Protect Yourself From Diabetes With These 5 Healthy Tips
Diabetes can lead to severe complications, but eating healthy, exercising, drinking water, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can protect you.
Diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to severe complications if not kept at bay. In 2021, about 6 million Nigerians were already managing this condition.
Ideally, when you eat, your body breaks down your food into energy (glucose), so your body cells can make use of it. After which, insulin works to control how much glucose enters your bloodstream.
But when diabetes sets in, your body can no longer produce or efficiently use insulin.
This condition can damage your eyes, kidneys, heart, liver, and other organs because it causes your body to burn up its own cells for energy.
By implementing these 5 health tips in your routine, you can protect yourself from getting diabetes.
Maintain a healthy weight
There's a significant link between body weight and diabetes risk.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that obesity is the leading cause of Type 2 diabetes.
The reason is simple: extra weight raises your blood sugar level and increases the amount of insulin required to control it.
Therefore, losing weight can improve how your blood controls glucose. You can maintain a healthy weight by:
- Reducing your calorie intake
- Eating smaller meals more often
- Increasing your physical activity
- Making sure you get enough protein and fibre
- Limiting sugary foods and beverages
One of the best ways to protect yourself from diabetes is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lower your risk of diabetes. This means that you need to avoid sugary foods and processed foods such as white bread, pasta, and other refined carbohydrates.
You should also limit your intake of trans-fats (found in fried food) which can increase blood glucose levels. Instead, you can try:
- Lean meats like chicken breast because they contain less saturated fat than beef
- Lean cuts of fish
- Low-fat dairy products like yoghurt or cheese without added sugars
- Whole grains rather than refined grains like white rice or pasta made from wheat flour
If you’re also fond of eating junk food, fast food, and processed foods, you need to reduce your intake.
Drink water, not sugary drinks
Drinking water instead of sugary drinks protects you from developing diabetes.
Unlike sugary drinks, water has no calories, which means you can stay hydrated without thinking about adding weight. Or worry about how your body digests the sugars.
When you drink water, it helps your body with:
- Metabolism: Water helps remove waste products from your body, which means less glucose is being used by your cells. This also translates to less need for insulin, meaning your body won’t need much insulin when you eat something high in carbs or sugar.
- Weight reduction: Water increases the rate at which your body burns calories during exercise. The more you burn calories, the more weight you'll lose over time.
- Blood sugar level control: Water helps your body get rid of excess blood sugar through urination. Asides this, it also regulates your insulin secretion and absorption by the muscles to ensure proper functioning.
Famasi Diabetes Plan
Contains medications to help you manage your diabetic condition
Generally, exercising regularly is good for overall health and well-being. But when it comes to diabetes, it can:
- Help you lose weight: Physical activity makes you weigh less than someone who is not active, even if you aren't trying to lose weight. So having adequate muscle mass will make you healthier and reduce your diabetes risk.
- Stress reduction: Stress puts you at risk of diabetes, but exercise can help you manage it. When you are stressed, you are more likely to be inactive, which can cause weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
- Improve metabolic activity: Exercising also improves your metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This makes it less likely to store excess fat in your legs and abdomen, an important factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
- Control blood sugar levels: When you get active, your muscles efficiently use glucose and insulin. This helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
A moderate amount of exercise can protect you from diabetes, even if it’s just 30 minutes daily. So get moving!
Quit smoking & avoid second-hand smoke exposure
One of the worst things you can do for your health is to smoke. In fact, taking a pack of cigarettes daily increases your risk of developing diabetes by nearly 40%.
Smoking puts you at a greater risk of getting diabetes, and it can lead to:
- Reduced insulin sensitivity (the body’s ability to use insulin)
- Decreased insulin production in the pancreas, making it harder for cells to get needed energy
- High blood pressure
If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Similarly, if you don't smoke, avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke.
TLDR: Diabetes can lead to severe complications in different organs of your body. But if you eat healthy, exercise, drink water, maintain a healthy weight, and don't smoke, you can protect yourself from this chronic condition.
Being able to control your blood sugar is the key to preventing diabetes, and following these tips can help you do just that.
It may require sacrifices, but the payoff will be worth it, as you'll enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Early diagnosis and treatment are important in managing diabetes. So, if you ever have any symptoms of diabetes, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.
What if you've already been diagnosed with diabetes? WE can help you stay healthy!