Defeat Diabetes - Helpful How-To's
April is Defeat Diabetes Month and we want you to take a stand against this often-life-threatening disease. Diabetes develops when your body does not properly process food to use as energy. Your pancreas is responsible for making insulin, which helps sugar find its way into your blood cells. With diabetes, your body is doing one of two things: it’s either not making enough insulin, or it’s not able to use its insulin as well as it should. This results in a sugar build-up in your blood, creating diabetes.
While very serious, diabetes can be controlled and even reversed with lifestyle changes such as a proper diet and daily exercise. Take a look at these tips for management and prevention of diabetes.
You have to get moving! Studies have found a link between inactivity and diabetes, so if your day consists of very little to no movement, it’s time to change that. Try walking for 10-minutes a day, four days a week. Then increase your walk to 12-minutes the next week and so on. The more activity you can work into your day, the more you will improve your blood sugar levels.
You must kick your smoking habit. If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, smoking is an absolute no-no! Nicotine from cigarettes narrows and hardens your blood vessels, limiting blood flow throughout your body. Smoking causes higher blood sugar levels, making diabetes more difficult to manage, resulting in further health complications.
Whole grains need to be your “go-to” food group. At least half of what you eat during the day should be whole grain foods. They are good sources when it comes to maintaining your blood sugar which can lower your risk of developing diabetes. It’s pretty simple; just stick to oats, brown rice, or whole-wheat bread, pastas or crackers.
Work coffee and tea into your diet. Water should be what you consume the most of, but studies have shown that coffee and can help prevent diabetes. Both coffee and tea contain an antioxidant called polyphenol; it works as a natural combatant against diabetes. If regular, black coffee or tea isn’t your favorite, try green tea - it contains antioxidants that have been found to lower your blood sugar.
Be selective when it comes to protein. You may love red meat, but cutting back will help your overall health in the long run. Substitute it with chicken, seafood, beans, and nuts - these are better options and are leaner, lower in cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories.
Pay close attention to your trans fats. Food that containspartially hydrogenated oils such as cookies, cakes, French fries, frozen meals, margarine, etc. should be limited. They are known for raising your cholesterol, thus increasing your risk for diabetes.
The specialists at SIHF Healthcare can help! Our Family Medicine experts will focus on care and education, while offering the best treatment options that are right for you. Let us help you prevent or successfully manage your diabetes to avoid complications associated with this chronic disease. Schedule an appointment with us today; www.sihf.org.