Diabetes is a chronic disease, which is reported to have affected millions of people all over the world. And in some extreme cases Diabetes lead to heart disease, kidney failure, surgical amputation and even blindness. But before diabetes is diagnosed, sufferers go through a period called pre-diabetes.
This is the stage when your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to earn the diagnosis of full-on diabetes. However, if left unchecked, 70% of people with pre-diabetes will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes later down the road.
Fortunately, there are a number of fully actionable precautions we can take to avoid this from happening.
Here are 5 all-natural steps to prevent diabetes:
#1 Ban Refined Carbs and Sugar from Your Diet
Individuals with high risk of diabetes will find themselves on the fast track to diabetes if their diet contains sugary foods and refined carbs. The human body breaks these foods down into tiny sugar molecules, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.
The rise in sugar levels stimulates insulin production in the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that helps sugar move from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, but because individuals with pre-diabetes are insulin-resistant, the sugar remains in their blood.
The result is that the pancreas tries to reduce blood sugar levels by producing even more insulin. And with time, this leads to progressively high insulin and sugar levels, and eventually to diabetes type 2.
#2 Avoid Sedentary Behavior
Human beings were designed to move most of the time. Little or no exercise, sitting for long periods at a desk or lounging for hours on the couch, can greatly increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Simple precautions such as standing during phone conversations and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are realistic and achievable behavior changes that can go a long way in the fight against diabetes.
#3 Lose Excess Belly Fat
You don’t have to be overweight or obese to develop diabetes, but studies show that carrying too much weight can drastically increase the risk. Individuals with pre-diabetes tend to build excess fat around their belly.
This is called visceral fat and it affects abdominal organs such as the liver. Visceral fat promotes the body’s insulin resistance and inflammation, which leads to a significant risk of developing diabetes.
Vegetarian, Paleo and Mediterranean diets can help to reduce belly fat, as do any kind of low-carb diets. However, finding a diet that you can stick to for the long haul is key to a successful diabetes prevention program.
#4 Make Water Your Primary Beverage
Drinking more water means that you’re drinking less of the beverages that have been linked to diabetes such as sodas and punch.
Even artificially sweetened beverages and fruit juices can sometimes promote the risk of developing diabetes, whereas an increased water consumption has been proven to create a better bodily insulin response and improved blood sugar control.
#5 Exercise Regularly
There are many types of physical activity, which are known to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. Aerobic, high-intensity and strength training are excellent allies in the fight in the battle against diabetes.
Again, sustainability is key. Find an exercise you enjoy and you know you can do regularly and you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle with a much lower risk of developing diabetes.
- Foods high in sugar and refined carbs can boost insulin and blood sugar to dangerously unhealthy levels. Avoiding these foods can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
- Regular physical activity increases insulin secretion and sensitivity and can prevent the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.
- Drinking water instead of other beverages helps control insulin and blood sugar levels.
- Losing excess weight, especially around the belly, significantly reduces the risk of diabetes.
- Excessive sitting has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes.
The bottom line is that the fight against diabetes comes down to living a healthier lifestyle with the right diet and appropriate levels of physical exercise. These five actionable tips can help by promoting healthy insulin and blood sugar levels and offer you the best chance of avoiding diabetes.