8 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

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Update Date 13/08/2020 . 4 mins read
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Diabetes can be managed with proper diet and exercise. By managing blood sugar levels, we can help lower our risk of diabetes complications, such as kidney damage and cardiovascular disease.

Keeping your blood sugar levels at bay is important, not just for people with diabetes but even for those without. After all, having blood sugar levels up the roof can lead to other illnesses such as obesity and heart ailments aside from diabetes. 

Aside from medication, a vital part of managing diabetes is a self-care management program.

So how can you maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level? Here are some blood sugar management tips. 

Blood Sugar Management Tips to Lower Diabetes Risk

Exercise regularly

Whether you are 10 years old or 90 years old, exercising regularly can lower your blood sugar level, keeping your diabetes under control. This also increases insulin sensitivity which means the cells in your body can better use the sugar flowing through them. 

Among the exercises that you can engage in include walking, running or jogging, swimming, biking, dancing, and so many more – as long as you get to move. 

Manage your carbohydrates

It’s so tempting to eat all the cups of rice or all the pasta that you want but ultimately, these break down into simple sugars that can lead to heart diseases, and other illnesses.

To counter such problems, it is best to control and manage your carbohydrate intake. It’s important to note, however, that low blood sugar levels also pose certain health risks.

Here are some tips to manage your carbohydrates: cut down on bread and sugary drinks, choose eggs for breakfast and other low-carbohydrate food, consume vegetables and fruits for snacks instead of the usual bread as these contain natural sugars. 

Eat More Fiber

Fiber lowers blood cholesterol levels and naturally helps manage blood sugar. According to the Institute of Medicine, the amount of fiber needed by men 50 years and younger is 38 grams and for women, 25 grams. Meanwhile, for men 50 years and older, at least 30 grams of fiber is needed, and for women, 21 grams. 

Aside from fruits and vegetables, some examples of foods rich in fiber include whole-grain products; peas, beans, and other legumes; and nuts and seeds.  

Stay hydrated

You’ve heard that drinking 8 glasses of water is good for you – and for a very good reason, too. Aside from keeping you hydrated, drinking enough glasses of water a day not only helps you manage your blood sugar levels but also flushes away excess sugar through urination. 

Take note, though, that non-caloric beverages are healthier options  as compared to sweetened bottles of water. Also, forego the juices, the shakes, and the sodas as these contain lots of sugar. 

Be mindful of what you eat

This is easier said than done, of course, especially when you are bombarded with an array of delectable dishes at a buffet table. But simply being more conscious of what you eat can help you manage your blood sugar level and control your calorie intake. 

As a helpful tip, when at a dinner party or at a buffet table, choose a small plate because this creates the illusion that your plate is full, and therefore, you have already eaten enough. Other tips are weighing and measuring portions; checking the serving sizes and reading food labels: and even eating slowly. 

Manage stress

Studies say that stress can increase blood sugar levels. To manage stress, exercises and relaxation techniques can help. Get out of the city once in a while and immerse yourself in nature.

Read a good book. Sleep and wake up early and free your mind of all worries and anxieties. Do some yoga. Hang out with your friends. Watch movies or television with your family. Take a warm bath or a shower. Start a hobby and learn new things such as gardening, or collecting stamps. Go on an adventure such as parasailing or spelunking. 

The Link Between Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease

Get enough sleep

Some experts say that getting more quality sleep can lead to lowered blood sugar levels. But lacking sleep can contribute to Type 2 diabetes. This is because insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar levels, becomes more sensitive at specific times of the day to people who get enough sleep. 

To help you get that much-needed shut-eye, here are some tips – sleep in a comfortable and cool environment; go to bed and wake up at the same times; avoid sleeping with your gadgets near you; keep your mind free from concerns; and avoid looking at screens at least an hour before bedtime. 

Never skip breakfast

There is a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After not eating for at least 8 to 12 hours because of sleep, your body needs food to balance blood sugar levels, and needs nutrients to keep your energy levels up, and breakfast – which helps you burn calories throughout the whole day – replenishes what is lost. In addition, failing to eat breakfast can lead you to getting hungry soon enough and consuming foods that may be rich in sugar. 

Key Takeaways

Naturally, blood sugar management takes a lot of hard work. But with perseverance and consistency, you can help yourself and others maintain your blood sugar at your desired level. 

Learn more about diabetes, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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