It is an unfortunate fact that cases of type 2 diabetes is increasing not only in the US but the whole world as well. If you are one of those people who have been diagnosed, there are a couple of steps you can take to improve your health and the best place to start is by changing your lifestyle.
According to dietitian, diabetes educator and president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, Sue McLaughlin, RD, “Principles of good health like exercising regularly, maintaining healthy weight and eating right can be as effective as medicine in the management of type 2 diabetes for most people.” This statement is supported by the Look AHEAD study, an extensive clinical trial that is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the researchers of the four-year study, changes like getting more exercise and eating a healthier diet led not only to weight loss, but an improved diabetes control in 5000 obese or overweight subjects with type 2 diabetes as well.
Here are some ways you can get started if you are ready to make positive changes to help control diabetes.
3) Improve your diet.
Keeping track of your diet is one great way to manage type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet for people with this condition would include fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Concentrate on consuming fruits and non-starchy vegetables like carrots, lettuce and broccoli and eating lesser portions of starchy food, dairy products and meats. Be especially mindful about loading up on high glycemic index foods like white rice, white bread and soda.
It is of the utmost importance to limit your consumption of fast food, too. According to a 15-year study involving 3,000 young adults, those who consumed fast food more than twice a week have developed resistance to insulin (a risk factor of diabetes) at twice the rate of those who were not fast food junkies. Additionally, fast food is packed with trans fats, sodium and refined carbohydrates, which can be a recipe for unhealthiness.
2) Lose weight.
Another effective way of improving blood sugar levels and controlling type 2 diabetes is by shedding pounds. The good news is you do not have to lose a dramatic amount of weight to make a difference. “If you already have type 2 diabetes, losing just 10 to 15 pounds can lower your glucose levels,” says McLaughlin.
Another factor that affects your risk and management of diabetes is where your fat is located. People who have more fat in their belly (apple body shape) are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who carry their fat in their hips, buttocks and thighs (pear body shape). A man with a 40-inch waistline and a woman with more than a 35-inch waistline should lose weight in order to manage diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise and a healthy diet can also help get rid of stomach fat.
1) Exercise regularly.
Even if you do not lose a pound, exercising can help keep type 2 diabetes under control. Even a simple exercise such as walking can cause muscle contractions which pushes glucose out of your blood and into your cells, resulting in better blood sugar levels.
Of course the more strenuous and intense the exercise, the better results. In a study about the relevance of exercise to type 2 diabetes, women who walked at a quicker pace acquired more protection from type 2 diabetes from those who just walked at a more relaxed pace.
Lifting weights regularly can also aid in keeping blood sugar levels steady. According to McLaughlin, doing resistance bands trainings or lifting hand weights for 30 minutes, two to three times a week can make a huge difference on your blood sugar health.