, your body secretes more stress hormones (such as cortisol), which helps you stay awake but makes it harder for insulin to do its job effectively. The net effect: Too much glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
It can be concerning to see your blood sugar readings above their optimum levels. But now you have a few simple suggestions for lifestyle changes which can help prevent diabetes.
Eat fewer carbohydrates, avoid sugary beverages, eat only small, healthy late night snacks (or avoid them altogether), and make sure that you're getting a full night of sleep every night if possible. If you are looking for an additional way to support insulin health, try taking a natural supplement.
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