Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is higher than usual. Blood glucose is the main source of energy for the body and comes from the food we eat.
The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin which helps glucose from food get into body cells to be used for energy.
With diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it makes. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycemia).
Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.
Tips to prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Lose extra weight. Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Get more physical activity. Exercise can help to lose weight, lower blood sugar and boost sensitivity to insulin
- Limit alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
How does exercise help in Diabetes?
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates another mechanism that allows the muscles to absorb and use sugar for energy, even without insulin.
Steps a person can take to embrace a lifestyle with diabetes include:
- At least two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week like brisk walking, water aerobics, swimming, or jogging.
- Two to three sessions of resistance exercise per week such as lifting weights or doing pushups. It strengthens the muscles.
- Incorporate flexibility in exercises like stretching or yoga into your weekly routine. Yoga brings peace and calmness and lowers blood sugar.
Diabetes and Diet
Healthy eating is a central part of managing diabetes. In some cases, changing the diet may be enough to control the disease. Following tips may be helpful:
- Eat more frequently and in small portions.
- Eat vegetables and fruits and have them in place of high-calorie food.
- Whole grains high in fiber are recommended as a healthy source of carbohydrates.
- Eat pulses, a low-fat starchy source of protein and fiber, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and garden peas.
- Reduce intake of saturated and trans fats by having poultry and fish under the grill, rather than fried.
- Select skim (fat-free) milk and low-fat (1%) dairy products and reduce the consumption of cheese and butter.
- Reduce sugar intake and pay attention to food labels.
- Reduce salt intake by avoiding foods with high sodium such as processed foods.
ERemedium blogs are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice or as a substitute for consulting a physician. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional.
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