Diabetes can be hard to live with, but having type 2 diabetes is one problem that may be completely avoidable – even reversible in some cases. That’s why it’s’ important to learn what steps to take to prevent type 2 diabetes, and what kind of healthy lifestyle you really need to be living to increase your odds of enjoying a lifetime free of this unfortunate disease.
Often called “adult-onset” diabetes because is often acquired later in life, type 2 diabetes is nearly always preventable when you implement the right lifestyle habits and nutritional choices. For instance, avoiding refined sugars and white foods like bread and pasta can have a significant impact on whether or not you will acquire the disease, simply because these types of foods are high on the glycemic index and cause sugar to enter the bloodstream quickly. This causes unnecessary spikes in your blood sugar, which eventually messes up the body as it scrambles with insulin production to balance your body back out. Occasional eating of these types of foods isn’t usually a problem, of course, it’s just that it often isn’t just an occasional thing, and instead becomes more of a staple that you crave.
Other foods to avoid when trying to prevent type 2 diabetes are processed meats. Processed meats contain a high amount of sodium and saturated fat, which can interfere with the way our bodies use and store energy in our bodies. In fact, a study in the journal Diabetes indicated that visceral (intra-abdominal) and ectopic fat (fat in the abdomen, liver, heart, and other muscles where it’s not supposed to be) increase the odds of obtaining type 2 diabetes dramatically. Avoid a lot of processed or high-fat red meat and you automatically gain a better hold on keeping this disease at bay.
Another way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to keep your weight under control and exercise regularly. Keeping your body at a healthy weight allows it to work more efficiently. To put it simply, the more fat you have surrounding your cells, the harder it is for insulin to deliver sugar to the cells for energy. Exercise and maintaining a moderate weight helps keep everything in balance and doesn’t strain the pancreas (which produces the insulin), which means that you have a greater chance of avoiding type 2 diabetes altogether.
One last way to avoid getting type 2 diabetes is a pretty big one: you need to quit smoking. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, anyone who smokes an average of one pack a day of cigarettes increases their risk of diabetes to about 61%. That percentage is pretty high when it comes to the odds of obtaining a disease that is generally preventable.
Overall, it has been widely determined by the medical community that taking steps to prevent type 2 diabetes can either help you avoid it altogether, or significantly delay its onset. No one wants to live with a disease if they don’t have to – and there’s a good chance you don’t have to have this one.
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