November is American Diabetes Month and a great excuse to inform and educate everyone about diabetes.
Diabetes comes in two inconvenient forms: Type 1 Diabetes occurs when your body stops making insulin. Think of insulin like a pizza delivery driver that allows the energy from outside your cells to get the food into the cells. No delivery man? Your cells can’t eat, and things get bad. Type 2 Diabetes happens when cells become insulin resistant. Think of insulin resistance like someone putting four door knobs on a door requiring the need for two people to open the door. Your body has to overproduce insulin to “open the door” on your cells. Blood sugar levels go up, and things get bad. The funny thing about type 2 diabetes is that you have the utmost control when it comes to preventing it. Type 1 is a different story.
Type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable when you know how to… well… prevent it.
Here are a few ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes:
- Diet has a massive effect on prevention. Primarily, cutting white sugar, flour, and refined foods from the diet. Long-term consumption of these things can lead to progressively higher blood sugar and insulin levels, which can eventually turn into type two diabetes. Avoiding these foods and limiting portion sizes can help reduce the risk. A ketogenic diet can also be beneficial. One less cupcake never hurt anybody.
- Physical activity can also reduce the risk of type two diabetes. Aerobic exercise, interval training, and strength training have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar in adults. It’s best to choose the activity that you enjoy so that you can stick with it long term. Also, sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are not helpful. Water should be your primary beverage, with or without exercise.
- There’s research linking smoking, and secondhand smoke exposure to type two diabetes. Quitting smoking will reduce your risk of type two diabetes.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, in general, helps reduce the risk of type two diabetes. So remember: cut white flour, sugar and processed food, make it a priority to exercise, and quit smoking. Your body will thank you!