Preventing Diabetes

Preventing Diabetes

Key Lifestyle Modifications for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a preventable medical condition with the right nutrition and workout routine. As the number of cases of diabetes rises each year in the United States, it is more important than ever to learn what to do to prevent this disease.

Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is a condition in which the sugars from food have difficulty getting into body cells because the cells become resistant to an important hormone, insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is much less common than type 2 and is caused by insufficient insulin production, due to an autoimmune process. This occurs when the body’s own immune system damages the pancreatic cells that normally produce insulin.

Preventing and reducing the risk of acquiring diabetes is easy with a consistent diet and fitness routine. Muscles require a huge amount of energy during exercise, most of which is supplied by the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars. Exercising causes the receptors on the body’s cells to become more sensitive to insulin, allowing glucose to move into the cell and be used for energy production. So, exercise directly affects the body’s ability to take in and utilize glucose, reducing the risk of diabetes. The best fitness routine for maximizing glucose utilization in the body is moderate intensity exercise for 30 or more minutes at least five days per week. Jogging, Zumba, Crossfit, kayaking, mountain biking, and swimming are just a few of the ways to get your workout in each day.

Nutrition is also key in preventing diabetes. When a person eats a meal high in sugar, it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and overwhelms the body’s ability to take the sugar in. Eating a well-balanced meal with complex carbohydrates such as dark, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and high-quality proteins like chicken or fish, can slow the rise in blood sugar making it easier for the body to absorb. Additionally, reducing the amount of simple sugars like soda, sweets, and refined carbohydrates reduces the burden on the body to produce enough insulin and move glucose out of the bloodstream. Diets that emphasize protein and high-quality fats are some of the best ways to avoid addicting sugars and carbohydrates, as well as reduce the risk of diabetes. The Whole 30 and Paleo type diets are a great introduction to eating well and preventing chronic disease.

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