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Diabetes Type 2 and You

diabetes diet choice

Diabetes is a serious health issue that is becoming more and more common across a wider age range in the population. In today’s post I will explain simply what diabetes is and why it is a serious risk if left untreated, I will also briefly discuss what we can do to help prevent and treat diabetes type 2.

The basics:   

Diabetes is a problem that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes the body does not utilize insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Initially the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for this. But, over time the pancreas is not able to keep up with the demand and cannot make enough insulin to maintain the blood glucose at normal levels. The lack of insulin results in high blood glucose levels. When glucose builds up in the blood (hyperglycemia) instead of going into cells it may cause problems including cells being starved of energy and, over time, damage to major organs such as kidneys, heart, nerves and eyes.

What can we do:    

Type 2 is treated with diet and lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.

Most people with type 2 can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and being active. Being overweight and having an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle can greatly increase your risk of developing diabetes type 2.

1.    Awareness:   Being aware of this risk and choosing to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes daily can slow the development and the progression of this serious health issue and greatly improve the quality of your life.

2.    Diet:  Our diet has a direct effect on diabetes and our ability to control and maintain balanced blood glucose levels. We should strive to have a balanced diet that consists of a calorie restricted diet which is low in sugar, processed foods and saturated fats. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, complex starches and lean meat, low fat dairy and fish.

3.    Exercise:  Physical activity daily of at least 45-60 minutes a day helps control blood sugar levels and increases the sensitivity to insulin. Increasing daily physical activity means being more active in your day-to-day routine. For example, walking to places that are close by instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and waking up 30 minutes earlier to take a brisk walk around the block or the park in the morning.

4.    Diligence: Constant monitoring of your blood glucose levels to keep track and monitor your diabetes is an excellent way to prevent the progression of hyperglycemia or diabetes. If you have been diagnosed as prediabetic, constantly monitoring your blood glucose levels can help you determine which foods to avoid in order to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels and prevent the progression of diabetes.