Diabetes is often called the silent pandemic that is affecting the world. In India too, the disease has taken scary proportions, thanks to a lifestyle that is increasingly sedentary. As a result, young adults of 25 and above are falling prey to this disease. While managing the disease is important, preventing diabetes is more so.
Research suggests that many people are already pre-diabetic and not even aware of their condition. As such, it becomes extremely important to understand how blood sugar levels are impacted and what to do and not do to prevent diabetes.
Preventing Diabetes is possible?
Before we share the dos and don’ts, let us make one think extremely clear. Preventing diabetes is possible. While in a few cases it may be less so than in others, there is still a high possibility of preventing or at least postponing the onset of diabetes.
Many people believe that if their parents have diabetes, they would too. Unfortunately, while it may be likely, it is also highly preventable and manageable. A healthy lifestyle and fitness regime, care in what we eat and how can all help you not only postpone diabetes but also manage your overall health.
Preventing Diabetes: What to do and What not to do
Manage your weight
While we never advocate crazy or fad diets, the fact remains that healthy body weight is essential for a healthy body. If you are overweight and have a family history of diabetes, then losing weight now is the first step to a long and healthy life. The same applies to people who are underweight – maintaining a healthy body weight is important to help present diabetes.
Make a conscious decision of an active lifestyle
While active lifestyle is important for all, it is more so for people at higher risk of diabetes or those who are pre-diabetics. An active lifestyle, however, does not mean three hours at gym or all different activities. It means ensuring a day which includes movement and being on your feet. Start with morning walks or cycling. Make sure you walk around your office or home.
Take up Yoga
This is especially beneficial for ailments related to digestive system and diabetes is one of them. Yoga is simple, can be started small and would have long term health benefits. Research in Yoga has shown excellent results in people suffering from disease. Moreover, Yoga is known to counter stress, which has been found to be one of the leading causes for diabetes in people today.
Constant blood checks
This is especially true for people at high risk. The biggest step of prevention is keeping a check. A routine bi-annual blood test is easiest way to check that. Fasting blood sugar and HbA1C tests are two definitive tests to help you understand your blood sugar levels. Ensure that they are in the normal range and refer to a doctor in case they are not.
Give up sodas, artificial sweeteners
Sodas, artificial sweeteners are an absolute no. Research has indicated artificial sweeteners may possibly be linked to increased risk of weight gain, obesity and type II diabetes. Nutritionists also recommend using sugar or jaggery in moderate quantities rather than artificial sweeteners. Carbonated drinks are also extremely high in sugar content and must be avoided. Instead, opt for home made lime water (even with sugar would do), lassi, buttermilk, etc.
Give up Smoking
Smoking, though not directly linked to diabetes, is linked to abdominal obesity as well as other concerns like cholesterol, etc. People who are at a higher risk of diabetes are also at a higher risk of other heart related disorders, high cholesterol and so on. Higher levels of cholesterol have been found in diabetics.
Ensure timely meals
Another important change is discipline – as far as meals are concerns. Nutritionists and Dialectologists have recommended an early dinner for most people. Many recommend dinner by 7 or 8 pm. This helps the body effectively digest the food and gives it time to manage the blood sugar levels.
This is perhaps the most important thing to do. In the highly stressful lifestyle, we often forget that our body needs good sleep and rest. Low quality of sleep and not enough sleep increases stress levels in the body and even lead to many lifestyle related disease. Moreover, people with better sleep habits have better control over their blood sugar levels.
Remember, these are a few pre-emptive steps you can take to stay away from diabetes. However, in case you are suffering from the disease, these steps have to be added and followed along with doctor’s recommendations. Diabetes is preventable for a long period of time. All it takes is the right approach and a healthy lifestyle.