November is American Diabetes month. Diabetes is a disease that results in too much sugar in the blood. It affects the way the body processes blood sugar and can evolve into a chronic condition, Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin. When left uncontrolled, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and other serious conditions can occur. Because diabetes can lead to such serious conditions, it’s important to take small steps toward preventing the disease to make a big change in your future health. Here are some simple ways to reduce your risk of diabetes
Reduce or avoid sugary foods. This can be tough, but fruit can be a sweet substitute for treats high in sugar.
Work out regularly
Regular physical activity can help keep blood sugar levels under control by increasing insulin sensitivity of your cells. Enjoy the nice weather this fall and take a walk in the evenings!
Make water your primary beverage
Replacing fruit juice or soda with water helps to cut sugar in your diet. Drinking water can also help flush excess sugar out of the body by helping to dilute the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.
Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying excess weight increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. Losing weight may significantly reduce the risk of diabetes – studies show that the more you lose, the more benefits you’ll experience.
Add more fiber to your diet
Consuming a good fiber source, such as oatmeal, beans and apples, at each meal can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which could potentially reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Smoking is strongly linked to the risk of diabetes, especially in heavy smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk over time.
Take control of the simple lifestyle behaviors you can change to avoid the risk of diabetes to give yourself the best chance at avoiding a serious lifelong condition.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.