The World Health organization listed diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death globally. Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent, can only be managed by taking insulin doses all through the individual’s life, type 2 diabetes mellitus, however, can be prevented and properly managed when diagnosed.
In this post, we will be discussing seven tips to prevent diabetes or effectively manage it when diagnosed.
How to Prevent Diabetes
The many strategies and tips discussed below are worth practicing daily, especially if you have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
1. Cut down on simple sugars and foods with a high glycemic index
Simple sugars and carbohydrates have the ability to spike up and rapidly drop blood glucose levels.
This leads to continuous secretion of insulin from the pancreas which may cause insulin insensitivity on the long run- a situation where the cells of the body don’t respond to the presence of Insulin- the hormone that drives blood sugar into the body’s cells.
This is the reason why many people will feel hungry a few moments after eating simple carbs. The body cells are not able to receive the glucose which is available in the bloodstream.
Simple sugars are not totally the bad guys here, but their excessive consumption can increase the likelihood of developing diabetes.
2. Go for more complex carbs and whole grains
Complex carbohydrates are foods that are lower in glycemic index. They are not easily and rapidly digested like the simple carbohydrates; their digestion process is slower. Therefore, they make a person full for longer. Low glycemic index foods help to manage the release of insulin as they take a longer time to be digested, unlike the simple (high glycemic index) carbohydrates.
This benefit is a function of their high fiber and low carbohydrate content. This is the opposite in simple carbohydrates where the reverse is the case.
Examples of foods with a low glycemic index are oatmeal, pasta, corn, yam, peas, and most fruits.
Eating complex low glycemic index carbohydrates help to normalize the blood sugar levels and insulin secretion simultaneously.
3. Exercise regularly
The benefits of exercising are many. It helps to prevent many diseases and keeps your body fit.
The universal recommendation of 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week is just good enough to prevent the risk of diabetes. You can go on brisk walking, swimming, skipping, cycling on a recumbent bike, jogging or dancing. Exercising could actually be fun too.
The good thing about exercising is that you can work out from the very comfort of your home. You can sign up with a gym house or get a personal fitness coach or trainer if you don’t have the willpower to work out all by yourself or in the house.
You also can workout more times in a week. You’ll get good results.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables
A diet composed of more vegetables and fruits helps to prevent many life-threatening illnesses, including diabetes.
Veggies and fruits are rich sources of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They also help to improve immunity. Fruits and vegetables can be taken as a whole meal and snack.
5. Quit smoking and alcohol
Drinking alcohol and smoking are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Alcoholism is a big factor in obesity and diabetes, both of which are chronic conditions with possible long-term complications that can affect health adversely.
The conversion of the sugar and empty calories in alcohol and beer only result in increased glucose in the blood. So, you have to limit your intake of alcohol to avoid diabetes.
6. Don’t skip meals
It is indeed a bad and unhealthy habit to skip meals. None in a particular order is the most important, all meals of the day are just as beneficial.
One thing that happens when we skip meals is that we tend to unconsciously eat more portions of food in the next meal probably to cover for the food we didn’t eat earlier.
That is why we recommend that you should not skip any meal of the day. All meals are important to the body’s health and effective functioning.
For obese persons who need to lose weight, it is also important not to skip meals. Meals that are low in carbohydrates can be taken to reduce the number of calories taken in per meal. It’s also important to discuss with a dietitian if you’re trying to lose weight.
7. Have your blood glucose levels checked routinely
Make it a routine to always have your blood glucose levels checked at intervals to know your status.
Some people are not diabetic but are predisposed to being diabetic. When blood sugar level is above normal but not in the diabetic range, this is known as prediabetes.
There is an increased tendency for a prediabetic to develop full-fledged diabetes if not properly cared for.
One can only know if they are diabetic or predisposed to being diabetic only if they get routinely tested. It’s good to check your blood sugar quarterly or biannually.
- Diabetes. (2018, October 30). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes
- Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin | NEJM. (2002, February 7). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa012512
- Lindström, J., Louheranta, A., Mannelin, M., Rastas, M., Salminen, V., Eriksson, J., . . . Tuomilehto, J. (2003, December 01). The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3230
- How to Prevent Diabetes. (2019, May 22). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://medlineplus.gov/howtopreventdiabetes.html
- Glycemic Index and Diabetes. (2013, October 2). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html
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