Diabetes Is on the Rise. Are You at Risk?
Over 529 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the numbers continue to climb. An Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation study at the University of Washington predicts the number will double by 2050, and most of the cases are due to Type 2 diabetes. This disease is preventable, even if you have a family history of the disease.
The key is to have a healthy metabolism. This doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort, you can speed up your metabolism and decrease your risk of diabetes.
Metabolism Support Supplements
Supplements like cinnamon, chromium picolinate, gymnema sylvestre, berberine, curcumin, holy basil, may help your body break down carbs and sugar, helping to keep your blood glucose stable.
Dietary fiber can also help slow down the rate at which sugars are released into your blood, so being mindful to include fiber in your meals and snacks can help you stay steady throughout the day.
Eat Piles of Plants
Getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients directly from whole, unprocessed foods is the foundation for your nutritional goals, no matter what program you’re following.
You might think carbs are bad, but plants provide the natural energy sources your body needs for optimal performance. Fiber can help slow the body’s absorption of sugars, so you don’t have the sugar crash that’s so common with higher carbohydrate foods.
If you’re focusing on whole foods, you may naturally consume less fat and cholesterol. They also help reduce the risk of heart diseases, including high blood pressure.
Incorporate foods such as:
- Leafy greens
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Whole grains (whole wheat pasta or bread and whole-grain oats)
Cut Out Sugar
Cutting sugar from your diet can help your blood sugar remain even. It also makes it easier to keep a healthy weight, as studies show that sugar is a leading cause of obesity, and obesity leads to diabetes.
According to the USDA, the average adult consumes 17 tablespoons of added sugar when the recommended maximum on a standard 2,000-calorie diet is closer to 12 tablespoons.
Added sugars include any processed foods with high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane juice, glucose, raw sugar, and lactose, as a few examples.
The key to cutting out sugar includes:
- Eliminate sugary drinks and stick to water or tea
- Choose a small amount of dark chocolate instead of sugary desserts
- Read ingredients on sauces, dressings, and other condiments to make sure they don’t have added sugars
- Stick to whole foods
- Prepare your foods versus buying convenience foods
Move Your Body
Physical exercise is vital for a healthy metabolism. Moving your body helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Physical movement doesn't have to be strenuous. You can reduce your weight and keep a healthy blood sugar level by finding ways to always move your body in a way that feels comfortable for you.
If you sit at a computer, desk, or in front of the TV for long periods, try breaking it up with movement. Walk, stretch, or hit the stairs every half hour to get your body moving.
Also, add at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. This can include walking, biking, or swimming. Do what your body is comfortable with, but work up your speed as you feel up to it.
Also, include resistance exercises two to three times a week. Resistance training can help build and maintain muscle, may decrease fat, and contributes to a proper metabolism.
Stick to a Healthy Lifestyle, Not a Fad Diet
Finally, don’t fall for any fad diets. Instead, make how you eat a lifestyle and not a trend. Stick to whole foods and eat all the colors of the rainbow at every meal. Focus on protein, and supplement with whole grains, good carbs, and healthy fat, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Don't make yourself feel restricted; instead, enjoy the foods you eat and add new foods every week. As your body gets used to a whole foods diet, you'll naturally stop eating so many added sugars because your body will no longer want them.
Don’t become a part of the diabetes epidemic. If you start now, you can curb your risk of diabetes tremendously. The key is changing your lifestyle to include healthy food and lots of movement.
Of course, always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, but work your way up to eating a whole foods diet and living an active lifestyle to live your best life yet.